Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Half Marathon

Mental P. Mama, CBW, and Baby Sis
post-race at the Manteo waterfront.

Sunday I joined fellow bloggers Mental Pause Mama, Ann Marie, and my very own, one-of-a-kind Baby Sis in the OBX Half Marathon which started in Cobbs Creek Nags Head and ended up in Borneo Manteo, North Carolina.

The short version of the experience:  We thrived, we survived we imbibed, and we had an absolute blast. Baby Sis and I finished together with an overall time of 2 hours 31 minutes, and we did not walk once.

(To put this into a bit of perspective, however, the winner of the full marathon ran 26 miles in 2 hours and 29 minutes.  In other words, we were jogging at a snail's pace. But we were jogging!)


The weather could not have been more perfect.  A bit chilly in the morning but no wind and not a cloud in the sky.  After the sun rose, things warmed up but not enough to be oppressive even while jogging nonstop for three days two and a half hours.

MPM and Baby Sis

Somewhere early on, Baby Sis and I parted ways with MPM.  She has a stress fracture from a few years back and had to take it easy.  She completed the entire race, though, even if her foot was aching terribly afterwards.

Baby Sis and I then embarked on an adventure that can only be described as hilarious.  I swear there is something in our genes that attracts hilarity, inanity, insanity, humor, comedy, dysfunction, and gas in everything we do.

(Yes, I said gas. No, I don't mean gasoline.)

As if we needed anything extra to make us laugh, since we laughed pretty much the whole 3-hour drive to the Outer Banks on Saturday, Sunday's race provided the opportunity for us to acknowledge, humor, coddle, encourage, and embrace our Inner Toddlers Inner Teenagers.

Somewhere between miles 5 and 7, give or take, we found ourselves jogging through a very lovely sound side neighborhood. During this particular part of the race there were no (or rather very few) roadside spectators cheering us on, nobody ringing a cowbell, no DJs with music blaring as could be found in other parts of the race.

No, this part of the route was just pure silence except for the plodding of feet on the pavement and the clanking of my necklace.  The sun was rising over the ocean, the water on the sound was very calm, the air was cool, and every so often we caught a whiff of some wonderful floral scent that Baby Sis said was similar to gardenia or jasmine. It was a Zen-like experience.  (Whatever that is.)

And then it happened.

Just as we're starting to relax and get into a groove with this whole test of endurance, in the middle of a crowd of silent joggers, the man in front of Baby Sis passed some gas.

Actually, that is an understatement.  I'm not convinced gas was the only thing passed. Regardless, jasmine and gardenias most definitely were not involved.

Anyway, we seemed to be the only ones in the whole crowd who (a) heard what happened; (b) acknowledged what happened; (c) found what happened to be more than mildly amusing; (d) nearly fell off the course trying to restrain our laughter while moving forward; (e) can't seem to stop talking about it as the highlight of the event; (f) are still cracking ourselves up talking about it.

Clearly we lead a sheltered life.  Also, we may need to grow up.  After all, we're in our 40s for gosh sakes.

(But where's the fun in growing up?)

CBW and Baby Sis, between Miles 9 and 10, giddy from everything,
including my new favorite thing,  Gu Gel.
Photo Stolen from Phyllis M. on Facebook.
(Thanks, Phyllis!)

I had so much fun doing this, it's one of the highlights of my adult life (so far).  I encourage anyone who is able to walk to consider participating in some sort of organized event.  (Actually walking is not even a requirement as there were wheelchair participants.) I am not a distance runner, never have been, but it isn't about how you finish or when you finish or even if you finish.  It's about the journey to the finish line, who you're with, and everything that happens along the way.  Like noticing the scent of flowers, or seeing someone you know (Hi, Phyllis!) on the sidelines cheering you on.  Or spontaneously dancing. Or laughing hysterically with your sister.

It's all about the journey.

Just like life I suppose.

Wright Memorial Bridge leading from mainland NC to Outer Banks.


Anonymous said...

CBW--absolutely NEVER quash the Inner Teenager in you...your post had ME laughing out loud, and nobody could get me into a pair of running shoes, never mind jog for more than 2 minutes--not 2 hours PLUS ! You ladies are awesome.

deborah said...

I knew you would have an awesome time, and be beautiful the whole time! You all look mahvelous!
What fun you had, I'm giggling thinking about the gas-passing, too funny!

Ann Marie said...

I am so proud of you and your accomplishment! It is not small feat to finish a half marathon while laughing hysterically. I told you that you had it in you long ago I am just glad now that you believe me and are ready to do another! I still think I can pull off (and you too) the one here in April and then two week break and the one in Tennessee! But that is just me.
Love you and Miss you and INCREDIBLY proud of you!

The missing link,

Meg McCormick said...

I can't say I have run more than a few steps between the house and the beach while at OBX... but YAY FOR YOU ALL for running a half!!

I have trouble not giggling in yoga class when the farting starts.

Daryl said...

I laughed so hard at this I almost passed gas ...

Mental P Mama said...

Ha! I thought about your farting friend on my bouncy flight home last night. Laughter ensued. You girls are awesome!!!! xoxo

Anonymous said...

Congrats!!!! You finished and look fantastic too. Boy oh boy I might finish a race like that but you would not want to see what I looked like afterwards. Please refer back to these photos the next time you feel like a broken down, sagging shack. :) Betsy

Maria_NJ said...

Congrats to all of you, wonderful, I have to say I could never do it...

didn't I read somewhere that long distance runners really do shick themselves, not on purpose but it just happens...

trust me click at your own risk...


mmm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mmm said...


For the record, I'm an advocate for anyone who wants to participate in these events, regardless of their state (e.g., gaseous, non-gaseous, etc.)

Dghawk said...

I read your blog this morning at 5am while getting ready for work, and laughed so hard, I could barely see to put my shoes on! It's been a wonderful day. Everytime I would think about it I would almost laugh out loud, definately chuckled a few times. I'm just glad no one was looking.

Congrats on finishing the race. I knew you could do it!

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

Thanks, everyone! It was really a blast and way too much fun considering what we were trying to accomplish.

AM, I think one or two a year could be do-able but two in the same month would do me in! Baby Sis says there's on in the Basque region of Spain in the spring too. I'm thinking about renewing my passport...

mmm/fc - It was a very diverse crowd--all levels of abilities--but we only came across one who was gassy, at least blatantly so.

Thanks again to everyone for reading/commenting.

big hair envy said...

Way to GOOOO, you guys! Looks like you had a blast:) Can't wait to hear the details in person...Nick's? Soon? They will most likely put us in the back anyway ;) I spent Saturday cleaning my mom's house. I did not Pass Gas, and I did not Collect $200, but I did make someone very happy!! WV: "divakotn" is that a new flashy drug that makes you feel like you are Chaka Khan??

Country Girl said...

Love love love this story! Congratulations to all of you. You are my heroes!