“T-Rex is a Speedasaurus!” – The Divas Half Marathon Race Report

There is no way to describe my experience in Myrtle Beach this weekend besides surreal. It was just unbelievable on every level – the good, the bad, and the ugly. To start the weekend off, Chuck picked me up Saturday morning and we headed directly to Myrtle Manor. Oh, you’re not familiar with Myrtle Manor? Well, get your life together and turn on TLC because it is the world’s most famous trailer park.

When was the last time any of us learned anything from “The Learning Channel?” Serious question.

So basically, it’s a trailer park in Myrtle Beach that now has its own television show, and it’s pretty glorious. I mean, I guess it’s actually really redneck and trashy, terrible entertainment, but like I said – glorious. We saw all of the landmarks of the show, including the famous “Myrtle Manor” sign, the Tangulls salon, the pool, and everything else. We even saw some of the cast outside their trailers. They literally live there. It’s not a joke. And they will come outside and talk to you and take pictures with you. Chuck and I were not that brave – too starstruck.

Too bad Chuck will never need to visit Tangulls for hair cutting purposes.

We also took a picture with the owners of the trailer park, Becky and Cecil, who are featured on the show. They were just hanging out, selling Myrtle Manor merchandise out of, you guessed it, a trailer. They were really nice and we talked to them for a long time. Maybe I bought some stuff, maybe I didn’t. I’m not telling you how much I spent there. It’s embarrassing.

Is it sad that these are probably the biggest celebrities I’ve ever met? I need to get out more.

After having our minds blown by Myrtle Manor, Chuck and I decided to head over to the Run Like a Diva Health and Fitness Boutique. You read that correctly. It is not an expo, it is a boutique. I find things like this odd, but I get that it’s part of the whole Diva schtick. The parking situation was a little hectic, and once we finally pulled into our space, I saw a car covered with writing that said things like “Diva or Bust!” and “Gone to get our Diva on!” and polka dots and stuff on the back windshield and it just really amused me, so I was pulling out my phone to take a picture when the car suddenly started – awkward! It reminded Chuck of the Tebowing incident from the Disney Marathon back in 2012, so he couldn’t stop laughing.

The inside of the boutique (yes, I will be italicizing it every time) was absolutely packed. It was actually considerably smaller than I expected it to be, and there wasn’t nearly as much merchandise as one would think. We grabbed our bibs and headed over to get our shirts, knowing that Chuck would be receiving a women’s cut since although they allow men to run in the race, they do not provide them with t-shirts. Not that it would have mattered, honestly, because the shirts were almost hilariously small. I had sized up and gotten a medium, anticipating just such a thing, and it’s still almost a belly shirt on me. This struck me as kind of odd because it’s a race for women, so you would kind of think the one thing they would really have figured out would be the shirts, right? Well, not so much. Good thing I have too many race shirts to care, but I could see people being upset if it was their first race. Anyway, we quickly got over it because there was a drag queen available to take pictures with. Everyone loves a drag queen.

This is DJ Honey-Loquacious. So there’s that.

It may also be worth noting that Ali Vincent, the first female winner of the Biggest Loser, was there as well. We felt too awkward asking her to take a picture with us, so we didn’t. Just for fun, here’s a picture of a girl who walked into the expo with her bathing suit on, because YOLO, I guess.

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I mean, I know it’s Myrtle Beach, but we were literally nowhere near the beach. COME ON.

After the boutique, Chuck and I met up with Amanda back at our hotel and we went on a short shakeout run to discuss our race strategy. Amanda and I were still feeling pretty apprehensive about the entire situation, but I decided that I was going to steel myself and be positive and not panic no matter what. We all went to dinner and then literally went to sleep at 8:30 pm, because that’s what (lame) runners do.

I woke up in the morning feeling tired, having slept restlessly. My legs felt heavy, my stomach felt stupid, and the idea of running was just not appealing. No matter – we had a sub-2 half marathon to run! We were able to get to the starting area and park with ease and even managed to hitch a ride on a golf cart to the line. So much for warming up, I guess! As we milled about at the start, Chuck kept looking around for other guys and wasn’t really having any success. Finally, he shouted and pointed “Look! There’s another dude!” It was not a dude. We decided to implement a “no gender guessing” rule from that point on.

