Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Wrightsville Beach Half Marathon Race Report

 The Wrightsville Beach Half Marathon

This race has been on my schedule for a while. I wasn't too excited about it performance wise because I just came off the ING Miami Half with a PR. I didn't think back to back PR's existed in the Half. WRONG-O!

For race week I knew I wasn't going to taper. The Boston Marathon is my goal. But I wanted an easier Saturday pre-race. So I did what any logical runner would do. I ran 75 of my weekly miles in the 5 days preceding the race so I could do 6 miles on Saturday. I padded the front of my week with heavy mileage. 

Well, it worked! When I headed to the elevator Sunday morning at 5am I felt like a million bucks. I was saying to myself, "are you kidding? I get to run this race with this body?" Meaning, I felt so strong and rested that it was almost third person. It was like I was going to the office. This is what I have worked so hard for. Now I get to go tour the city for 13 miles on these legs that I worked so hard to train. All the special diets, no sugar, cross training, freezing rain, exhaustion. Now, it's the easy part.  My goal was 6:30 pace.

heated seat warm up, SURE!
I arrived at the finish area of the race and was bussed to the start. It was freezing. I didn't want to warm up. I didn't have a drop bag. I stood outside for an hour in booty shorts and a sports bra in 50 degrees plus wind chill. I was shivering. I would stare at people and try to will them with my eyes to give me their shirt. I got few, "hang in there's." It sucked. I couldn't wait to run. I saw some old friends and chit chat was nice.

The next 13 miles plain old rocked. I felt great. My only issue was to try and slow down. I didn't think I could run so fast for so far. I did all those dorky runner things. I high five'd every aid station worker. I talked to runners on the course. I cheered every walker I saw. The race seeded the walkers first for logistical reasons. So I'd try and say something cheerful as I passed which was usually countered with, "No, you good job!! I was having fun!

My splits and thoughts were: Garmin here:

6:18   you just blew your race. Good job Slick.
6:25   slow down
6:28   ok, this clearly will be my pace
6:18  WTF, how is this happening?
6:19  for real?
6:24  I don't want this to end. I want to keep running. I love running!. lol
5:58 for .25

CHIP time 1:24:51 
4th female overall
1st age group
17th overall of 1901 runners in the half. results here.

So upon finishing I felt like a rockstar. My mind was sharp. I felt like I could lay out this:

 I never looked at my garmin aside from the splits.  I wanted a surprise. That it was.  I went to my car for my phone to make the usual calls to my family and coach. 

Then I switched out of my racing flats into my pure flow II's and set out to find my friend who was doing the marathon. I wanted to do a few miles with him near the end of his race. So I set out for 5 miles. Immediately upon entering the crowds it dawned on me. Where the hell my friend? I have no idea. So I figured I'd just stand there and wait on the marathon course...lol Suddenly, my brain went to mush I couldn't calculate what mile to go to.
Post race dumbing set in

Well, I was looking for a dude with a red shirt. As we discussed pre race. So I used all my brain power and focused for a red shirt. Suddenly I see a guy carrying a red shirt. I screamed out, "you're not wearing the shirt damn it!!" So much for my motivational chit chat. 

I ran along side him. We decided I'd be better off meeting him on the other side of the loop he was doing. So I took off in the opposite direction. Long story short. I never found him. My dehydration was turning into delusion after waiting 40 minutes on a curb all alone. 

Awards were coming up soon. It suddenly dawned on me that *maybe* the 3 girls ahead of me were in the marathon. Or at least 1 of them!! I could be top 3!! So I shuffled quickly back to awards. That pipe dream was killed quickly. I was indeed 4th female. I won this:


After I received my award I headed to my car to leave.  A met a few of you guys along the way! I LOVE that! Sometimes I feel like I'm typing into a dark hole in a galaxy far, far away. So when someone says hi it's awesome. 

The Nitty Gritty:

I brought espresso from home and had about 4oz at 4am heated up in the microwave.
I took a caffeine pill around 5am.
I sipped Street King energy drink on the car ride over.
I had a Cliff Shot Cherry Chocolate gel at the start and sucked on one for the first half of the race.
I took 2 sips of water on the course.

It was 50 degrees. Swirly wind and a 6:40am start.

Overall, a great race. A new PR. A great confidence booster going into Boston. I am writing this on Tuesday still so freaking tired I could nap all day if it weren't for my voracious appetite that keeps me staggering to the fridge.

A few more weeks of training! Happy Running Guys!!!



  1. GREAT race report! When I grow up I want to be just like YOU!! Oh . . . wait . . . I'll already WAY, WAY older than you! Oh well . . . I can dream! What an awesome job and can't wait for your Boston race!! You GO!

    1. When I think of Frank Lilley I immediately remember you around mile 58 in U100. You were so happy to be out there running. I thought, does he know he's on turkey creek and has to do this for 100 miles??!! But your attitude rocked and I'll always look up to that. YOU rock on!!!

  2. What a run, I love it when that happens... Wish it could happen with me again!!!

    Roll on Boston

  3. I can't wait to see your Boston time! Your going to do amazing!

  4. Congrats on a great race Laura. It was awesome to see you at the start line. I just got my own race report posted and gave you a couple shout outs in it. Cheers and good luck in Beantown!