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Tara's Take: Virginia is for Lovers 14k!

By: Tara Wheeler
By: Tara Wheeler

This past weekend, Michelle Rupp joined my boyfriend, Jared, and I for a 14k race adventure in Virginia Beach... let's just say, it was eventful.

This past weekend, the Newsplex's Michelle Rupp joined my boyfriend, Jared, and I for a 14k race adventure in Virginia Beach... let's just say, it was eventful.

To preface this story, I've been an athlete all my life. I'm capable of running, but I would not call myself a "runner". I pretty much do my 30 minutes on the treadmill and get off. My boyfriend, Jared, is more athletic than I am, but neither of us are avid runners. Michelle Rupp, who anchors the 5, 6 and 11pm news and sits in the desk right next to me in our studios, SHE is a runner. She can basically run a marathon in her sleep. So when Jared and I decided it would be fun to take a trip to Virginia Beach for the "Virginia is for Lovers" 14k this past weekend, Michelle was excited to accept our invite to come along!

The race was Saturday morning, February 11th. We decided to leave the Friday night before. Michelle finished anchoring the 11pm news and we were on the road a little before midnight. Jared drove, I navigated, and Michelle slept.

Something you should know about my boyfriend. I'm madly in love with him. He's devoted, patient, loyal, driven and treats me like a queen. All that said, he's also very forgetful. He never forgets anything need, but fairly consistently he forgets essentials for himself (I'm talking keys, wallet, phone... all the time.) Also, Jared works full time on Capitol Hill and takes college courses online. He's usually up until 2am every night studying and has to wake up for work around 5:30. He's basically a walking zombie. I have no idea how he does it. The fact that he's always tired only increases his forgetfulness...

Around 2:30am we were nearing the end of our road trip when Jared went ghost white, turned to me and said "I may need to get up a little earlier tomorrow morning". I figured he needed to submit something for one of his online classes. Nope. He forgot something. What did he forget?

HIS RUNNING SHOES.

It's nearly 3am, we have to wake up at 7am for the race, the only reason we made the trip, and he forgot his RUNNING SHOES. Bless his heart. He's got tendinitis in both knees and we're about to run nearly 9 miles. Quality running shoes are a must. While Wal-Mart has great stuff, the $20 tennis shoes we bought there at 3am were not going to cut it for this kind of race. Lesson learned the hard way. 

Anyhoo, it's past 3am and we roll up to our hotel in deserted Virginia Beach... only to enter the room and find there are NO light bulbs. After a serious search we found all of the light bulbs and lamp shades in the bathtub and the three of us installed them. Cool.

After a couple hours of sleep, we hop in the car and head to pick up our race packets. Jared punches in the address into the GPS and we're off to the race! We're in a residential neighborhood that's clearly not the race location when the GPS kindly tells us we have "reached our destination". The GPS auto-corrected "Landstown" to "Langston". Darn you auto-correct. Luckily we were only a few miles away from our actual destination and we got to the race in time to stretch and start.

Michelle was in the fast group and bolted ahead of Jared and I. A 14k is like a warm up for Michelle and we didn't see her again until the end. Three miles in I was starting to struggle so Jared and I decided we'd walk-run the rest. Five miles in, I was really huffing and puffing and my knees were throbbing. I was being a bit of a baby when all of a sudden I saw the sign for "Lovers Lane". The romantic-themed race had a whole mile devoted to heartwarming signs. Awwwwww!

Seven miles in I thought I broke a bone in my foot. Don't laugh, check back to my disclaimer at the top of this blog: I am not a runner. I wanted to walk the rest of the way, but Jared's legs started cramping when he walked and he needed to at least jog... so we hobbled/beeboped/stumbled along. (Poor Jared, I'm so glad he had the patience to walk with me when I know he wanted to run the whole thing.)

Then, we saw Michelle trotting back to meet us. She had been done with the race for quite a while now, and doubled back to run the rest with us. Bad weather was coming in, bringing whipping winds and chilly temperatures, and Jared and I were moving way too slow to keep warm, so Michelle decided she'd meet us at the finish line.

Jared basically carried me across the finish line. I'm sure we looked fantastic. The race ended in a really unique way: in a big venue where the party was just getting started! They handed us awesome medals, juice, water, snacks... and beer.  A live band was playing and Jared, Michelle, and I toasted to a great race! Well, Michelle had a great race. Jared and I were excited we finished. We toasted to being in the top 10% of the last 10% :)

The rest of our time in Virginia Beach was awesome. We saw snow on the beach, explored the town, did a little shopping and enjoyed a wonderful weekend.

We'll be back again next year... hopefully in better shape! HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY, EVERYONE!

 

 

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