Meanwhile, I was keeping my eye out for several readers who I knew were at the race, and one of them found me! It was great to meet Ann, who runs with the Strictly Running group in Columbia. She gave me a huge hug and said she loved my blog, and we all know I love people who love my blog.  Sorry in advance for the remaining pictures on the blog – it was not my most photogenic day.

Hey Ann! Thanks for saying hi! And yes – my bib says “Non-Diva T-Rex” I added the “Non.”

The race started and I quickly started panicking about all the people ahead of us that were clogging up the road. The one thing about this race that I was really afraid of turned out to be true – a lot of women came to the race in groups for a girls weekend and all ran together. I totally get that and I think it’s something that is really great and fun, but these huge groups were in the corrals that were supposed to be for people running 6-7 minute miles. I don’t care how fast you sprint, your walk/run strategy is not keeping you moving at that pace. Sorry I’m not sorry. So we spent the first probably 4-5 miles weaving in and out of different groups and me silently cursing at everyone. I was so worried about getting really behind on our pace and having to run much faster to catch up. Only our first mile was too slow, though, and only by 18 seconds, so my fears were overcome. I kept reminding myself “don’t panic, don’t panic” because my friend had told me no matter how fast or slow the first mile went, it wasn’t that important and I shouldn’t panic. I tried to listen, Doug! I had written our pace splits on Amanda’s arms (she sweats the least of all three of us and we were not so thoughtful as to print out a pace band), so my thoughts for at least the first half mile of each mile we ran were pretty much occupied by doing mental math and calculating where we needed to be at each mile marker according to our coach’s plan for us.

Note to self: I would be a terrible pacer. Much too high strung.

The plan was to run exactly on pace (9:09) for the first 3 miles of the race, then run 9:00-9:05 for the next 6-7 miles to provide a little bit of a cushion for the last 5k of the race. We hit the 3 mile mark pretty much dead on where we were supposed to be, even with the slow first mile. That was a huge confidence boost because one of the things I was the most worried about was pacing. I mostly led the group, but Chuck wore my Garmin and told us when we were going considerably faster than we should have been. I didn’t want to wear it because I knew I would check the stupid thing every 2 minutes and it would stress me out, and I’m glad I didn’t. I felt like we were running a consistent, comfortably hard pace. No one could really talk much, but every once in awhile we would try. It definitely wasn’t a conversational pace, so any talking ended shortly after it started.

As we made our way through the next 10k, I wanted us to hit each mile marker at a 9 minute pace, but I quickly realized we were running faster than that. Chuck was only calling out overall time, not our individual mile splits so as not to give me and Amanda panic attacks about our blazing speed. As the miles went by, my calculations were clearly showing us a good bit ahead of sub-2 pace. We still walked through the water stations – although I think we might have skipped one or two – but we walked for much less time than usual. It was literally a “chug water and go” situation. I had my handheld bottle with my “Motts for Tots” juice  in it and was feeling good. One of the other big concerns I had was needing to run faster to make up for walking at the water stops. Amanda and I are used to taking pretty decent walk breaks at the water stations, and I was worried about how the lack of walking would affect me mentally and physically.  I honestly think I was so focused on the numbers and achieving our goal that it didn’t bother me as much as it probably should have. The miles just kept ticking away, and before I knew it, we were closing in on mile 8 and I started thinking about what time we would have to get to mile 8 in order to be running at a sub-9 minute pace. It’s an hour and 12 minutes, in case you were wondering, and we got there in 1:11 and some change. I was really excited when I realized that we only had about 45 minutes of running left – it seemed like nothing! Amanda was not happy when I announced that because apparently she was not feeling like 45 minutes was nothing. Even though I felt good, I never let my guard down that something might happen. With as many stomach issues as I have, I honestly wasn’t prepared to consider that a sub-2 hour finish might really happen until I saw the clock at the finish line!

I will not be duped into causing my own demise!

