Miraculously, after months of training, some extreme saving, and intense weather watching, I managed to come up with just enough cash to pay for the trip, and Hurricane Earl was dwindling from its category 3 status. Training-wise, the longest run I managed to get in was a little over half of the total mileage of the half marathon, and I had to walk a lot of it considering it was high noon on one of the hottest days of the year when I chose to run it. But, all that running, all that struggling, blood, sweat, and tears were about to pay off…because it was time to head south to Virginia Beach.
There were 3 of us girls total—me, Jess, and Jess’s friend Chelsea—who had to fit (along with all of our luggage) into a little Chevy Cobalt. I got to ride in the back with all the food and a nice comfy pillow J Thank God for mp3 players, however, because I had no idea that my fellow runners were avid Hanson fans. Yes, they’re all grown up and pass the days of “mmmbop,” but that’s just not quite my style (sorry ladies!)
Unfortunately, our trip came to a brief halt a few hours in when we (*ahem*…Chelsea) were pulled over for speeding. Being the passengers, Jess and I had our laughs about the ordeal and refused to let Chelsea forget about it the entire trip. I had my camera on me and made an effort to take a picture of the incident (which I will post later).
One citation and a thousand giggles later, we made a pit stop at a restaurant called Earth Dog Café in Berkley Springs, WV—odd name, cute place, great food. After stuffing ourselves senseless there, we hit the road again and went straight on to Virginia Beach.
The hotel was quite nice, but like all travelers we had way too much luggage for dragging anywhere but to the first floor. The view from our room would’ve been boring to most anyone else, but for us it was pretty cool considering we would be able to see the starting line the morning of the race. The weather was also gorgeous—sunny and warm with a cool breeze. You never would have known a hurricane had just kissed the area.
In order to finalize all the details for the race, we had to retrieve our race packet which included our bib numbers, time tag sensors for on our shoes, any product freebies we decided to snatch up along the way, and additional race information. It was a bit intimidating to me at first walking around the building where all the other, more “professional”-looking runners were to obtain their packet as well. But, I was pleasantly surprised once we came to the merchandise area—everything was geared towards making light of runners more like me. You know…the slower ones who wished they could run like a Kenyan. I snagged a shirt that reads, “If found on ground, please drag across finish line.” This was totally me! Other items sported sayings such as, “I run so I can eat,” or “In my dreams, I run like a Kenyan.” This was already turning into one of the best trips I’ve ever had.
Of course, we had to treat ourselves to some beach time. Ironically, I was wearing a Daytona Beach ball cap and lost it in the ocean at Virginia Beach after being tackled by a large wave. We ran around looking for it in hopes that it had been washed back along the shore. It didn’t take long for me to give a quick curse to the sea and realize it was a lost cause.
Before heading back to the hotel for the evening on the day before the race, we decided to treat ourselves to some “carb loading.” Did we all really need it? Possibly not considering we’re not elite runners, but it certainly was fun stuffing ourselves knowing it would all be run off the next day.