Let’s start at the beginning shall we….
Friday morning started bright and early at 530am. I was out the door and to Michele by 7:30 and after a stop to WaWa for some coffee we were on our way! The drive was fairly uneventful…got some breakfast, made some stops, chatted and etc. That is, until we pulled out of Starbucks after a coffee/pee break. My GPS was kindly taking us back out to the road and despite the signs of construction we kept going because it wasn’t like we knew another way. Well, that was a mistake! We ended up in the middle of a huge construction zone that ended with this:
It reminded me of this episode from The Office:
So yeah, we had a little detour! After that adventure we finally found our way back onto the road and we cruised along nicely for a few hours until we hit some God awful traffic. Obama was visiting Virginia and I am convinced we got in some kind of traffic affiliated with that because it was the middle of the afternoon and all backed up for only one exit. We came up on quite a few of these signs:
It took fooorreeever to get through it but once we did it wasn’t too bad other than some stop and go. All in all it took almost 8 hours (we had figured on 6.5-7 because of stops) which was pretty long and exhausting.
We got to our hotel, which honestly is nothing to write home about. We were on the 18th floor which freaked me out because I do not like heights but the view was AMAZING! Our balcony faced the ocean and I could see it from my bed. Here are a few photos with a view from the room:
Once we were at the hotel, we checked in and hit the beach. I am serious, we were there for about five minutes before we were on the beach! Basically we just played around in the sand and dipped our feet (very quickly…it was sooo cold) in the water. We totally geeked it out and loved every second of it!
By the time we got back to the hotel from the beach, our friends Katie and Erica had gotten in and we made plans to meet up for dinner. We hit up Abbey Road which was reallllly good. And of course, more photo geekiness:
By the time dinner was over we were beat and ready to get back to the hotel and relax. Which is exactly what we did. I watched some March Madness (wtf shout outs to Nova and Kansas!) and eventually we both went to bed.
Saturday morning Michele got up for a run but I sat in bed enjoying the sound of waves crashing and the feeling of the sun on me at is shined in through the window. It was blissful!
When Michele was done her run we went down to the hotel restaurant and ate breakfast. It was just okay. Afterwards we headed to the expo. It was pretty big and was hardly crowded at all when we got there; we were able to really look around and shop which was nice. I picked up a cute RunnerGirl shirt and took advantage of some free samples. We were there about an hour and a half which is the longest I have ever been at an expo.
Once we were through with the expo, we headed out for lunch. First we stopped at a cute little cafe but the staff was extremely rude so we left and met back up with our friends at the same place we ate dinner the night before, Abbey Road. And it was so good again!
By the time lunch ended it was actually kind of late in the day and Michele and I were looking forward to a nap and getting in the hot tub! I love naps ❤ and they are even better with the sounds and smells of the ocean right out the window 🙂 When we woke up we hit the hot tub for a while and then got ready for dinner. I wasn’t too hungry but because Michele needed some carbloading we headed to Olive Garden. We didn’t get home until pretty late and as soon as we had our race stuff together, we zonked.
Before we knew it, it was 430am and the alarms were buzzing. We got ready and made our way down to the race site. It was pretty bare boned when we arrived but it filled up fast. We were one hour before the marathon start (which I still don’t understand since that is a longer race) so the crowd was a lot smaller than most races I have been to. After some pre-race photo taking, Katie and Michele made their way to the pacer and Erica and I went off to have breakfast. It sucked and it took forever and we had to rush to get to the finish line so we could watch, that is how long it took! Ridic!
This was my first time as a spectator for a race; usually I am a volunteer or a racer, so this was totally new to me. I loved it! I wore my race outfit…bib and all…and planned to hop in at the .2 mark to run my friends to the finish. As runners began finishing I was getting more and more excited to see Michele and Katie. Before I knew it they were running towards me…their goal was 2:15 and they were ahead of that so I was all pumped pushing them to the finish line! The finished in 2:14:28!!! It was a five-minute PR for Michele and an amazing FIRST 1/2 marathon time for Katie! And I got to run!!! That .2 is the only running I have done in over 3 weeks.
So the race report is one simple but awesome line: it was so wonderful to run and I loved it and I had NO PAIN!!! *
After we got through the finish we met back up with Erica and hung around on the beach for a while and took some post race photos:
We parted ways with Katie and Erica and headed back to the hotel to get cleaned up. We opted to walk the mile back so that we could cheer on the racers as we walked. And after we got cleaned up, we went back down to watch the marathoners pass our hotel which was at about the 22 mile mark. It was really quite awesome…we got to see some seriously amazing runners! Eventually it was back to the hot tub so that we could relax before the drive home.
The drive home was hysterical; everything that happened was completely random. First we stopped at a pizza hut to eat before we left and it was a walk-in only. Here in NJ, all Pizza Huts are sit down so we were all confused. But the guy looked at us like we had ten heads when we asked if they had seating. We ended up eating on a bench outside the place. Weird. And it only got weirder…we took the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. I hear it is wonderful but I wouldn’t know because I am petrified of bridges! I did not intend to take this way home but it was too late when I realized it so I just put on my big girl pants and drove. It was torture…14 miles of just bridge. O.M.G. I was so happy when we were finally back on land! The rest of the drive, until we hit Philly, was almost all country. At one rest stop, a lady in the bathroom was having a difficult time with her #2 and felt the need to tell us after pushing that “it was a good one!” helllo…TMI! We laughed about that for almost an hour of the ride home! Finally around 830, I pulled into Michele’s driveway and we were home! Thankfully the ride home was much faster than the ride there because I had work (plus two meetings after work) early in the morning!
Overall, it was an awesome weekend getaway. I would love to go back and race the course next year. They gave out some awesome race swag (I did not take the finisher’s shirt), the expo was great and it looked like the racers were having a great time.
*NOTE: I know this is likely to ruffle feathers, but I took the medal. I mulled it over and went back and forth on it many times. Before I was in this situation, I probably would have balked at someone doing that. But being in the situation makes it different. I had decided race morning I was going to run in with my friends and take the medal. I did not put it on at any time nor do I have any photos of me with it. I do not plan to hang it up with my earned medals or include it in medal box. Mostly, I took it for posterity. My first DNS. And since it was my decision to make and I am happy with the decision, it doesn’t matter what other people think of me.
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