With not talking too much and not taking pictures, we didn’t really have too many amusing things happen. Pretty much our sole source of entertainment was all the spectators and the other runners who were making fun of Chuck for being a guy in an almost entirely female race. Early on, one of the other runners said “Hey! He’s not a diva!” Rude. Dudes can be divas too, ok? Pretty much everyone thought it was funny and he got lots of encouragement. I think we saw 3 other guys in the entire half marathon, so definitely not too many. That being said, even though it was an all women’s race mostly, it didn’t really feel any different. Maybe it was because I was running with one of the few guys, but I really didn’t notice a difference. Also, it was very quiet near us for the most part because it wasn’t really an easy pace. There was much less of the walking, picture taking, and chatting than goes on at the slower paces. I will say that there were a TON of spectators at this race, which really surprised me. It was better attended than the vast majority of marathons I have been too, which was really cool! I guess a lot more people come to watch when it’s a race of all women…pervs.

We hit mile 10 at 1:29 and some change, and I knew we were in really good shape. I modified Taylor Swifts “22” and started singing “I don’t know about you, but I’m running under 2!” much to the simultaneous amusement and dismay of Chuck and Amanda. I was feeling  great! Now it was just about focusing on staying strong and not psyching ourselves out. The miles kept ticking by and I almost couldn’t believe it was happening, but I forced myself not to count our chickens before they hatched. As we hit mile 12, we literally had 14 minutes to finish the last mile and come in under 2 hours, so I was finally optimistic about our chances. We pushed hard that last mile because I knew that we could finish at sub-9 minute pace. During the last mile, I finally started to get a bit uncomfortable as we ran fast. It was a wonderfully cloudy and cool enough day, but it was very humid and I started getting really warm. About 0.2 miles from the finish line, we hit the “boa and tiara” station and grabbed some props for the finish line! I looked behind me to make sure Chuck had grabbed his, and he was like “Oh, I missed them!” Nice try, Chuck. No way he was getting away with not wearing something totally divalicious as we crossed that finish line! So I handed him my tiara with a look of disapproval and kept my boa and we kept running hard.

It’s cute that you thought you’d get out of running with a tiara, Chuck. Really. It is.

So, do you think we broke 2 hours? You’re damn right we did. Our official finish time was 1:56:05. Yeah, that’s 8:51 pace. The top 8% of all 3640 finishers. BOOM. A 6+ minute PR for me and an 11+ minute PR for Amanda!

After the finish line, I had to face my worst fears and collect my medal from a shirtless “fireman” while literally dripping sweat. As if that was not mortifying enough, Amanda recognized this as good blog material and insisted we take a picture. She doesn’t often insist on anything, so I agreed.

I’m laughing on the outside and crying on the inside.

After the traumatic shirtless firefighter incident of 2013, we walked through the food and picture line to chants of “Go Diva! Go Diva! Go Diva!” which was possibly my favorite thing that has ever happened in my entire life. We were given roses and perhaps the most disgusting champagne on the planet, which was funny because I have less than zero knowledge of what good versus bad champagne tastes like it, but this was universally terrible. All in all, I was genuinely impressed by the race organization, as much as it pains me to say. It was a really well done event on race day and I truly have no complaints besides preferring that the medal bearers wear shirts, but I believe I am alone in that category. Although the shirts and the boutique could be improved, everything else was really spot on. You win this round, Divas.

All decked out in our Diva stuff. And yes, we wore grey to protest all the pink. Dammit, I just noticed Chuck took off his tiara already. You sneaky bastard.

I am so proud of how all of us ran this race. Chuck stayed behind us and therefore was an exceptional pacer because he didn’t lead us astray. Instead, he made sure we stayed on track and amused us by being one of the few men in the race. He was so positive and comforting the whole time and was an awesome cheerleader! Amanda overcame a lot of uncertainty and self doubt and kept pushing the last few miles even when it got hard. I did not panic and kept breathing the entire time and was comfortable the entire race. I finished knowing that I probably could have run a little bit faster (which I am glad we didn’t because I had no idea what that pace would feel like for that long) and that I could have continued running at the same pace for another 3-4 more miles if I had to. When I texted our coach to tell him, he said “T-Rex is a speedasaurus!” which made me laugh and then told me our new marathon goal is a 3:45, which made me cry. Nonetheless, this race made me feel really optimistic about the training I’ve been doing, and I was proud of myself for putting so much effort into doing a lot of mental preparation. I feel like it really paid off, and I am so grateful to all of you for your advice! I used many of your mantras along the way, and thinking about them the whole time made me laugh! Ultimately, I came up with my own, and I repeated it to myself several times throughout the race to remind myself that I am calm, controlled, and can run at this  pace all day if I need to: “I am Anton Krupicka with cleaner hair.”

