I am finally getting caught up with uploading and editing pictures! The spring is such a busy time. It just feels like I have come out of hibernation and there's so much to do! The school year is also winding down and I am the testing coordinator at the school I work out. It's that time of the year where there's one standardized test after another and I am responsible for making all of that happen. Yuck! The Flying Pirate Half Marathon was on April 10th at the Outer Banks in North Carolina. Ever since I moved to NC a few years ago, I have only heard good things about the Outer Banks. R and I have been trying to get there for a long time so it was nice to finally see the Outer Banks. The weather was not really "beach" weather, but it was still nice to be at the ocean nevertheless.
The day before the half marathon, we had some time to explore the area and do some site seeing. We drove along the Cape Hatteras National Seashore and also spent some time at the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse.
(Cape Hatteras Lighthouse-Outer Banks, NC)
We just missed the light house "climbing season" by one week! I was so bummed! I wanted to climb all of the steps in the light house to the top. They normally charge a fee and let you climb to the top but they hadn't opened it for the year. But they did have someone inside the lighthouse talking about its history. We could walk inside and look up at the stairs. But I wanted to climb them! (I would have NEVER wanted to climb the stairs before I lost weight!)
(At Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Visitor Center)
R and I decided that we didn't want to run any of the half marathon. We just wanted to walk and have a good time. So that's what we did! We didn't even run one minute of the half marathon and I was completely fine with that! Before the race got started, we stopped off at the disgusting port-a-potties. Yuck! Runners have terrible bathroom etiquette with the port-a-potties-especially the ones we stopped at along the race. I think the competitive runners just run in and literally use the bathroom all over the place and don't clean up after themselves at all because they don't want to lose any time. It was the nastiest thing ever! Anyway, I digress. While we were waiting in line before the race got started, we saw this shirt:
Because the race was pirate themed, many people wore clever shirts, dressed up, etc. It was a lot of fun to see what some people came up with! I think if I had it to do over, I would have definitely done something with skulls and crossbones.
Here are some of the pictures along the route:
(The Wright Brothers Memorial was along the route-very cool!)
We lucked out and our rental house was along the route of the half marathon and, even better, was right at mile 6. When we stopped at the house to go to the bathroom and take a mini break before finishing the race, R decided to switch into her Teva sandals-not a good move! Here we are at the medical station at mile 9 so she could get bandaids for her blistered feet!
The last stretch of the half marathon was great because we both felt like we were in our element. It was in a wooded area and was more of a hike than a walk. We had hills and inclines and were shaded by trees. The path was dirt instead of asphalt. It just felt like we were hiking at home! It actually felt really good on both of our thighs to go up hill. I think it was because we were able to work different leg muscles and that took some of the pressure off of other parts of our legs. Whether you are walking, jogging or sprinting, 13.1 miles is a long way and you will feel it!
Because we walked the race, we were at the very end of the finishers. The post-party and awards ceremony festivities were pretty much over when we finished. I think our finishing time was around 4 hours. That was with our stop at the house and taking breaks when we needed to. We weren't trying to break any records, we just wanted to have fun and see the Outer Banks.
After the race, we both decided to get a post-race beer from the beer station. I am not a beer drinker so I took one sip and poured the rest out. It was pure nastiness to me. Overall, I really enjoyed the Flying Pirate Half Marathon. The highlight was being at the ocean and the lowlight was the port-a-potties used by the runners.
I think I could really get into "active vacations." I really like the idea of exploring, hiking, and taking adventures in a new place. We are planning on going to Great Smoky Mountains National Park next month and I am so excited about hiking around as much as we possibly can!