Sunday, November 09, 2008

OBX Marathon: Victory Lap

What was I thinking? The very question that I was asking myself about mile 18 just outside South Nags Head. One week after Inland Trail Marathon...and at this particular moment I was feeling every bit of marathon number 6 of the year.

It was great getting back down to the Banks like I did last year. The Outer Banks (I really don't like the term OBX) is great in the fall. Things are a bit cooler, but the sun is still nice and warm. The leaves in the area are in peak and everything is just nice and relaxed.

I got to spend some time again with my Aunt and Uncle who have lived there since 1983. That is when my sister and I started heading down to spend the summers with them in Kill Devil Hills. We stayed with them every summer growing up and the area is like a second home to my sister and I. I like to be able to say, I used to come to the Outer Banks before it was OBX. It is a bit built up compared to what it used to be, but when I am down there outside of tourist season, it is the same old laid back place.

I was able to head around and do some site seeing while I was down there. After packet pickup, I head north to Duck. Then I decided to head back to up Corolla. This little cafe, the Wild Horse Cafe, up there I like to hit when I am there, was closed. I decided to head a bit further north, heading past the Corolla Lighthouse to the 4x4 beaches. I realized when I got there I had come full circle. In June, I started my fall marathon training plan right there on those very beaches and roads. Six months and a several hundred miles later, I was back. I looked around for my four legged friends I had made last time I was there, however, no sign of them. It was starting to get dark, so I headed back south and time to get dinner at Dirty Dicks.

Now, back to the race...

After my BQ (ah yeah) at Inland Trail, this marathon was going to be a "victory" lap for me. The course is great and was also a great excuse to just spend some time down there. I secretly wanted to keep things under 3:20 or at least beat 3:25, which was my time there last year. Half way through, I was still on track for that. But by mile 18, that had all but faded.

My official time was 3:28. I felt fine with that considering the previous week. I really backed off and enjoyed the last few miles, which by some strange reason were pretty easy considering my legs felt like lead between 18-21.

One other very cool part of this race was getting spend time with my younger cousin, Steven, who has recently taken up running. He ran his first half marathon there and did quite well. Good to see another runner in the family! Great job, Steven! I was also rather amused to see that during the post race festivities, I returned with a drink to see him talking to a young lady he had met during the final miles of the race. What can I say, it runs in the family. I am guessing he will he running a few more races in the future.