Want to know something else that’s cool? One of the awesome readers of this blog, Deb, came in 2nd overall in today’s race and my friend super speedy friend Kristen came in 9th! I am so lucky to know all of you super fast people – you inspire me! And on that note, I’d like to share with you something one of my friends wrote on her blog that I thought was awesome: “My slowest half marathon is someone else’s fastest half marathon, and my fastest half marathon is someone else’s slowest half marathon. That doesn’t make us bad runners or bad people; everyone is experiencing different circumstances in life or in their runs, and the thing that matters is that they are out there doing it and getting it done. I truly believe that the very last finisher, or the person who struggles the most, is just as strong if not stronger than the person who is the best or comes in first.”

48 thoughts on ““T-Rex is a Speedasaurus!” – The Divas Half Marathon Race Report

  1. I knew you could break 2 hours! Take that with you next week to Kenosha! Looking forward to stalking, er, meeting you!

  2. I am washing my t-rex shirt now. oddly it’s coming apart and I’ve worn it once. bummed. but I ‘m still wearing it race day! provided it survives the dryer.
    The driving golf cart? that made me think of driving w/ Papaw in Sun City. That was before you were born though. I am so proud of you for having a good race and making your time. Can you explain what you mean by sub -2? and I defintely would’ve gotten my picture taken w/ Ali Vincent! I’ve never seen Myrtle Manor though. The commercials make me not want to watch it.

    1. If your shirt is really coming apart, let me know and I will call the company and make them send you a new one. That has never happened before…I’ve worn mine dozens of times (and run in them obviously) with no problem. I wouldn’t be able to get it by this weekend, but I can get you a new one.

      Sub-2 means under 2 hours 🙂

  3. That’s not just a PR, that’s a T-REX sized PR. A PR is never easy and it’s totally legit to wallow in your own glory. Do some polite bragging to those who will listen. I like that you put your goal out in public view, too. Seems greater for having called your shot a la Babe Ruth. If you don’t PR in every race, I’ll still read your blog. Congrats, Mark

    1. Thanks, Mark! I’m sorry if it seemed like I was bragging…I haven’t PRed since December 2011 in any distance, so it was kind of a big deal to me 🙂

  4. Congratulations!!! Totally not surprised, but still impressed. By Chuck, for one, who must be the world’s greatest sport, but also, by your speedy non-divaness!

  5. YAY! Congratulations to you both! That is awesome. I would love to run a half sub-2. You girls rock! Chuck you rock too for being their pacer and sporting a boa and tiara.

  6. I KNEW you could do it but didn’t want to post until you did! And the hair tie thing – if my hair’s not back, forget it, I can’t work out. It’s like having a compound fracture….

    1. Thank you!! And yeah, I don’t even think I could run a mile without a hair tie. I don’t know why anyone would want to. It just does not compute.

  7. I totally don’t get the shirtless thing either-but at the Irongirl they had BASKETS of tampons! TAMPONS! Like we are so unprepared..one of the other racers took a picture and sent it to me, do you want to see? 🙂 I thought it was slightly ridiculous..I couldn’t stop laughing, which was good, since it was the first 10K I did after an injury..

  8. Definitely proud of you – so thrilled you not only PR’d but also got under 2 hours! My first half was 2:02:03 (*so* close) … so I was determined to beat 2 hours the next one, and suddenly I realized how much faster I had become, and that there was still more in the tank … these are all just mental barriers we erect for ourselves (well, except becoming an Elite, there are also realities to deal with 🙂 )

    Great job!

