Monday, March 17, 2014

Guest post - KC Jacoby - Shamrock Half-Marathon

Power to My People of Corral 9

First things first, this is mortifying to type a race report. How do you even start one?  Why would anyone like to read this other than just that they love me and think if I put something in text then it has to be important and interesting?  Well think again, this was literally the world’s most boring race and the world’s most boring report but my husband is persistent and has agreed to watch our kid on this snow day while I type and therefore I’m going to take advantage of this.   If you want the long story short which is the path I would take if I were you then here it is.

I negative split and felt like I left a lot out on the run.  I think I could have done better, but am not yet willing to say “next time.” 


Night before the race to end all races I had a lovely Carbo-lavished meal courtesy of my mom.  She really treated us to a nice dinner! 

I woke up at 5:45 in the morning in a hotel room with my not quite 6 month old sleeping next to us in a pack n play. Had probably woken up 3 or 4 times to listen for my kid breathing and was up once to feed him.  I actually considered this a good night and quite lucky because it was better getting to hear him right next to you than having to get up and sneak into his room to make sure he’s breathing which is the neurotic status quo in C’ville.   It turns out Bert hadn’t been sleeping very well because he was concerned that I didn’t scan my chip and was therefore not going to have a time.  Rookie mistake! Having worked for RTU (rtu what!) I knew that was not possible, the chips don’t need to be scanned, they magically just work and if they don’t the little elves in green polos or more likely Vic will make sure they do.  Ok that’s not at all how chips work, but I really didn’t even think about anything other than picking up my bib so it was lucky that the chip was already included there.  That was rookie luck! 

I jogged outside of our hotel for exactly 5 minutes so that I could stretch.  The street was already full of crazy runners headed to the line.  This shockingly didn’t make me nervous to miss the race in spite of the fact that I hate being late (neurotic tick #2) I actually thought that we had plenty of time because I knew waves go really late. 

I stretched and ate my banana/peanut butter bread and drank a Gatorade.   Ziggs woke up and I took him over to my parents room and Bert and I headed to the start.  We discussed my “plan” on the way there which made me super nervous, it was like in college when people would get to a test and start freaking out about what the meaning of supply and demand was and I would think, am I even in the right class?  How did I not study the same chapter?  So…needless to say on the way to the race when Bert was telling me when I should take Gu and when I should drink water, I told him that I regretted never looking at a map of the course.  This went over really well. 

We got to my corral, corral 9 out of 10 in time to hear the end of the National Anthem.  We saw a horse.  We saw a lot of people wearing green tutus, made a lot of jokes about that and then waited for a minute each time a corral started the race.   I don’t remember much about what I was thinking but I could tell I was with my people,  a lot of novelty runners and people who looked like they might not have trained as much as planned.  I kept telling Bert that my corral didn’t really appreciate how easily he was able to talk when we were all a little winded just walking to the start line.  That joke didn’t get old.  Another joke that I thought was hilarious and then I realized was quite clich√© was when we were about 1/5 of a mile in and I said I needed to stop because the light was turning red.  I thought it was so funny until I heard like 3 people behind me make the same lame joke.  Shamwow! 

Anywho…I started running and decided I should slow down even though I really didn’t feel winded.  Some guy lost his key at like mile 1 and Bert swiftly picked it up and ran over to him, had to tap him on the shoulder since he couldn’t  hear because he was wearing headphones. The guy was super appreciative and I was happy that I was still able to talk and not too physically tired yet. 

We ran into the speed walker from FARC.  Yes, I was running behind someone who was walking the race.  She and her husband asked Bert “what are you doing back here???”  and he replied I’m running with my wife.  I know that is what he said but what I heard was “I’m running with my really slow, fat wife who can’t even keep up with you speed walkers” but that’s neither here nor there.  I totally passed those walkers!  This made me think about the speed walking episode of Malcolm in the Middle.  Classic.

My splits at this point were pretty consistently slow for a fast runner, but were decent for me.  They were in the mid to high 10s for the first three miles.  At this point I started feeling good and confident, not even feeling my knee or IT band which had really been really messed up in the two weeks prior to Shamrock.  I started to get nervous when Bert talked to me about his exit. He was running the first 5k with me and then I was on my own until the last 5k.  I could feel myself getting anxious, but we talked about how there were some people around me that had been there and that I could hang with them, and then we saw the hilarious St. Paddy’s day signs that Chip had mentioned before so I thought they would keep me company and entertained while he was gone.  I put on my headphones and the next 7 miles were actually pleasant. 

I had never seen the wooded side of VA Beach before or the base.  I kept speeding up and then making myself slow down.  After the turn into the base I saw the 2:30 group.  My goal was to run faster than Bert’s full which is 2:26 something.  So, even though I figured they had started in an earlier corral I really wanted to get ahead of them, and also, they were running so close together I was afraid I was going to get tripped.  Someone did bite it over a cone and I picked up the cone as it rolled down the street to set it upright so hopefully no one else would trip.  As I bent down to get it I thought “You idiot, you are going to hurt your stupid knee.”  I seemed ok though and tried to go back to thinking positively.  Moral of this story is that I’m the hero of the whole half marathon.  I’m sure VA beach local news did a piece about me. 

