My life has endless blank pages…

First race in Virginia

… was also my first 8k ever.

So I had lived in Virginia for less than a week and decided it was about time I ran a race here! I registered the night before the Neptune Festival 8k at a local running store (note: having to drive 40-50 minutes to get to “local” running store means it’s not local. There really needs to be one closer). It was only $35, which is pretty cheap, but it was cotton shirts and no medal, so that was a bummer.

I woke up early the next morning and pulled on shorts and a tank, since it has been warm and humid since I got here and headed for Virginia Beach, with plenty of time to find residential parking a bit further away because I refuse to have to pay for parking at the beach. That’s just insane to me!

I’m really glad I grabbed my visor on the way out because about 5 minutes after I parked, it started to rain. It never really stopped, and was spitting rain for almost the entire race. Starting temperature was 68 and humid, so I actually didn’t mind it. It would have been a whole different story had I not had a hat, since glasses and rain don’t mix.


Since running the hilly, hot, sunny, hard trail half marathon a couple weeks ago had bummed me out a bit, I was hoping this race would lift my spirits.

I had to get my timing chip that morning since I had registered so late. The lady handed me a plastic baggy with the chip in it and told me it had to be worn around my ankle. I strapped it on and marveled at my “just released from prison, can’t leave my house, Martha Stewart-esque” ankle bracelet/monitor. It also looked like a shock collar for a dog. Yikes.

The horn went off and naturally, even after 20 minutes, my Garmin was still attempting to locate satellites. Ugh. I started off at a steady pace and once it found a satellite, started the timer and flipped it to the inside of my wrist so 1) it wouldn’t get wet, and 2) I wouldn’t look at it as much. I tried staying right behind a girl to keep pace (ok, an she had a cool race shirt on, so I was trying to read the back). Just after mile 1, my left shoe came untied, so I had to pull over to tie and double-knot both shoes. Dang it, now I had to catch up with her! When my Garmin beeped indicating mile 2, I looked down to see my time was happy with what I saw! I tied to keep it up for each mile, separating the race into one mile segments (totally mental, I do this with a lot of races to keep my brain from freaking out. Running is both physical and mental!).

I passed people (KILL!) and was passed (oh well), and would try o pick a person just ahead to catch up to. Sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn’t, but at least it kept me busy. The race was along numbered streets, which is great, because then you know how far you have to go, and not so great because then you know just how far you still have to go.

I finished strong (and even better, pain-free and happy!), handed back my timing chip, and you guessed it, headed straight to see what food they had ๐Ÿ™‚ Pizza, bananas, bagels, muffins, water, soft drinks and a trailer with beer taps on the side. JACKPOT! it was a bit too early for beer, but I stuffed my face with pizza, half a muffin, a banana and an iced tea. De-lish.

20120930-192822.jpgThanks Brooks Running and Injinji and Moving Comfort!

And now for the times! The mile times don’t quite add up to the chip time since it took awhile to locate the satellites at the start:

Mile 1: 9:44.39 (+ ~45 seconds to start working)
Mile 2: 9:46.48 (that included tying my shoes!)
Mile 3: 9:32.75
Mile 4: 9:41.01
Mile 5: 9:21:61

Garmin time: 48:09.65
Chip time: 48:58.85

Eh, I’ll take it ๐Ÿ™‚

And of course because that went well, I had to sign up for more races! I just registered online for the Crawlin’ Crab 1/2 marathon this Sunday (yes, this Sunday), and the Blue Moon Wicked 10k on October 27, both complete with medal, tech shirts and sweet swag ๐Ÿ™‚

Hello Run Happy, goodbye paycheck!


Comments on: "First race in Virginia" (8)

  1. You are too funny! Love it! I love racing! It makes running easier!

  2. Sheena, you always have rocked, and always will! Run girl run!

  3. Great job. Yes Virginia Beach is quite large you can drive 45 min in almost any direction and still be in VB, lol. Hampton is even longer of a haul plus a tunnel so leave plenty early. Hope to catch you at the Wicked 10K! Let me know when your schedule is all set so we can work out the Freedom Relay details! Welcome to VA!

    • I didn’t quite realize how spread out things were. I felt like I had been driving forever so I must have gotten pretty far. Nope. 45 minutes to go 20 miles! I keep hearing about these tunnels, which worries me ๐Ÿ™‚ I can get to VB Boardwalk with backroads from the house, so that’s not a huge, but getting to Hampton for the CC expo will take some time. Not sure how much time to leave!

      • The good thing is it is on a weekend and early. Hopefully that will be key. But honestly that is one of the reasons my friend and I didn’t sign up. One accident or lane closure in the tunnel is trouble! Plus that much time travel time leads to extra babysitting expense for us ๐Ÿ˜ฆ . Good luck J&A puts on AWESOME races! We do all their other ones.

      • Thanks! I’ll let you know how it goes. I’ll have to go through tunnel twice. Once for packet pickup Saturday and then again for the race Sunday morning! Not looking forward to it based on what I keep hearing of this tunnel!

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