We left around nap time on Saturday, hoping Abby and Miles would sleep on the road. That theory worked – for about 45 minutes. By the time we arrived at the hotel to pick up my packet, they were getting restless. So, instead of a quick drop off for me to run in and run back out, we took them in with us and hung out a bit. While the shirts and merchandise were inside, the numbers were outside, and the twins enjoyed running around in the grass.

I'm one cool cat
I’m one cool cat

Abby was given the task of holding eatingย a big chocolate chip cookie.

mini chocoholic
mini chocoholic

And daddy and miles posed for a few pictures

We packed back into the car and headed to our hotel, right on the beach.

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After that, we took the twins downstairs and headed out for their first trip to the beach. (Yes, we live 40 minutes from the beach and this was our first trip. I do realize how ridiculous this sounds. In our defense, we really wanted them to be able to walk first.) Miles was afraid of the sound of the ocean crashing on the shore, but Abby dove right in.

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Sunday was race day. The hotel was only 3 miles from the start, but I was still up early. Actually I was up A TON the night before – maybe it was nerves. My alarm went off at 530 and I hopped in the shower. Yes, I hopped in the shower before a 13 mile run – it’s easier to do my hair when its wet and it helps me wake up. Abby didn’t want to wake up.

Leave me alone. I'm sleeping
Leave me alone. I’m sleeping

We drove to the start

Running with 3000 of my closest crazy friends
Running with 3000 of my closest crazy friends

It was there that I realized I forgot my headphones. 13 miles without music made me feel extremely grumpy, so I decided I’d just play the music through the speaker in my belt and annoy everyone around me. As it turns out, the majority of the runners had their own headphones ( that they hadn’t left at the hotel).

The race started at 7am.

I’ve had some issues with tightness in my back and butt and a recent shin irritation, so I was really worried about making it through this without aggravating something. As a precaution, I wrapped my leg, dropped into the chiropractors office the Friday before, and did some extra stretching. I spent the first few miles alternating between feeling very aware of every possible ache and pain and trying to ignore it and enjoy the run. My shin did feel a little irritated for about 3 miles, but my butt/back were gloriously pain free.

The course was a bit different from the past two times I’ve run it. It no longer involved a run by Broadway at the Beach. It was basically a long stretch down a 4 lane road, followed by a couple miles on a path, and almost 5 miles down North Ocean Blvd before turning onto the Boardwalk to head towards the finish line.

I have a tendency to start out too quickly in races and struggle through the end. There is something about the adrenaline and all the people at first that makes it really difficult for me to pace myself early on. Iย made myself stop and walk a bit at all but two of the water stops placed every 1.5 miles ( I missed mile 3 and knew if I stopped at the last one I’d probably never start running again ) and brought a gel with me to take around mile 6-7, since in the past I’ve struggled around mile 8. This time, I was good until about mile 9. I started to feel chafing at mile 10. I wanted to be done by 11 and REALLY wanted to be done by 12. As in years past, by the time I got to the boardwalk I could have cared less about the beach view because I just wanted to get to the finish line. I’m not sure how other people manage to both finish and feel strong at the end of long races. I found some extra energy and ran the final mile in 8:30, but walked like a wobbly newborn calf ย on my way to the food tables.

Official finish time 1:55:42 or 8:45 pace
Official finish time 1:55:42 or 8:49 pace

After a slow walk back to the hotel and a soak in the tub we headed to breakfast and the aquarium

I asked Bryan to get a picture of me and my medal with Miles and Abby, and a nice guy offered to take a picture of all of us. Of course we know by know any picture you attempt to get with two toddlers is going to be interesting.

But we managed to get a couple good ones.

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