Monday, May 11, 2015

Flying Pirate Half Marathon

So I'm playing a whole lot of catch up here on my blogging. Sorry about that my friends I really did plan on doing a better job. Sometimes life.....and running just get in the way.

So my lovely wife and I decided to take a short break and go down to the outer banks in North Carolina for the weekend. She had asked me ......... long ago to sign her up for some of the races when I was signing up myself. Unfortunately she didn't realize that she had agreed to the half marathon in Raleigh that we ran last week (her first half in since 2008) as well as this one here in the OBX. Back to back half marathons! I was the only one that was supposed to be on this crazy rollercoaster running thing!

We both were sign up for the 5K on the Saturday morning as well. Yep, we're crazy....but you already knew that if you were reading this didn't you? We had hoped to head out of work early on Friday and spend a little time.......of course you know how that doesn't. We got out of town by 3PM and it was roughly a two hour drive. Fortunately the drive is pretty peaceful and nice. Regardless, we had to race (no pun intended.....yes it was) to the expo to pick up our bags and stuff. I couldn't wait until my wife got her bid that I registered for her.......this was going to be hilarious. You should have seen her face when when she saw it......priceless. 

In case you had to ask, my bib was 4225 and hers was 4697. My intentions were to have a nice run with her......and not leave her in the dust. I know.....I'm nice like that. Especially since we had these

So we check into our hotel which is on the beach and nice enough that our room faced the beach. Wasn't planned at all. I tried to spend as little as possible on this one. Too much traveling and expenses were adding up. Funny though that as we are walking up to the registration, so are two bus loads of teenagers........ah great!

We dump our bags and quickly head out to the restaurant for a bite to eat. It has been our plan to find someplace special to eat beforehand. This time we went to the Outer Banks Brewing Station for some tasty scallops. A bit pricey though. We didn't hang around long as we wanted to get back to the room and rest.

But even better was to run down to the waters edge and stick our toes in the water.......yep it was freezing cold! My wife elected not to get cold, but it was still fun.

So we got up early every race day.....and like every race day I freak out making sure we get to a parking space to get to the start line. Never fails. However as we walk out in the hallway of the hotel we noticed that in front of every door on the floor was either the phone or the phone's receiver from the room. Looks like the chaperones took care of those teenagers. We slept great and didn't hear a peep.

Got to the starting line and was set to do the first run. Pretty much a piece of cake. Nice three mile run with a medal to boot. We ran along a few ladies who chatted with mile wife. They were doing a walk/run combination routine while my wife was just running. I figured the real test would be tomorrow. Anyway, we finished, cleaned up and then headed off to the Weaping Radish to meet our kids. They wanted to celebrate my wife's birthday (a few days late) cause our schedules never really aligned. A fun place and then off to some wine tasting.

After we bid our goodbyes we heading back to the beach area to meet one of my clients. Yep, business and pleasure. He wanted us to do some timeshare work at several of the key tourist 12 spots! After three hours of driving around we completed this task and headed out for another fun meal before this race.......tradition you know. 

Back to the hotel to get some sleep.......not! We had a bunch of drunks who was yelling up and down the hotel all night long. I even called the front desk and they were sending security. Did no good. Finally I had enough and went out in the hall and yelled back at them. Pretty sure I scared the crap out of them. Oh yeah, I did make sure to put my pants on before I went out in the hall. That might have scarred them for life. I so wanted to know their room number so I could pound on their door at 5AM with a wake up call. Oh well. Soon that was gone and we were getting ready to run the race. We ran across a few familiar faces. Saw some people who ran in the Newport News race. Also (I don't know his name) saw retired military guy who has ran in all the local races. It is a small community.

Nice slow run with my wife but that was my help her get thru this run. The second in a week. Third this year. It looked like a storm at first but the clouds lifted quickly and all was clear. We did a little walk run along the way to help conserve some energy and push forward. I know it was tough on her but I was so proud.

Funniest thing is when someone sees my bib and calls out to me, "I chase da booty!"......and then I point back at my wife and they see her bib. Lol lol lol "I'm da booty!" I can't help but laugh.....and my wife can't catch me. 

I almost thought I wasn't get to talk extensively with anyone about running/diabetes but amazingly we were back and forth with two ladies (one dragging the other along) when I hear one say (the one being dragged) that she was struggling because she sat at work gaining weight and was a diabetic. There you go! So over the next few miles we share stories and struggles but more importantly our victories. Best to see those winners out there making a difference.

I'll probably never meet those ladies or will they ever read this but it would be great if we connected once again and I could hear about her continued progress. Those are the stories I'd love to hear every day. Encouragement!

My wife and I finished the race, hand in hand as we ran down the hill to the finish line. This was not my day in the sun.....but rather my wife's. Congrats babe!

Run Eugene Run.
Please me know how I can help.

Eugene Thompson
ET This I Believe