A Solo Half Mary

There are days when sleep is more important than getting up at 6am for a long run. There are also moments when smart phones are smarter than humans. I turned my phone completely off last night to get a good night’s sleep without all the updates, texts, emails, and such making my phone beep, buzz, chime, and zing. I guess I forgot that I have separate alarms set for the weekend to remind me to get up and go run that don’t need to be turned on because they are set for every single weekend. That same stupid smart phone woke me up promptly at 6am with the following words in all CAPS: GET UP OR THEY WILL RUN WITHOUT YOU!!! It’s true. They will. They will leave my little behind behind. But the funny thing is that a lot of people I know ran races this weekend; races that I normally run.
It felt weird to not have any particular group to meet this morning. It felt even stranger to not be running the Chesapeake Dismal Swamp Stomp Half Marathon today. I typically run that race every year, aiming to achieve another PR at a half mary. Instead, I opted to sleep in (after I turned that damned alarm off), and run when I was ready. Well, Murphy decided I wasn’t ready to leave to head to the oceanfront til about 10:30. It was an unusual time for me to get out the door, but I am thankful for the chance to snuggle with my puppy dog.
I knew as I parked the car and got out that it was warmer than I had expected, but I was grateful that I had already worn a running tank top and capris so I wouldn’t roast. I started at 33rd Street at an easy pace, and just started navigating through neighborhoods til I hit a cross street that lead me to the Cavalier Hotel. I crossed over to the beach side of the street and ran the feeder roads between the beaches and the houses facing the water. The wind was just chilly enough to take the heat away for the first few miles. By the time I got to the entrance of First Landing State Park, I was ready for some water and a chance to hide in the shade as I ran further. It was definitely getting hot out, and I was already coughing. My poor lungs still think it’s winter, and spring has sprung upon them way too quickly for them to acclimate to me sucking in hot air. I hate allergies. They have made my life miserable since as far back as I can remember. I know I had to go to the nurse in kindergarten for some kind of icky, purple liquid to combat allergies. They need to come up with a cure for it. Period. Off my soap box, and on to the run!
I was definitely getting toasty as I navigated Cape Henry towards the visitor’s center, but I tried to push through it and maintain at least my marathon pace, if not under. On my way there, I ate a bug. Not intentionally. It just kinda flew in my mouth, and down my throat. Yummmmmy! I stopped at the visitor’s center for water, a breather, and to refuel. I could feel my blood sugar dipping, and I was worried I would have to take a few more breaks because I failed to take any salt tabs with me. The last thing I needed was to pass out on the trail. I took a few minutes to refill my water bottle, cool down, and see how many miles I had left before I hit my goal of running my own solo half marathon. I calculated I would have to run out to the other entrance on the Shore Drive side of the park, and then back to my car at 33rd before I would meet the mileage, and even with that I may have to add a few more blocks.
As I headed out, I realized I was pretty hot, and worried I was on the verge of overheating. I took it easy on the paved trail to Shore Drive, and turned around to feel a cool breeze blowing at me. I met a cute shepherd puppy on the way back, and walked a bit with the owner before returning to my run. She had rescued the adorable shepherd from being put down because she didn’t make the cut at the police academy training for shepherds.
My run back to my car was really uneventful, but the sun was baring down on me pretty heavily. I knew that I mistakenly forgot my sunscreen this morning. It’s apparently time to put it back on the bathroom counter and leave it out for daily use again! I finished my run with an 8:10 pace as I barreled down the boardwalk toward King Neptune to wrap up my 13.21 mile run. I finished the run in 2:11:53. Even with the heat, this was a pretty solid run! This is the last long run before the Blue Ridge Marathon! 14 days til race day!
Live. Love. Run! Passionately!

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