As I slowly passed the group I heard the pacer say we were exactly at the half way point.  That felt really nice to hear as I had kind of lost track of where we were.  After I cleared the large group I regretted it because it was super windy at this point the words of a sage popped into my head, those of my mother.  She said “find some big guys and draft off of them”  Alright Sue, I’m going to do that, I saw three larger guys, probably 6’2 or 6’3 and they were running three abreast.  I just started trailing them even though they were running faster than I wanted to be.  I actually nearly tripped one and he turned around to apologize and I talked for the first time in about 30 minutes and said “No that was my fault, I’m using you as a wind block”  he laughed and said I could keep using them.  So I did, they were interested in Ziggs and said I was doing a really great job, they were impressed I’d come from corral 9, as though it was this wretched place and I had come so far (Hunger Games reference #1).  I was again pleasantly surprised that I could hold a convo and still be running, not even feeling winded.  I stayed with them for about a mile and then we had another water stop and I lost my new friends.  I did have the luck to miss just about every person handing water out (I typically don’t have to fend for myself at water stops as my husband runs ahead, gets me a water and brings it back to me)  I know, I’m spoiled.  Anyway, I was about to miss the last water, when a runner actually picked one up and handed it to me, so sweet! 

I started to really think these people around me were such nice people, I didn’t really want to pass anymore, these were My People and the people in front of us must be horrible and why would I want to hang with them.  I started to yuck it up with the locals.  There was a guy who had a shirt that read “if you are reading this, I’m not last”…hilarious!  Another chick had a shirt that read “Does this shirt make my butt look fast?”  I didn’t think this one was as funny but still went out of my way to tell her I liked it, I’m such a weirdo awkward person, why did I do this?  No idea, but it helped me feel like I was doing well and keeping positive about my leg issues.

It was at the next water stop I think that I realized I was supposed to have taken a gu so I got the water and then did a gu quickly and then drank my water.  Rookie of the year.  I really felt ridiculous eating gu during a half.

Cape Henry was pretty cool, the name did not escape me and made me that much more excited to get back to my little Henry.  I tried to look not winded during the lighthouse because I knew there would be photographers.  I also tried to not look like I was passing people b/c I thought Bert would be like, I told you to slow down!

About mile 9.5 I’m just jogging along feeling pretty confident when I hear a voice out of nowhere screaming great job to the runners ahead of me!  I look up and see a familiar face in my Bert.  He was shocked to see me!   He joined me and started screaming all about what he’s been up to.  I had to ask him several times to stop yelling but he was just so excited.  Running clearly is a drug to him.  My People of my new corral and I were not that into it, Mile 10 had come and we just wanted to finish not listen to this loud guy talk about all the fast people he saw who were at this point already done.  He did say he found someone with a cell phone and tried to call my parents to tell them how I was doing which was sweet.

  I really wanted ibuprofen but we kept on trucking.  I heard a lady say we had 40 blocks and that was reassuring. 
I don’t know if it was mile 10 (this is the length I had wanted to go the day I hurt my leg) or seeing Bert that made me remember that I had a torn up leg muscle/ knee deal and I started really feeling the pain.

The next two miles went pretty quickly.  Bert and I talked about the race and what we’d each been up to for the last hour.  He kept telling me that I was going to pass all of the people around me, which was pretty embarrassing for me but had to have been super degrading for the people around me, I really was passing a ton of people though, I think I must have really started out so slow that I had too much energy left.

I decided to put my long sleeve shirt back on at this point because I had like a mile left and wanted my bib to be visible in case the announcer could announce my name!  I felt like this part of the race took forever even though we were speeding up the whole time. 

As we passed our hotel, Bert was able to spot my parents and Ziggs and we waved at them a ton, they looked thrilled to see us!   We cruised down the boardwalk the rest of the way and Bert picked a lady in pink for me to pass.  I didn’t catch her but did hear the announcer announce my name as I ran by.  Bert was convinced he’d actually pronounce Jacoby right and not Jacobee because he’s said his name right in the past, but he had never really finished a race back with The People.  When the people of corral 9 finish a race no one cares about last names.  There are 15 other people crossing the finish line with you at the exact same time.  The dude was lucky to spit out my 2-lettered name.

In hindsight – If I ever do another race report (still not willing to say I’ll do another race) I will do it in the form of a Choose Your Own Adventure Book. 

KC out.


Mile 1
Mile 2
Mile 3
Mile 4
Mile 5
Mile 6
Mile 7
Mile 8
Mile 9
Mile 10
Mile 11
Mile 12
Mile 13

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations on your accomplishment. Great writing, Jimmy Fallon could use another great writer.


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