Rounding out my adventures from last weekend, was the Ocean State Rhode Race in Narragansett. Earlier in the week I had posted about the first part of the adventure, the Hartford Half Marathon. This was a first for me: back to back half marathons, so I had no idea how this race was going to end up. Seeing that I went much faster (even pulled off the PR) in Hartford, I was even more unsure of how the race would go!
It was another early morning, as we were up and out of the hotel by 6:45am. It only took about 15 minutes to get to Narraganset beach from the hotel we were staying, but the one beach lot was already full. We weren’t exactly sure where the other one, but we saw some street parking right by the start and snagged that. Narragansett was a cute little beach town and it was absolutely beautiful to start right on the ocean. We got there as the sun was coming up, so even though I was tired and unsure of what was to come, seeing the sunrise across the water was beautiful.
We headed to the start line a little earlier than we needed to, mainly because we didn’t actually know which direction it was in. They had the marathon runners take off at 7:30am and we were set to go off at 8am. We basically hung out, went to the bathrooms before the long lines started and then checked our bags. Just prior to 8am, we headed to the starting corral area. After the National Anthem we were off shortly after 8am!
I would be lying if I said the legs felt great at this point. However, they also didn’t feel like jello either. Jodi kept telling me they will shake out as I started running. I just kept telling myself that I hope she was right. There were pace groups, but I decided to just take off on my own. It was such a small race, that I figured I’d be running by myself for most of the race anyway. As soon as we left the beach area we headed onto one of the main roads and were pushed to the shoulder. They kept the roads open, so in the start a lot of the runners just took over the entire one lane. Oops.
The one thing I wasn’t looking forward to for this race was the fact that they said almost 5 miles of the race would be completely unsupported. What ticked me off though is that they never said anything on the website, but rather it was buried in the athlete guide that was sent out race week. Apparently miles 3 to almost 8 were in a private community and they wouldn’t anyone from the race set up. I always carry water, but I still didn’t think this was something they should have hidden.
My first 4 miles were way too fast and I really have no idea why I was even trying. Finally just after mile 4, I said forget this, slowed down considerable and just started taking some walk breaks. This is also where the first of the hills started coming in. Now, these hills were nothing of Pittsburgh standards, but considering I thought Rhode Island was completely FLAT, these were more hills than I wanted to deal with.
I ended up timing it almost perfectly though with my walk breaks as that was when we were coming in the private community of Bonnet Shores. Even though this was an unsupported area, it was quite beautiful. The houses were pretty insane and the views of the water were fantastic!
As we topped the hill in Bonnet Shores, the view on the back side was just stunning. This was definitely worth it all. It was such a gorgeous morning! There was a decent amount of people hanging out in their front lawn drinking coffee so I enjoyed saying hi to everyone I passed. One older couple and I chatted quickly about their son running Chicago that morning.
Once we were out of Bonnet Shores, we were back on the main roads and stuck to the shoulder of the road. I struggled on these shoulders because of the slant and had no issues running more toward to the road. If cars wanted to get by, they’d move by me. I just cannot deal with those slats and what they do to my knee and hip.
Well, just after mile 8 I started to feel some pain on the under boob. I’ve been having some MAJOR chaffing issues lately. I lather up, put on band aids if I need to, but I still rub raw. Some runs I am okay and some I am not. When I looked down at my shirt, I noticed I had already bled through. I was already dreading the shower to come after the race.
Around mile 9 I started chatting with some other runners who were also doing a run/walk. I mentioned to one girl that I had run the day before and accidentally PR’d and the look on her face was priceless. It was actually nice chatting with some other runners during this stretch, because finally the 10 mile marker appeared! It seemed to come out of no where and was a wonderful site!
Somewhere just after mile 11 I ran into Julianna. She was actually coming back onto the course. It was very inconspicuous, but there was one turn that half marathoners took a right and marathoners were straight. Well, one runner went straight and being the awesome person Julianna is, she went and got her. Other runners were yelling at her, but of course she had head phones in and they were up too loud for her to hear them. We ended up running about a mile together before she took off for the last bit. I just was mentally done and was completely okay with the amount of walking I was doing at this point.
By mile 12, I was feeling the ridiculous under boob chafing, chafing on my thigh, my legs were just sore and I just wanted to be done. I just kept telling myself to keep putting one foot in front of the other and just finish. The last 3/4 of a mile was the same starting stretch, so it was nice to pretty much know exactly where you were. Finally, the finisher’s chute was upon me! It was a glorious site and it was nice to see some people out there cheering on the finishers.
As as soon as I finished, I was given my medal and walked right into the food tent. They had a variety of food but I went for the grapes they had out. I am not sure why, but they looked amazing and I just grabbed a bungle. They also had some type of lemonade water ice out which was also just amazing. Jodi and Julianna had already finished and were also gathering their food. I headed over to get my checked bag and I noticed there was a massage tent. I took a chance and got a quick massage.
We got some photos on the beach before we headed back to the hotel. We had to get the rental car back and we still had to get back, shower up and drive about 30 minutes to the airport. I was in personally in no rush, more so because I was dreading that shower back at the hotel.
I was able to get an earlier flight home so the girls dropped me at the airport and off I went! I was originally suppose to get home at midnight and spend about 8 hours waiting around in the airport so it was really great to get that early flight as I was home by 6pm. This race was a big accomplishment for me. This was race #26 of the year, Half marathon #16, State #11 and finishing my first double weekend. In the Half Fanatic world, this also mooned me right up to Mars! Considering I really had no idea how this race would go, I was completely happy with my sub 2:24. In the end, I finished in one piece and finished with a big smile on my face!
Official Finish Time:
67.93, Females, 30-34