Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Run for the Dream Williamsburg Half Marathon

Ho-ly crap. How in the hell is it already June? Somebody please slow 2014 down. 

This year, I started off the month of June by doing a half marathon.

Before I begin my recap, I want to thank Flat Out Events for inviting me to come and run. It was much appreciated. 

The half marathon was in Williamsburg, VA. The drive took almost 3 hours and was beautiful.

Our first stop was the expo at the Visitor Center. It was pretty small, but had some cool gear. Plus, we got a shirt AND a pair of Swiftwick ankle socks when we picked up our bib. SCORE.

We stayed in the Governor's Inn. Ehh. I can't really say too much about the hotel. I got it on Priceline for $70 and, well, we got what we paid for. It was a very basic hotel room, not dirty or anything, just not super nice.

The race started at 7 AM. Usually, I'm not too excited for an early start, but since it was over 80 degrees that day, I gladly took it. 

I fueled up with the continental breakfast.

I usually take my oatmeal with goat's or almond milk, but they didn't have any so I just did instant maple brown sugar oatmeal with half a chopped banana and a drizzle of honey. Super sweet and super yummy. 

with a cup of black coffee and a hard boiled egg.

The hotel provided us with a free shuttle to the race start. Logistically, everything seemed to go pretty smoothly. I showed up 20 minutes until the start. Just enough time to use the bathroom and line up.

The race, especially compared to the Marine Corp Half Marathon I did last weekend, was pretty small. It only had 1463 runners. 

The course was really enjoyable! We ran through historic Williamsburg, did a few miles in the woods (Which I didn't know was coming but really enjoyed!) and ended up at the campus of William and Mary.

The course was pretty damn flat until we hit mile 8. Then the hills just kept rolling. Or at least it felt like that. I couldn't find an elevation chart online. 

There were plenty of volunteers and water stops. This is always good! 

The post race bash was a lot of fun, too!

The had bbq sandwiches (I actually found this weird an unappetizing....maybe that's just me though), nature valley granola bars, oranges, and bananas. 

Plus they had Shocktop (and Michelob Ultra) which is a better quality beer than you usually see at races.

We sat out in the sun, listened to music, had a couple of beers, and enjoyed ourselves before heading home.

The only things I wasn't too keen on was:
1) It didn't stop and start at the same location. I can't comment on how the shuttles ran because Joe came to the finish so I didn't ride it back, but typically I don't enjoy being shuttled. 
2) The GUs were handed out at mile 10. Personally, I fueled at mile 4 and 8. I think mile 10 is too little to late. 
3) During the last mile, I rounded a corner and saw the chute with spectators and thought that was it. I started busting out my sprint, just to round another corner and see that I was now in a stadium and still had to do one lap around.....with hundreds of people watching. Boo. I felt wronged. Haha.

All-in-all though, I really enjoyed this race and I'd love to come back and run it!

My time for the race was 1:53:25, which gave me an average pace of 8:39. Although it wasn't a PR, I was really happy with this race. My goal was to run strong and consistent, unlike the Love Rox Half Marathon I did in February where I was ALL over the place, and I accomplished this. Almost every single mile was in the 8:30s, even the hilly ones. I didn't start to feel like I was drained until the very last mile. The only thing I would try to work on was the fact that my last mile was my slowest. That's never how you want to end.