There is something to be said for being over prepared for something. All week, we were watching the weather reports about hurricane Earl. Aside from my eldest child mocking the name Earl and the fear that it does NOT inspire, we really were a little concerned. The Outer Banks of NC are very close to us and they evacuated many areas. And while we're rarely in danger of a direct hit in the Hampton Roads area, just having the outside bands of a major storm causes havoc around here. So we prepared everywhere. At work we had regular planning discussions to ensure that all of our IT systems were ready for a natural disaster, as well as at our hospitals - planning to take patients from NC as well as keep our own dry and safe. At home, I bought plenty of bottled water and chips (I think major storms that keep you locked inside with no power warrant junk food).
Pretty much everyone I work with were all told to work from home on Friday to be safe. Since Earl was supposed to make landfall in Hatteras at sunrise, we'd planned to see some major activity around 9am-2pm. Well....we did get a little bit of rain. I heard the surfers were thrilled at the waves churning around, but as for my lovely Virginia....we didn't see anything more than a light summer storm.
This was good news for several reasons. 1-everyone stayed safe and dryish. No wind damage, flooding, or any of the problems our region thought we'd have. And 2 - The Virginia Beach Rock N Roll Half Marathon is going on as planned. Which is tomorrow.
Yesterday, M and I went to the Expo at the Convention Center in Virginia Beach to pick up my race packet and peruse the sponsors and exhibits. We spent about 2 hours there, picked up a few things, and just had a good time. As I was thinking yesterday and today (and yes...I went back today!), I realized that running in this race tomorrow is the exact prescription I need. I'm so excited about tomorrow and really am looking forward to the event that it will be. There are bands at every single mile, cheerleaders from local high schools stationed at regular intervals to encourage the runners on, and of course the post-race party at the end and the major concert in the evening. I recognized today after I went to the expo AGAIN, that I had lost some of the joy of running this summer because I've been wrapped up in the training. I am focused so much more on the goal of completing my marathon in October, that I forgot just how much fun running events are. And since my marathon is in little more than a month, I think having a major race right now is perfect; it'll give me a pretty good idea of how quickly (or slowly) I can expect to run in Chicago, and it's reminding me what I love about running and why I'm training so hard...and plan to keep doing for as long as I am physically able.
The pictures below are a couple I took at the expo. The entrance to the expo was a big red carpet directing us to where we check in, pick up our bib's, and swag packs. Then it was into the sponsor area, which was mainly put on by Brooks (who happen to make the running shoes that I wear - the Brooks Ravenna), and they had a carnival theme. M played a couple games trying to win prizes, and I picked up a t-shirt. I thought it was funny that all of their fitting rooms looked like port-a-potty's so I took a picture of those too. From there, we went into the exhibitors area where people promote races around the country, sell running themed products (like ear phones, clothes, vitamins, Gu's, etc), and where you can get lost just wandering around and oogling at everything. I have to say I'm really excited about going to Chicago's Expo in October. There's world of difference when an Expo is a professionally sponsored event.
So that's it. I'm heading to bed in a couple to make sure I'm as well rested as possible. D has to drop me off in the morning, but then he and the kids are coming back to see me finish. It's the first time he's ever come to one of my events, so I'm very much looking forward to that!
I plan on taking a few pictures along the way, and will certainly post them. Here's hoping I'm as excited when I'm DONE as I am now!