|The BLING! That small dangling heart can be removed & worn as a charm for bracelet/necklace!|
Virginia Is For Lovers 14K, Virginia Beach, VA, February 11, 2012.
The Hubs and I have been wanting to run a race together and what better race to run together than this one for Valentine's Day! VIFL 14K fit in really nicely in my half marathon training schedule for Rock 'N Roll USA in DC in March. I had to do 9 miles that weekend and with this race being around 8.7 miles, it was perfect! The Hubs and I signed up, and I was ecstatic beyond a runner's high because finally we are going to run together, at my pace, AND finish TOGETHER. Can we get any more Valentiney than this?! I think not.
|Foot cozy-ing up to Cryo Freeze|
|Love the swag! My favorite running jacket.|
Sleep. One day I will learn to shut my mind off and actually get a decent amount of sleep before a race. Period.
Race Morning. When my alarm went off, as usual, I wondered, "did I sleep?" We got ready, and as we were getting breakfast, we hear our boys waking up. Seriously? Do my boys have some hidden detector that tells them Mommy is awake, so wake up?? This happens when I go early for my long runs too! So we had to help them get their breakfast while we inhaled ours, and finally we were on our way to the race. A huge thanks to my Dad for watching our boys that morning!
|Hanging out with our friend "R" and The Hubs before the race|
It was cold, in the mid 30s, but luckily we got to wait inside The Field House where the packet pickup was. This race scored another point for not only having a warm place to wait until the start, but also for letting us use The Field House restrooms. It was so nice to not have to use the porto-potties.
We waited for our friend "R," who ended up signing up for the race at the last minute, and we chatted away and watched other runners until it was time to go.
|"Tutu Power" in the distance|
After our last restroom stop, we were ready and on our way to our corral....or so I thought.
The Race and Watching Runners. I was looking at this race as another long run, so I started at a very easy 11 min./mile pace. It's been a week since I last ran, so I wasn't sure how my foot was going to feel.
The course was mostly flat, except for the segment going through the Amphitheater. Other than that part, it was a fast course as it wound through a suburban sports park and healthcare center complex.
|Nothing says "Happy Valentine's Day" more than a log carrying guy in a gas mask.|
There were a couple of older runners there with Garmin watches, and I was so enamoured by their spirit, strength and by the fact that they're running a 14K! They're not fast, but they're smiling and looking like they're having a great time! I grew up watching grandparents sit around a lot, stay at home most of the time, not doing much, so whenever I see an older runner, I can't help but think, "I want to keep running at that age..."
At around Mile 6, we noticed this kid. I'm like, "what's a kid doing on a 14K course?" Turns out he's 12 years old, and I tried to keep up with him. Gosh he made it look so easy. Sadly, I couldn'tkeep up. Geez. Well more power to him!
Running With The Hubs. I had a blast running with The Hubs, what can I say. At one point, The Hubs realized, "wow, we're only at Mile 3?" I reminded him, "Ummm, we are running at my pace...Sorry, I know that by this time, you would be at Mile 6/7, but hey, at least we are getting our money's worth by being on the course longer!" Yes, at this point, The Hubs was jogging, even running backwards at one point, taking pictures of me. I think I even caught him walking fast next to me. I was like, "oh, come on...it's a race, get a little more cardio than that." He was such a hoot!
|Around Mile 4 or 5|
At around Mile 4, I needed to GU. The Hubs? No GU for him unless it's a half marathon distance. He did grab some water on the way, but he never carries any water on him, and like I said, unless it's a half marathon distance. When we came to this trail lined with lamp posts, I started to do some fartleks! I know, weird! I think it was the GU.
By Mile 6, I could tell The Hubs REALLY needed to pee. He'd been eye-ing the woods in the distance, but he didn't want me to lose time by waiting around for him. So we started scoping out porto-potties up ahead. When we got to the part of the course where it looped around a small pond, we noticed porto-potties about 3/4 of a mile ahead. I told The Hubs to go for it. So he peeled away and sprinted to the potties. Later, he told me his pace was around 6:15 - 6:20! Runners around him must've been like, "wow, he REALLY needed to go badly!" It's no surprise that by the time I got to the potties, he was done and I was going at a 9:40 pace! I mean, really? Am I THAT slow?
Around Mile 7.5, he started reading off all the cheesy Valentine "pick up lines" signs like "If I had a nickel for every time I met someone as beautiful girl as you, I'd only have a nickel."
I had to think about that for a minute. Or is it just me that didn't get it the first time? They were THAT cheesy, but The Hubs reading them to me kept me occupied, because at that point, my calves were starting to twitch. Ugh. I was having flash backs of my first half marathon when my right calf locked up on me with just 0.20 miles left to go to the finish. So when my calf started twitching ferociously, I slowed to a walk. Guess that's what happens when you don't run for a week! Or maybe I needed to drink some Gatorade. I was clearly having a hard time.
Sherry Arnold. As I tried to shake off my legs, I saw a runner run past us with the Sherry Arnold Virtual Run bib, and I started thinking of her smiling down at all the people around the world running in memory of her today. It's what she would want us to do to remember her. I didn't know Sherry, but as a fellow mom and runner, what happened to her shook me to the core and made me angry and sad. Thinking of her gave me strength.
As if on cue, The Hubs coached me back to a jog. "Shorten your stride, land flat on your feet, not your midfoot/forefoot. Count with me, 1-2-3,1-2-3...." And boy did the counting helped! I focused on that a lot until we were running back up to a 10:30 pace. We came into a headwind around Mile 8. Like the gentleman that he is, The Hubs shielded me from the wind and ran right in front of me. What a sweet guy! I caught a second wind at this point as my calf started to feel a bit better. Yeah, this is for you, Sherry!
|Smiling after our finish line beer|
Oh and I almost forgot to add. So right at that moment when we approached the finish line, for a second I thought about sprinting hard so that just this once, I could say I finished BEFORE The Hubs. Well imagine my disbelief when we got our official time:
The Hubs': 1:31:50
Sigh. Maybe next time!
|Post-race fun at The Field House|
|Finish line swag|
This is a race I will definitely do again with The Hubs. It was a lot of fun and it was so worth it for the swag, the medal, the course, and for the superb organization and coordination by J&A Racing.
|Back of medal of of the charm "Live, Love, Run"|