    1. Yeah, my future as an elite is not looking too bright, but it’s nice to know that I am tougher (and faster!) than I think I am. Thanks so much!

  9. Congratulations on your PR!!! What an accomplishment! I tend to get star-struck, so I would have been sooooooooo excited that Ali Vincent was there. I remember when she won her season and I was so happy for her. But like you, I would have felt too awkward asking for a pic with her. I’m so happy for you and your PR!

    1. It was definitely really cool to see her in person! I do the Biggest Loser yoga video sometimes and she is so ridiculously flexible on there. I didn’t want to bother her…plus there was a huge line and I’m lazy 🙂

  10. I love this! What an awesome recap! Congratulations on staying strong for the entire race! As someone who’s still trying to break 2h (only three tiny but oh-so-long minutes away!), I’m truly inspired by this!

    1. Thank you! The last time I ran anywhere close to 2 hours was at my old PR, way back in April 2011! If I can do it, you can too!

    1. Thanks! I feel kind of fast! Then I quickly remember I’m running with a girl tonight who ran a 1:35 yesterday. So nevermind.

  11. Not to harp at all on a missed opportunity, but I think it should have read “T-Rex is a VELOCI-raptor” — right, right?

    Anyway, welcome to sub-2! Glad to see you can both have fun AND push that speed dial to uncharted territory, and bring Amanda long for the ride. 3:45 at the marathon would be huge, that’s all I’m saying. Huge. And yeah, from what I know about you, this explosion of pink and feather boas and Chip ‘n Dale medal slabs seems a bit too much for you. But hey, even with it you have the time of your life. Is there no race in this world that DOESN’T bring a smile to that 50-tooth, carnivorous mouth?

    The short of it: well done.

    1. You’re so much better at puns than me. That’s pretty awesome.

      I don’t know that I would say this was one of my most fun races, because I was too busy concentrating the whole time.It’s nice to race like that sometimes (and by that I mean actually race instead of just run) but it’s definitely not my preferred method of completing the distance. I can see myself having goal races and trying to improve, but most of my races will always be for fun, I think. 3:45 at the marathon would be huge. And terrifying. So we’ll see. Hopefully I’ll see you at a race soon! Maybe one day I’ll be able to run with you and Otter for like the first 5 miles of a marathon without collapsing! New goal.

  12. Great job on the PR! I was thinking about you as I completed my first marathon this weekend and saw quite a few marathon maniacs in the race. Glad you were so successful!!!

    1. Aww, that is so sweet of you to think of ME while you’re running your first marathon! CONGRATULATIONS, MARATHONER!! That is awesome! I just read your blog and you did fantastic! I had a ton of friends at OKC so I’m sure you saw a lot of them out there. I’m not surprised you’ve been bitten by the bug…it’s addicting!! Welcome to my world.

  13. Breaking 2 hours is my goal for this year! I keep flopping, but I am thinking that ditching the Garmin might be a good thing. Congrats on blowing your goal out of the water and getting that PR!

  14. Just catching up on your last couple of blog posts. Awesome run! Sub 2 hrs is a great achievement. I’m running a half in just over a week & I don’t think it’s going to be pretty.

  15. So proud of you T-Rex! Although I hope you don’t always run that fast, because I’ll miss the pictures you take during the races. Actually, why don’t you just do your training from here on out with your camera so you can incorporate the photo-ops in with the fast running and it will be a win/win for all LOL!! I just remember that I totally got hooked on your blog once I found you from the Thomas pic and then seeing what PA race you did and being amused by all the pics from the 1/2 Sauer 1/2 Kraut race. It is a race put on by the same people (same course) from my second 1/2, the Oktober Lauf Fest so your race report was awesome to read and see the pics. I just about passed out from the effort and almost vomited from the smell of sauerkraut at the finish. I love how much fun you have at races! Way to go!!

    1. Not to worry, I won’t! It’s nice to run fast once in awhile, but I definitely wouldn’t say it’s fun, and it’s not the way I prefer to run races. Every once in awhile I will, though. Thanks so much for reading! The organization that does those German themed races is pretty awesome 🙂

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