Slow and Steady Wins the Race

OBX Marathon 2010 race recap

on November 17, 2010

This is going to be extremely long and photo heavy. You might want to visit the potty and grab a beverage before diving in.

We got up on Saturday morning and puttered around the house a bit before packing for the trip. I wanted to have a leisurely morning and not rush around throwing crap in a suitcase. We got on the road around Noon and got to the Outer Banks around 4. We hit the Expo so I could get my race packet. I am not a crowd person and the small space for the Expo was making me claustrophobic. I managed to buy a shirt and another fuel belt pouch though. We hooked up with my friend Gabby and her friend Jess at the Expo. Both of them were running the marathon too. Well, Gabby proclaimed she was walking it due to not training. At all.

Sidebar – Gabby ran the marathon last year and is the one that put this whole crazy idea in my head. This year got away from her and she just never got around to training. Instead of telling me and Jess that she hadn’t trained and that she shouldn’t do the marathon, she did it anyway. She’s stubborn like that. I love her though and I am so proud of how she rocked the course with her speed walking self.

Back to the story.

Jack, Ian and I stayed in a house with Gabby’s family and Jess and her husband. Gabby and Jess are staying in the OBX for the week and were nice enough to let us crash in an extra bedroom in the rental house. Aren’t they awesome.

After we got settled into the house we headed out for some dinner at the Jolly Roger. The place was packed and we had to wait a good while for a table, but the food was good and I even had a beer to help me relax. When we got back to the house we stayed up a bit too late chit chatting (11 pm). I set my alarm on my phone for 5:15 a.m. and then tried to sleep. I was able to get a few hours, but I kept waking up terrified that I had overslept even though I told the girls to come get me if I wasn’t up by 6.

I woke up on time and we got out the door and to the start line without a hitch. I was surprisingly calm and just ready to get going. Gabby and I hopped into the last coral (13 min – 17 min mile) and waited about 20 minutes for all the faster people to get going before we were off. Jess was going to be much faster than us and headed off to her coral. In an effort to start slow and not go out too fast I decided to walk with Gabby for about the first 3 miles. We averaged some decent times too!

Mile 1 – 13:48
Mile 2 – 14:05
Mile 3 –  12:52 (a bit of running in this mile)

After those 3 miles I was ready to run a bit and waved goodbye to Gabby. I was on my own from this point on. I encountered some funny people on the course. There was this group from Oklahoma that was running together. Two of the guys were dressed in some pirate garb. They were hilarious. They were speaking pirate to all the spectators, as in “Morning” turned into “Arrrrrrgh, how you be”. Some of the spectators were offering up beer instead of water to the runners and the pirates grabbed some “ale” because that’s what pirates drink. I wish I could have stayed with them the whole time. They were very entertaining. I ended up pulling away though.

Miles 4 through 10 were pretty good. I felt good and the course was gorgeous.

Mile 4 – 12:01
Mile 5 – 12:37
Mile 6 – 12:53
Mile 7 – 12:36
Mile 8 –  13:30
Mile 9 – 12:49
Mile 10 –  12:49

After Mile 10 we headed into the woods and it was surprisingly hilly! I was not expecting that and I think I overdid a bit on the previous miles. I started to feel run down. There were also some pretty big rocks on the trail and I was afraid I was going to turn my ankle. I am not the most coordinated person in the world. When I was at Mile 11 I got a text from Jack saying he was near mile 17. Then, he revised it to say they were near 15. At Mile 11 the miles were knocking down pretty fast, but things started to slow down around Mile 14. I was starting to hurt a bit. I really wanted to see Jack and Ian though and did my best to keep going and push out the pain.

Mile 11 – 14:19
Mile 12 – 14:12
Mile 13 –  14:15
Mile 14 – 13:28
Mile 15 –  13:31

When I got to 15 I didn’t see Jack and Ian. So, I texted Jack to see where they were and he said that they were actually closer to 16. After he told me that I lost some momentum. I think I pushed so hard to get to 15 I had a hard time finding my mojo for a bit. Then, finally between Mile 16 and 17 I got to see Jack and Ian. Yay!!!!

Ian was giving out high fives to all the runners. It was so freakin’ cute.

After I talked to them for a bit I kept on going to finish the last 10 miles, not expecting to see them again until the finish line.

