A practice run, half marathon-style

Merrill and I truly enjoy going to Virginia Beach for the Labor Day Weekend! It's become a tradition the past four years to go there. Why, you ask? Answer: Rock 'n Roll Virginia Beach Half-Marathon.
Ready for the weekend!
The past two years have been a tough drive there. Last year, we drove through Tropical Storm Hermine to get there. The whole story is here! This year, we drove through the remnants of Hurricane Harvey. This adds at least an hour to the minimum 5 1/2 hour drive. We were supposed to arrive in Virginia Beach around 10:30 p.m.. We finally pulled into the hotel around 12:40 a.m.
Looking scruffy due to a long drive and early morning.

Saturday morning came VERY Early. Thankfully, our hotel was close to the start of the Mile in the Sand. What is this you say? Exactly what it says. A one mile "run" in the sand. The first year we did this, Merrill and I learned that running in loose sand is not fun. Since it had rained Friday night, the sand was wet. This meant not wearing our flip flops. So, we set out on our walk together in our backup running shoes and crossed the finish line together. Oh, I should say one of us, Merrill, somehow finished 3 seconds before I did.
Mile in the Sand medal.
Saturday is when we go to the Race exposition to get our race bibs and shirts. Since we had signed up at last year's race, I had forgotten that Tri-ingBy50 was going to be out on my bib. Somebody was excited!
Hello Kitty was so excited that the bib said Tri-ingBy 50
The OTHER bed in the hotel room.
Good thing no one else came with us!
Sunday morning did not start out as early as it has in the past three years. Our hotel was only about 1/10 of a mile from the start line. Wake up, get ready and walk. That was SIMPLE! Hello Kitty was filled up with my INFINIT Nutrition hydration. The INFINIT provided the electrolytes I need and worked perfectly. I never felt drained or worn out.
Never miss the pre-race selfie! It never gets old.
Tri-ing By 50 and Camp Cortisol side-by-side!
When we signed up for the race last year, we did it with the intention of running the whole race together. We have not done that in any race before.

The race was fantastic. Not much to say, other than I love running through the Virginia Beach neighborhoods. This year running through Camp Pendleton (Not the California Marine Corps base) was the first year that Merrill and I saw activity. There were families and service members. I saw Navy, Army and I believe Air Force members.

A funny thing happened during the run. I had my hydrocortisone tablets all set to take every hour. After I took my first dose of 3 tablets I realized something...these are not the 5 milligram tablets I took for my last races. These are 10 milligrams. Oh well. Merrill did say our pace picked up after that, but I don't believe it was a cause and effect situation. I adjusted to take two tablets the next time. Now I know what to do for Augusta.

About half-way through the race, Merrill said to me that she was impressed with the pace that I had going. Truthfully, I have not trained much for the during preparation for IRONMAN 70.3 Augusta. My unspoken goal for the race was to finish under 3-hours. Merrill told me she thought we'd be somewhere over 3-hours. Finishing time: 2 hours 52 minutes!

As we came to the finish line, I took Hello Kitty off my back and carried her so that people would see her. The announcer who stands right before the finish saw her and gave a high-5! There are some fantastic pictures of her, Merrill and I holding hands as we crossed the finish line and other pictures after the race!

Here are two of my favorite post-race pictures:

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