I have become a serious fan of J&A racing. http://www.jandaracing.com/events/ They sponsor the Coastal Virginia Running series. I have had the pleasure of participating in 3 out of the 7 events.
I’ve been a repeat customer of 1 of their events, the awesome fabulous Yuengling Shamrock half marathon and 8K AKA as the dolphin challenge. Come join me next year! Registration is currently open. http://www.shamrockmarathon.com/ Didn’t I mention I was a fan 🙂 They sponsor Anthem Wicked 10K which is a Halloween themed race along with the historic monster mile. The 2 races happen about 2.5 hours apart. There in lies the real challenge.
It dawned on me as we were preparing to head on our journey. This is the 3rd time I’ve been to Virginia beach for a race this year. I really must like it there. Shamrock in March, Rock N Roll in September and now Wicked
My partner in crime, Angel Chappell Jonas, drove up from Charlotte. Then we headed to Virginia Beach from Raleigh. Dynamic duo are back at it. Reunited and it feels so good. We head to the race expo when we get there. I really enjoy race expos.
I’m like a kid in a candy store. As we walked in, I noticed the expo was in a smaller space than Shamrock. Angel told me it was in the same place it was last year. I was explaining that the entrance for Shamrock expo was further down because the course maps were on display on wall monitors. I can describe every detail of Shamrock expo. It’s my favorite of all race expos. We pick up our packets and get our IDs checked for the beer tent. I’m probably the one runner/walker/racer that I know that’s not a beer drinker. I typically will try at least 1 beer after the race. Blue Moon is one of the race sponsors. Just about ALL the beer drinkers I know rave about Blue Moon. After we peruse through all the vendors, we head over to our hotel and check in. The 2nd most exciting thing about this weekend is the absolute awesome rate for this hotel. The cost for the 1 room for the weekend = the cost for 1 night at the Hilton resort which is right next door and where I have been completely obsessed with staying since I first saw it. You can’t beat that with a stick. As we are checking into the hotel, brother working at the front desk kills my dream and tells me that i would be disappointed if I stayed at the Hilton. I think he tells me this because it is their direct competition. He tells me that’s what he does kill folks dream and laughs it off. You never know who you going to meet. Angel told me later that dude was flirting with me. I totally missed that since he killed my Hilton dream. Any who dude had to be old enough to be my dad. In the words of Quentin Snively “Jo you need an older southern gentleman” in your life.
Race is Saturday morning. 10K starts at 8am. Monster mile starts at 10:30am. Race start is at the convention center which according to google is a good 1.5 miles from our hotel. Lazy Johanna thinks we should just take an Uber to the race start. I’m outvoted by Angel who tells me will walk along with other racers who will be walking. We head out a little after 7am and make our TREK to the convention center. It’s about 40ish degrees outside. We have plastic trash bags on to keep us warm. The downside to this is keeps the heat inside which makes “pre-menopausal” Johanna heat up very fast. I’m sweating like a sinner in church and we haven’t even started the race yet. By the time we get to the race start, I am hot and sweaty like I have finished the race.
This was sign #1 of my issue that I did not address. We head to our corral which is the last one. Because I am slightly concerned about my finish time in order to be back for the monster mile, we go out with an early corral. It’s our corral’s turn to head to the start line. We cross the start line and off we go. Garmin is set and we head out. I’m a walker but there are runners flying past me like they are in the Indy 500. Let’s just with the fast folks rolling past me I’ve gotten out in a faster pace than I normally do. This is issue #2, going too fast out the gate. I went totally against my own rule, your race your pace. Angel and I are moving along. As we leave the convention center, I tell Angel this route is just like Rock N Roll which I just did Labor Day weekend and Surf N Santa which we did back in December. We make a right onto Atlantic. We go all the way down Atlantic and come up onto the boardwalk at the end. The weather is nice and the wind is nowhere as heavy as it was back in March when we turned onto the boardwalk for Shamrock 8K. We turn off the boardwalk and back onto Atlantic. We pass the 5K point. The race clock is at hour and some change. It will be another hour plus before I finish. I mention to Angel about the time. She reminds me we have to be lined up by 10:30 for the mile. I tell her at the rate I’m going I’m not going to make it to the mile race. I tell her to go on and to not let me hold her back. She heads off. Did I mention there is a zombie zone at the 5K mark. I’m still raw from the season premiere of TWD.
