Someone last week told me I looked tired. I’m sure they meant well but he never feels good when someone can actually see that you really are tired. I guess I’m not good at hiding as I used to be. I also think when someone says you look tired, I take it to mean I look old and they’re just being nice by saying I look tired. Given it’s my birthday month, I’m a little more sensitive to that old, tired thing.
Ok, so maybe I am tired. Let’s be honest, it’s been a busy month.
To start the month off, I headed to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina to run my 9th marathon with a good friend. I flew into Charleston, she picked me up at the airport, and then we headed north two hours. We chose this race because she’s trying to run a marathon in each state and figured she better start checking the ones close to her home off the list and to I’ve made her travel close to me the last couple of races.
First thing as we got into town was head to the expo to pick up our race bibs and such. Much to our surprise, they also included a pair of sunglasses and sock! I know…it might not seem like something to get excited over but anything more than the typical race shirt that I’ll never wear again is exciting. We quickly took advantage of the wall and took a selfie in our fabulous glasses and of course posted on social media #RUNMBM.
After the quick trip to the expo, we searched for our pre-race meal. While she drove, I looked up yelp recommendations. If you haven’t been to Myrtle Beach, there are a ton of touristy restaurants with large crabs or other types of seafood hanging outside (really wish I had gotten a photo). We opted not to go to those places and instead found a nice family Italian spot. After dinner, we also stopped at Starbucks (ironically they’re harder to find outside the PNW and don’t open as early) to get my breakfast that I would reheat in the morning. Finally got to the hotel, checked in and laid all our stuff out for the morning.
On this particular morning, my pre-race anxiety got the best of me and I didn’t sleep well. I also realized as I put on my GPS watch, that it said it was 2 AM…well on the west coast it was but I was on the east coast so it was time to get up. I ate my breakfast and got ready to leave.
At this point, I should mention that 2 weeks prior to this race, my hubby and I were plagued with food poisoning. I won’t go into the nitty gritty details but it was bad and it took several days to recover. I’m not sure if my anxiety spurred a recurrence or the lack of sleep or the dinner I had the night before but my stomach wasn’t feeling too hot.
We got to the starting line and was ready to run the 26.2 miles. Normally I don’t call out the pre-race festivities but this one was…interesting. The star spangled banner was sung by the one, the only…Whitney Houston. That’s right, they decided it was best to let her rendition of the ’91 Super Bowl pre-game song lead us on race day. Maybe this doesn’t perplex you like it does me, but my thought was why didn’t someone local sing the anthem? Is there any ties that Myrtle Beach and Whitney Houston? I don’t think so but I did find this article. Again, I’m not sure what the correlation is between the two. Ok, so moving on…the gun went off and about 4,500 people starting their race.
The course wasn’t bad. It was pretty scenic and provided lots to look at. The spectators were great and plenty of aid stations. The only bad thing about the course was from mile 8 -18 we basically ran in a straight line in front of the hotels that had beach views. We could see the beach in between the hotels but it was a little tough.
I was actually doing pretty good on pace but along about mile 12, my stomach decided it wasn’t happy. I contemplating ducking into one of the hotels but feared they’d kick me out. I finally came upon an aid station with porta-potties. I waited a minute or so and went in as a guy came out. Now, I know that it’s common knowledge that girls are cleaner than guys but what this guy left in the already disgusting container was gross. I almost yelled for him to come back and clean it up but figured I better just clean it up myself. I used A LOT of toilet paper and A LOT of hand sanitizer and decided to not think about it again. Sometimes on race day, you do things you would never do in real life.
Ok, so back to the race…there was quite a head wind before finally turning on a new road. We went along the highway over into neighborhoods, and finally headed toward the finish line. There was this one girl who I’m sure thought she was doing us all a big favor by cheering us on but she was actually annoying. When you’re not having a good race, others can easily get on your nerves…especially when they’re shouting “You’re almost there!” Well, actually I’m not. 26.2 miles is actually a long way. (p.s. this isn’t the girl that was yelling/cheering us on)
This race was tough for me for several reasons…but as I list them out in my head, I think they sound more like excuses so I will spare you my complaining. I know I could have done better but it just wasn’t my day. It happens. I don’t know that I’ll do marathon #10…I think I’m better suited for half marathons. I’ll just half way…kinda fits my personality a bit too…as I don’t always finish things I start.
So the race wasn’t the greatest but the recovery was amazing. My friend and I headed back to Charleston and spent the night. I had already had enough of the strip malls. We had much deserved beer and burger and then donuts in the morning. We walked around downtown Charleston and even ran into some dolphins and saw a few other sites like a really old tree. We capped the weekend off with an amazing brunch that had one of the best Bloody Mary’s I’ve ever had. Overall, the weekend was a success. Friend, running, beach, dolphins, beer, donuts…and sunshine!