Crawlin Crab Half Marathon (1:32.29)

Neighborhood Harvest Crawlin Crab Half Marathon Race Recap

If you look at the time 1:32.29, you might think: “Woah LOLZ, didn’t have a good race.”  But that is far from the truth, last weekend I had one of the most enjoyable races I’ve had in a long time.  The Crawlin Crab Half Marathon is one of my personal worsts, but one of my most fun.

So how did I even find myself back home in the Virginia Beach area?

I had completely other plans, which changed several times.  My husband got called to go on a trip which canceled plans we had been looking forward too for a long time.  I had the entire weekend off for them, but that is what happens with military life.  Instead of moping around, I thought about various things I could do: fly to Chicago?  Spectate friends? Go through with our original plans without my husband?  Or see my family, whom I haven’t seen in several months.  Plus, a bonus for that was the J&A Crawlin’ Crab half marathon was that weekend.

Presented by Bon Secours, J&A races (including Shamrock) are my favorite.  I love the atmosphere, the race is always well put together, and despite unfortunate weather for many, I’ve never had a bad experience.  (I’ve run Shamrock 13.1 5X, Wicked 10k, Virginia is For Lovers 14k (no longer exists), Surf and Santa, Harbor Lights) but until last weekend, I had never run Crawlin’ Crab.  The Crawlin Crab half marathon offers craft beer post-race.

So with that, I made up my mind that week and drove down to Crawlin Crab and to see my family.  Since I wasn’t planning to run the Crawlin Crab Half Marathon, I wasn’t tapered, in fact, I was at my highest mileage week since before my burnout.

I woke up Sunday morning and went outside.  Immediately, I realized just how hot and humid it was. I added four layers of hair gel, decided to wear as little clothing as possible, and, together with dad, we left for the Crawlin Crab Half Marathon.

We got there around 7 am, and I found good friend Kris.  Kris asked if I wanted to warm up before Crawlin Crab Half Marathon and I didn’t have the heart to tell her: In the 35 half marathons I’ve done…I’ve warmed up for 2.  Plus, when legendary Kris asks you to warm up, you say…ok.  I didn’t have any goals for Crawlin Crab Half Marathon but to use it as long run and get rid of my tan lines.

Crawlin Crab half marathon hampton

We caught up a bit and headed to the race start. At the Crawlin Crab Half Marathon start of 8 am, the temperature was 75 degrees and 95% humidity.  I had already sweat through my clothes, but you can’t do much at that point.

Once the Crawlin Crab Half Marathon started, and I saw a large pack form ahead of me, including Kris.  I gathered it was somewhere between 1:20-1:25 finish time and didn’t think twice about trying to push about holding myself there.  I needed to run my own race.

The first few miles of the Crawlin Crab Half Marathon were relatively boring.  I ran each mile just a bit slower than the previous: 6:44, 6:48, 6:50.  I thought my body might be able to work itself into feeling better.  Not only because it was hot, but I also didn’t feel overly good either.  My legs felt zapped of energy. I had already disconnected from time and was just running my own race.  My primary and most important goal was to cross the start and finish line healthy.  Adding a 5k into a week isn’t as big of a deal as a half marathon.

Crawlin Crab half marathon hampton

By mile 4 of the Crawlin Crab Half Marathon, I was just hot. I was running alone.  I contemplated dropping out, but I didn’t want to do that.  Nothing hurt, I was just tired and hot.  The thought of running 9.1 (yes that .1 haunted me), was overwhelming.  Never the less, I started thinking about the race in smaller chunks.  I told myself: Think about making it to the halfway point.  By the time I knew it, I was approaching the halfway point.  I saw the relay exchange and my friend Jess was getting ready.  She said good job.

I grabbed both water and Gatorade at every stop during the race.  Even with the heat, there were plenty of stops, and the volunteers were lively about it.

Around mile 7 of the Crawlin Crab Half Marathon, we ran along the water.  To be honest, I was hoping we would get a tailwind.  I had contemplated the options: headwind would cool you off, but tailwind would push you forward.  Ultimately, it was a headwind, and my miles crept up at 7:19 and 7:21.  I’ve run hot marathon miles faster, but I wasn’t sad or upset.  No one controls the weather, and you have to run the mile you’re in.

All of a sudden I heard a familiar DJ on the course and it was Jon L.  Jon was actually my wedding DJ, as well as a fast local runner, and friend.  We exchanged a few words and continued.

After getting off the water, I saw the race director, Jerry on the golf cart patrolling the race and cheering for runners.  He said: glad to see you back in VA, and it put a smile on my face.

Around mile 10 of the Crawlin Crab Half Marathon, my good friend Andrew caught up and blew by me like I was standing still.  It was nice to have someone to chat too because I ran most of the race alone.

Crawlin Crab half marathon hampton

For the last three miles of the Crawlin Crab Half Marathon, I focused on finishing.  I was counting down the seconds because it was hot, humid, and only getting hotter.  I divided into running 2X1.5 miles.  My first goal was to make it to 11.5.  During mile 11 of the Crawlin Crab Half Marathon, there were crab joke posters that kept my mind occupied.  I’m always up for puns and kept myself occupied with that.

Finally, I saw mile 12.  One more mile.  I can do that.  I can run up the overpass and bring myself home to the shoot.  Suddenly, as if I hadn’t raced, I found myself with a surge of energy, and I just charged to the Crawlin Crab Half Marathon finish line.  Then around 12.2, I realized…woah too early Hollie, simmer down, just make it to the end.

The last mile of the Crawlin Crab Half Marathon went by quickly and all of a sudden, I saw the giant finisher shoot.  I stared longingly at it.  As I approached the finisher’s shoot, and final strides, I saw several friends and made it a point to wave to every single one.

Crawlin Crab half marathon hampton

I crossed the Crawlin Crab Half Marathon finish line in 1:32.29 and as fourth female and 9th person overall.  One of my slowest races, but I finished healthy, and in that weather, you can’t think about PRing.  (Not that that was ever the plan, considering the week before I thought I would run another local NJ 5k).  Kris won the Crawlin Crab Half Marathon, and was also the 2nd place finisher overall!

I did a short cooldown with Andrew and then cheered for runners.

Crawlin Crab half marathon hampton

I’m happy with the race and my effort at the Crawlin Crab Half Marathon.  The weather was not great for anyone to have a fast race, and I had not planned to run.  I enjoyed the Crawlin Crab Half Marathon. On a good weather day, it’s a fast course.  It’s flat, with only a few hills (which is running over the freeway).

Questions for you:

Have you ever raced in the heat?

Have you ever signed up for a long race (13.1+) within the week?  Have you run Crawlin Crab Half Marathon before? 

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  1. Congratulations on your half Hollie! Even if it was more of a personal worst, you had a lot of wins. You raced on a very tough day, didn’t give up, saw your friends and family, and had fun. Ultimately fun is what it is all about. Plus, being 4th female overall in those conditions, you can tell the heat slowed everyone down. You can’t control the weather, just gotta roll with it. Sometimes the mental strength you get from racing in the heat and pushing through when you don’t want to is more of a benefit than the physical ones you get from a run. The pictures are great and you’re looking strong… I don’t see the tan lines, either. I hope you did not get sunburn.

    Most of my half marathons have been week-of signups, including several PRs. I actually like racing spur of the moment because I don’t have time to get nervous. I get it that you can’t do this with a race much longer than a half, but I figure if I’ve been doing 10-12 mile long runs, I am in decent enough shape to race a half.

  2. That is so dang hot!! I have definitely signed up for a half last minute and definitely run in the heat – not all at once though. Can you please come to SF and pace me to a 1:32 LOL?

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