Mile 16 – 15:08
Mile 17 –  16:12

When I got to Mile 18 the pain really steam rolled over me. My legs were tightening up completely. Every inch of them. My feet were also killing me. I knew that training on trails and not pavement would have some repercussions, but I didn’t expect the pain I would feel on the bottoms of my feet. It felt like someone taking a sledgehammer to the bottoms of my feet with every step. I have never used Biofreeze, but I started putting it on my legs hoping that it would help. It sort of did for a while, but it might have been all in my head.

I was having a really hard time running for more than a minute at a time at this point. I also had to start talking to myself and focusing on pushing the pain out and just putting one foot in front of the other. My mantra became – pain is temporary, pride is forever. Remembering why I was enduring the pain was getting difficult. Right before Mile 20 I saw Jack and Ian again. I actually barely remember this for some reason. Only when I was looking at the pictures did I realize I saw them 3 times before the finish line.

Mile 18 – 14:45
Mile 19 – 15:01
Mile 20 –  15:27
Mile 21 – 13:54

I saw the boys one more time before the finish line at Mile 22 which was at the base of the bridge. Jack asked me how I was doing. I remember telling him that everything hurt. I knew if I stayed and talked to them for too long, I wouldn’t be able to get going again. I made the stop brief and trudged off to survive the last 4.2 miles. I was having serious doubts about my ability to finish.


Ian offered me some of his chips


Mile 22 – 14:18
Mile 23 – 16:27 (going up the bridge)

After I got to the top of the bridge I knew I wanted to run down the other side to try to make up some time from walking up it. I really needed some sort of motivation to help me pick up my feet. I put on my iPod for the first time and cranked up some Weezer to get me going. It worked and I had a good rhythm going for a bit. I was having a hard time sustaining it though and would walk a bit here and there before trying to pick it up again. At Mile 25 a blister popped on my toe. That is a really weird feeling. Luckily I had wrapped my toes in 2nd skin so even though the blister popped it wasn’t too painful. Either that or I was in so much pain everywhere else it just didn’t register. I got extremely emotional at Mile 26. The fact that I was actually going to finish the marathon hit me. I was nearly in tears for the last .2, but I pulled it together so I didn’t hyperventilate.

Mile 24 – 13:37
Mile 25 – 13:48
Mile 26 – 13:23
.59 –  10:53 (My garmin showed me going a bit long)

Crossing the finish line was a spectacular moment. Months of training and I completed my goal. I never would have said a couple of years ago that I would be a person to complete a marathon. What this proves to me is that anyone can do anything they set their mind to. It takes discipline and determination, but the only person standing in your way is you. Walk, run or crawl, just finish. I didn’t care how long it took me to cross the finish line, I was going to cross it.

My official chip time was 06:11:03.


15 responses to “OBX Marathon 2010 race recap

  1. Jacqui says:

    You rock!

  2. Melissa (@adventuroo) says:

    Congrats! That’s so awesome. You’ll be happy to know I read your entire post and it made me want to try running (I’m more of a group ex girl so that’s saying something).

    The pirates sound hilarious and the fact that you saw Ian a few times was certainly good
    motivation. Congrats again!!!

    • Ann says:

      Thanks Mel! Go for a 5K! You will probably get hooked on running if you already love exercise. I would love to run a 5K with you if you decide to pick up running :).

  3. Melissa says:

    Love this post!

    I am a runner but the longest I run is 13.1 miles. This almost, just almost makes me want to try a full 26.2 miles. 🙂


    • Ann says:

      I have come to love the half marathon distance through my training. You can train for those without committing so much of your life to running! I will probably stick with 13.1 for a while.

  4. Alisa says:

    Congrats! You did it! Let’s celebrate! 😛

  5. You are a rock star. And this post totally has me in tears. I’m a mess. SO PROUD OF YOU!

  6. janet says:

    CONGRATS!!!!!!! you did it – so proud of you, for you, everything you – random thought – your smile looks awesome in that one pic with your friend. Luv ya JPM

  7. Kristen says:

    Congratulations Ann! I loved reading your recap of the race. Very inspiring! I just don’t know how anyone can do 26 miles!! I thought I was a rock star this weekend because I had survived an 8K. –ha!

  8. sarah says:

    Awesome!! Way to go! That is amazing!

  9. bobbi says:

    CONGRATULATIONS!! You did an awesome job!

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