On July 10th, I finished my 6th 1/2 marathon in 6 consecutive months. It graduated me up to two moon status on the Half Fanatics...which everyone dreads because it landed me on Uranus LOL! This was the last race that my sister-in-law, Andrea, needed to qualify for the Half Fanatics and also my stepson's first 1/2 marathon in over 6 months.
We chose to go to Ocean Shores the day before and enjoy the beach. The weather was perfect all weekend so all the kids came down with me and even my father-in-law came down for the day. I have never been to Ocean Shores on such a warm day.
The downfall to bringing everyone was that we had to share beds and a room. It was tight quarters which causes me to get VERY little sleep. Bryce (my 3 year old) didn't do to well going to bed. He was up until midnight and finally fell asleep on the floor with my pillow. I shared my bed with my 12 year old, Ashley, but she moves around a lot in her sleep. Bryce had several nightmares all night and kept screaming out. Needless to say, VERY little sleep for me. I had to be up at 5:30am.
Morning came way to quick! I arose in the morning and tiptoed around Bryce. He was laying right in front of the only bathroom door. I grabbed my clothes and changed in the bathroom as quietly as possible. I snuck into the living room area and woke up Andrea and Devin. They also snuck around Bryce and we got out of the room as quickly as possible before waking anyone else up.
We hit the Tully's for water then went to the park to wait for the race to begin. I ran into a few other Half Fanatics including #10 Bullseye Bob Martin. Thank goodness we got there early because they actually started the race about 15 minutes early. The first 1.5 miles of the race were spent weaving through town towards the ocean. Very flat and nice, open spaces to run in...just the way I like it. I was hoping for a PR today if all went well. As soon as we saw the beach ahead I prepared for the worst.
The beach entrance was loose sand that filled my shoes early. Big divets made it hard to maneuver through and I spent a lot of the time just trying to bunny hop into the holes that other runners already created. Once we got to the hard packed sand, running was easier. Felt almost like a trail run (which reminds me, I need to train with the Dirty Girls more!). The best sight on the beach was about a mile into it...there was a baby seal sunbathing.
So, the total distance on the beach was 1.5 miles then back on to the soft, sinking sand until we hit the pavement again. Too bad for me my stomach was starting to act up so I hit the honeybucket. I felt my PR slipping away. :( Back on the pavement, Andrea and I kept running along. Devin passed us and as far as we could tell, he was in 12th place! Bullseye Bob high-fived us too. At the halfway mark, we turned around and started back. Andrea told me to go ahead.
The next 1.5 miles were pretty uneventful until... I almost got trampled to death by two young deer! I am not even exaggerating! They went hopping across the road like a game of tag only feet from me. My heart was beating so fast and I couldn't stop shaking. Oh no, stomach started to act up again. Must have been the terrible dinner from the night before. I hit the same honeybucket as before. When I was waiting in line, Andrea wished me luck and went ahead.
Several minutes later, I was finally back bunny hopping over the sand dunes to get to the ocean. I wish I lived closer to the beach. It was very peaceful to see and hear the waves as I ran by. The seal was still sunbathing on the beach too. Brought a smile to my face. It wasn't until I came up to the soft sand again that I finally started walking.
I was suffering from my usual leg "tingling" so I couldn't feel my right foot/leg. My stomach was killing me and my mind was starting to give in to it all. I forced myself to run again and was able to run the for a while. As I hit the bridge on the home stretch, I finally had to stop and stretch my foot out. The arch of my right foot was cramping so bad I was almost in tears. The sand had taken up any spare room in my shoe and it was suffering. No PR for me :(
I crossed the finish line at 2:15:12. Not my best, not my worst. I wish I could take off the time for the honeybuckets. That would have dropped me down to the 2:10 range, but oh well. Devin ended up finishing with a PR and 17th place overall! Andrea got a new PR as well. I was just happy to finish. I highly recommend this course to others but be prepared for the sand!