I ain’t gotten time for no zombie zone. My 5K time is about 68 minutes which is more than what i have been doing on the treadmill. I tell myself no worries, we are out here to get this race done. I’m really starting to feel warm from sweating and I’m starting to rethink the long running pants i decided to wear. As I coming up Atlanic wouldn’t you know I pass our hotel. I see the Max sitting in the parking lot. I contemplate for a minute of taking a detour and heading up the room. That isn’t a realistic option because that will not get me the 6.2 miles i need and it won’t get me the medal either. I tell Lazy Johanna we are not tapping out. I keep moving forward. I’m wondering when are we going to turn on to the boardwalk. I realize the turn on to the boardwalk is the same as it is for Shamrock just in the opposite direction. I turn right onto the boardwalk entrance. There is an aid station with Krispy Kreme doughnuts. volunteer ask me if i want small or large doughnut. I’m so out of it. I tell the volunteer don’t make me have to make a real decision. She gives me the small. Doughnut tastes good. A few yards after eating the doughnut my throat is dry from the sugar. I take a sip on my CamelBack and keep moving. I’m on the boardwalk and I don’t see the finish line. I’m like when is this thing going to end. I pass a water stop at mile 5. Bunch of teenagers working this water stop. they high five me as i pass them. One of them is dressed as Hilary Clinton which is really hilarious because it’s a guy. I grab some water and keep moving. I glance out at the Atlantic ocean and really is gorgeous out there. I have 1.2 miles left to go to the finish. I think i can i think i can. These 2 guys are walking out on the boardwalk. They ask me if I’m going to be alright. I mumble yeah. when you are really hot and headed towards dehydration you really don’t have alot to say. They pass me as they head down the boardwalk. I keep walking. I hear a noise coming up beside me. It’s a race vehicle on a golf cart. One of the guys ask me “are you doing the race” Smart ass Johanna really wanted to say “what the HELL do you think i’m out here doing” I kept it PC and told them yes. I guess they were out looking for any participants still on the course. I shall call them the sweepers because they pretty much tailed me the rest of the way. My pace is getting slower and slower. I glance at my Garmin and it is reading 27 minutes. At this point i don’t care i just want to be done. I pass a lady sitting on a bench. She tells me “you’re doing better than me I can’t even do what you’re doing so keep it up” Words from a complete stranger can give you just a slight boost of energy you need to get you where you need to go. I keep on walking. I can start to see the finish line in the distance. Guess who i pass on a bench taking a rest, the 2 dudes who asked me earlier if i was ok. I ask them “what are you doing sitting down” They just start laughing. 1 of the guys catches up to me and tells me that his friend has had hip surgery and had both knees replaced. He’s glad that he can get him out and about moving. No idea why this random stranger felt to tell me his friend’s life story but it got my mind off how tired i was feeling. Thank you random dude on the boardwalk! I pass King Neptune. There are 2 cops nearby and they tell me “you are almost there” I respond back “i actually believe you” I spy with my little eye the finish line banner and the tents. I keep moving because I know i got this. All of a sudden I hear a police siren. I see the police on the motorcycle. then it dawns on me that the monster mile first finisher is coming through. Then i see another motorcycle cop and then i see the kids running. They are running like the wind headed to the finish line. Seeing these kids pass me would probably mess with someone else it really gave me life. I’m heading into the finish arch which has these ghost decorations hanging from it. I hear the announcer calling names and I hear him call my name that was all i needed to get me to the finish. I cross the finish line and I’ve never been so glad to be done with a race in my life. I head through the finish line chute to get to the medals. All I see are the mile medals. One of the volunteers sees my 10K bib and heads over to get me one. Then I ask about the mile medal. I show them my 2nd bib and they give me the mile medal.
Technically i didn’t do the monster mile but do you think I care. I sure don’t. I’m going to count the 1.5 pre-race mile towards that race. A volunteer passes me a water bottle. I find a spot on a bench and i am so glad to sit down that i really don’t think i will be able to get up anytime soon.
Since the mile finishers are coming in, I decide I will wait for Angel to come in. Literally like 5 minutes later, I see her coming through the finish line chute and wave to her. She tells me i need to get on up and keep moving. It really takes me a few minutes to tell my body that we are going to get up off the bench. I finally get up and I am hobbling through the finish line chute. My right foot is feeling funky and I’m just dead tired. I ask Angel where do you get the finisher hat. She tells me it’s almost at the end. We head there and I get my hat. At this point, I don’t even care about the soup and beer that’s waiting on the beach. Angel can see that i don’t look so good so she forces me to go get some soup. I hobble onto the beach into the sand which is a real struggle. Angel tells the soup tent is right there. I’m so glad because there’s no way i could go any further. I get the tomato and cheese soup and bread. I tell Angel I’m headed over to the benches by Dairy Queen. She heads to the beer tent. I could care less about the beer even though i wanted to try Blue Moon. Not today.
The finish line is at 19th street. Our hotel is at 30th street. That’s about 11 blocks to get back to the hotel. I tell Angel why don’t we just call an Uber. she tells me the Uber driver will laugh at us from taking a ride from the finish line. I’m look SO!! We start walking to the hotel on the bike path. My feet are hurting. My lower back has started talking to me. I pull out my phone and order a Lyft ride. I’m a Lyft girl primarily because i used to drive for them.
I tell Angel to go right ahead and keep walking back to the hotel but i just ordered a ride and i’m going to wait for them to get here. She keeps on going. I get into my Lyft ride. My Lyft driver is Kenneth. I tell him he is a godsend. He tells me that sounds like a $30 tip. Slow your horses sir giving him serious side eye. When he drops me off at my hotel I do give him a nice tip because he just saved my life by giving me a ride. Thank you Kenneth my Lyft driver!
Wicked 10K is done. I’ve learned that I need to stop being hard headed and refuel properly during the race. I need to dress for how warm it will be and not how cold it starts out. With all that being said I’ve very glad that I persevered and made it to finish line. I have no doubt that I will finish Richmond on November 12 with my mom by my side.