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Duel in the Dunes Report

Posted Feb 08 2010 12:00am
To the victor go the spoils. Final score Snail 1:54:38, CJ 2:08:48. The boy beat me by 1 min/mile and he freaking earned it. The Snail ran a fantastic race, truly. Here's how it all went down.

I picked up Michael friday afternoon in Charleston and we made it down to Tybee about 9 pm. Packet pickup ended at 7, so the Snail was kind enough to pick up the packet for me. Morgan made it into town about midnight. I crashed not long after he got there, but could not sleep much at all. I was really getting the nerves worked up about breaking 2 hours.

Race morning the alarm clock never went off. I had it set for 6:20, and at 6:48 I finally rolled over. Snail was leaving savannah at 7 am, so I had to rush. Ate breakfast, got dressed, and I was ready to go when he swung by. He was with some friends (Ryan and Cubbie, two regular training partners mentioned on his blog), and they gave me a ride to the start.


Here's the starting line, I took a picture of how many people were behind me. They said they sold out both races, it was the biggest turnout ever. 1500 people each in the half marathon and the 5k. The 5k started 30 minutes before the half, and they shared the same finish line. So we got to cheer on the 5k winners before starting our race.


I took this shot of myself in the starting corral. Notice the guys behind me, they really look like they don't want to be in this shot.

We took off and I started the Garmin when I crossed the starting line.

Mile 1: 7:56 oops, i'm going to pay for that later. Still, a fast mile! yay! And I'm really beating the snail good here.
Mile 2: 9:03 that's more like it. Maintain. Snail passed me and I never saw him again. He also said he started out too fast.

This mile is also when we ran past the house. Both of my brothers were still asleep. I stopped long enough to throw my gloves and phone into my car, and I got some strange looks from the other runners. It was cold, really windy (18 mph winds) and raining some but I did not want the gloves.

Mile 3: 9:20 starting to pay for that first mile, but I'm still ok.
Mile 4 & 5: 9:25/mile pace. Started walking here as needed, but for very short time periods.
Mile 6: 9:39 omg

When I hit the halfway point, it was looking like this:


WTH? The southbound lanes had both lanes open for traffic, and the left northbound lane was open for us to run in. So 2 lanes of traffic on our left, and one lane of traffic on the right? That sounded weird. It was weird.

See how confused it made me? Still, I'm burning through miles here. When I was walking long enough to take this shot, guess who decided to join in the smack talk? Cubbie! Here she was telling me before the race about how bad her times were on this course, and how I really need to make Thomas look bad just to drive the point home. Then she passed me and called me a girl or something!!?!?!

Of course, the laugh ended up being on me. I put the camera down, picked the pace back up and caught her just long enough to return the smack talk. Something about how "I wasn't afraid to make her look bad too". Then I faced forward again and ran over a big orange traffic cone! I tried to jump over it in surprise, knocked it down, and kept on going. I could barely hear her saying how bad I looked over the crowd laughter as I sped up just to pass people who had not seen me run into a damn traffic cone. Geez, I swear. This is what I get for having friends in a race. baaahahahahahaha.....

Still, I hit 6.8 miles on the garmin at only 58 minutes and change. Sub 2 hours is still well within my grasp. It's time to really start pushing myself now. This is when the rubber (orange traffic cone as it were) meets the road.

Miles 7 & 8: 9:35 / mile. Really starting to feel that fast first mile in here.
Mile 9: 10:03 oh boy, over 10 min pace now. That's not going to cut it.
Mile 10: 10:33

This is when I really felt the burn from that first fast mile. My legs... it felt like I was running on fire hydrants. Thick, stiff, and heavy. Every movement was a struggle. I started walking a lot more than I wanted to in here. When I was running, I was under a 9:10 pace. If I could not maintain that pace then I needed to walk more to catch my breath, drink more gatorade, take another gel, whatever it was going to take for me to be able to run at pace.

The garmin said I hit 10 miles at 1:35, and I knew at that point that I did not have a 25 minute final 5k left in me. That's when my mind left the game. I was totally checked out. I walked slower than normal, even kicked a few things off of the street. It started raining harder. I had mentally defeated myself and physically I was letting the mind drag me down. It was not pretty.

So the sub 2 hour goal was blown and I was feeling pretty down about it.

Mile 11: 10:50 yea, that down about it.
Mile 12: 10:43 still not feeling any better. The course turned here and the wind and rain really picked up too. 18+ mph headwind as we came around this one corner of the island. ouch.
Mile 13.1 10:44

At first I didn't even think I had a PR left on the table from how dead my legs were. That kicked the mental-downers up another notch. I did get a bit of a second wind from this one self-proclaimed slow girl. she'd pull up beside me and just smile, and I knew I had been walking long enough. go, go, go, go, go!! I did actually get a second wind in the last half mile or so when I re-did the math and realized I could still PR. I pushed it as hard as I could going into the end, and there was the snail cheering me on at the finish line. He's a class act, I tell ya. And I was really looking forward to getting a picture of him crossing the finish line. Oh well, maybe next time.


Thomas and I after crossing the finish line.


Cubbie finished about a minute before I did and put up a 15 minute PR! She really smoked it out there. The guy in black on the left is Ryan, he also met his goal time of 1:28

So after the race we all went out to lunch and had a ball. I got to hang with the snail, his wife, ryan, cubbie, and ryan's tri coach. It was a really fun group that I look forward to spending more time with.


The house from the beach. Proof that we actually went down there is always needed. It was pretty cold and very very windy.


Michael taking a picture of me taking a picture of him

Of course Morgan had to be practicing his Karate Kid moves on the stumps.

Left tybee sunday morning about 11:30 and made it back to Raleigh about 6 pm. Today my legs are incredibly sore. So my favorite way to work out the soreness is 20 miles on the stationary bike after work tonight. It's been a wild ride, and it's not over yet.

Overall I loved this race. I got to hang with good friends, put up a 5 minute PR, visit with my brothers, and do something I now love on the streets I used to vacation on. The social and sentimental values of this race made it just as special as the PR. We can't always let the goal times take the fun out of it. So this was one for the ages.
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