On a whim, I decided to run the Williamsburg “Run For The Dream” 8K and half marathon. 2 weeks after registering, I found myself facing one of the hottest days I’ve even run…
Packet pick up started on Thursday but because of work, we couldn’t go until Friday afternoon. Of course, that day one of the LCDRs at CNMOC (our boss down in Bay St. Louis) needed to have a telecon with us so I had to stick around until 1630. Boo. After sitting in a ton of traffic, we made it to the pick up center. This was a fairly small run so the expo wasn’t much to talk about. However, they were extremely organized and pick up was such an ease. I really appreciated that. We didn’t do much up there and opted to head home afterwards.
Since we live in Chesapeake, it takes us about 45-60 minutes to get up to Williamsburg. However, we left so early in the morning, it only took us about 45 minutes. We found the parking garage fairly easily and headed over to the start area. Unlike other races I had been to, this race allowed packet pick up the day of the race. They were extremely organized as well. The start area was probably one of the calmest ones I’ve been to. Though we had written down our expected finish time, the corrals were self-regulated. It wasn’t too bad, though, because most people were actually realistic about their running skill. I say most because there were still those walkers who decided they wanted to be up front. I tried to steer clear as this 8K was also a Master’s final race. This race was way more important for them.
The race started right on time. There was a group of 6 soldiers marching the 8K with a 180 lb dummy to simulate the adage of “no man left behind”. Much respect to those men as they were in full battle dress and kevlar. The run started out great. The first mile was fairly flat which felt awesome. I, however, forgot that this was Williamsburg and Williamsburg has many hills. Seriously. I had no clue what I got myself into. The rest of the race was on rolling hills in the broad sunlight. It was about 75 degrees that day but humidity was at around 85%. It sucked. Bad. I managed to maintain a 7:30 pace for the first half but then the heat started getting to me and I pulled back a bit. I crossed the line at 39:54. Not exactly my best time but I think I did fairly well considering I haven’t trained for hills.
I look in pain because I was hurting from all the heat. It really sucked.
After going through the runner chute we went over to the after party and I had half a beer. I got my band for the Patriot Challenge and then we went home. I just wanted a shower, lol.
Smile glued on my face because I was so glad to get out of there and the heat.
The next day we arrived an hour earlier since the race was an hour earlier. No Starbucks was open so I couldn’t get my usual pre-race coffee. I settled for an apple and we headed to the start area again. This was also self-regulated when it came to the corrals but this time we had pacers that helped people segregate themselves for their finish time. I was shooting for a 1:45 finish but I knew that may not happen due to how hot it was already and the hilly course. It was in the mid-70s, but there seemed to be a nice breeze this time. The race began about 5 minutes late but that wasn’t too bad considering I’ve been in one where it was delayed 30 minutes. Off we went on our journey and I settled into a nice, easy, slow pace. My goal was for a finish this time around, not a PR.
The entire run was non-stop rolling hills. There were many steep inclines and some really long, gradual inclines. Thankfully, they had marked the route so that it went through a well shaded area. I didn’t feel nearly as hot as I had the day before and I continued on my merry way feeling great. I ended up finishing at 1:55:59. Lol. It was really close. That wasn’t bad considering I said if I couldn’t maintain the 1:45 pace I was hoping to get it under 2 hours. That included long walking breaks in the last 3 miles. I felt great, though.
So, so glad to be done with all those dang hills. Ugh.
We headed over to the runner party and I grabbed my Patriot Challenge medal. I headed over to gave my beer and we sat down so that Manuel could eat and I could drink my beer.
I forgot to bring my 8K medal (boo). Half marathon on the left, Patriot’s Challenge on the right.
Manuel’s boss was there. He lives in Williamsburg and is the runner that does a running streak (essentially, the guy that gave me the idea to start my own). He was such a great and motivational man. I just loved how positive and encouraging he was. He finished just under 1:30 and I told him I hoped to once day run as fast as him. He told me given my history with running and how much I’ve improved in a short amount of time, I was a natural runner and in no time I’ll be beating the pants off of other runners. It was really nice of him to say. I’m really reconsidering running groups now because he’s in one. I didn’t realize how nice runners can be. I’ve run into a lot of elitist runners who don’t think you’re good enough to be among them. Crazy, right?
All in all it was a great race weekend. I definitely realized I needed new shoes after this race because my feet took a beating due to how worn down they are. I also realized that I never want to run a race in the late spring/ early summer again (at least, not in VA). This was my last run until September. Now I have nothing but 3 months of training ahead of me.