I did the Dolphin Challenge for the Shamrock weekend, which means I completed the 8k on Saturday, and the Half-Marathon on Sunday.
Packet pickup on Friday night was quick and easy. My stepmom and I checked into our hotel on 35th street, which was a pretty central location to all of the action.
The weather was going to be great on Saturday, but when I woke up, it was so cold and windy, I opted to wear long-sleeves. Even though I knew I’d be walking, with all the issues I’d had with my shins, I decided to wear compression sleeves. I was supposed to be in corral 8 (per my running time), so I decided to head back to the second to last corral with the walkers.
Started about 25 minutes after the first corral. Course was good, water stops were pretty well staffed and organized. Decided to speed walk – which my speed walking is a joke compared to some of the people out there! I tried to hang with this older gentlemen and he left me in the dust.
I finished walking in 1:14:13. That was a pace of 14:56 a mile. That is not bad at all. It gave me hope that if I needed to walk during the half, that I could keep a pretty decent pace. My stepmom ran and finished in 56:22!
After party was good. Got a beer, ate my snacks and hung out on the beach for a bit. We went back to hotel to shower and relax. My dad and stepsister met us at the Convention Center to look around the expo for a bit. I decided to wear my compression sleeves the rest of the day (SUCH a good decision). I bought a flip belt and “the stick.” We had lunch/dinner at an Italian place. I got a chicken panini, and it was so delicious.
Shamrock Half Marathon
Cold and windy morning. Patty and I got up around 5:30 and got ourselves ready and got our bags to our car (check out was at 11am at the hotel). I opted for long sleeves again as it was MUCH colder and still very windy. It was a very long, cold wait for the race to start and I knew it would take me a few miles to warm up.
Started with corral 9 – pretty spirited group, and less than 20 minutes from the start, we were underway! Miles 1-5 were good as my muscles started to really warm up from the cold start (only walked the water stops), but I knew I needed a walk break soon. Took a walk break from 6-6.55 (the halfway point). Miles 7-9 were absolute torture. It was so windy up on Shore Dr by the water. I cannot tell you how many times I was ready to walk during this stretch. Patty and I did walk the water stops, but that somehow was not enough. This part of the race was so incredibly mental. I was over halfway done, but had more than just a few miles left. I’m not really sure what kept me going except the promise of the next water stop which meant I got to walk.
Somewhere around mile 10, I got my second wind. I don’t know if its because I got to see the first marathoner start the last loop of the race, or if it is because I knew I only had a 5k left, or because we were finally back in civilization with people cheering us on. Maybe it was because at the finish line, I knew I had my boyfriend, beer, food and dry clothes waiting for me. I started high-fiving people (high fives for everyone!!!). One of the water stops had oreos (heck yes!) and tissues (that person was my new best friend). I bargained with Patty that if she let me walk from mile 11 to 11.5, I’d run to the finish. I wanted to stop and get beer from the nice people on the sidelines, but Patty wouldn’t let me. She said I had to finish to get beer 🙂
The last stretch on the boardwalk was so overwhelming. All those people. All the music. I started to tear up when I thought about what I had just accomplished. I grabbed Patty’s hand, and we crossed the finish line together.
The next few minutes were a blur as I got my medal food, finisher’s items, then found my way to my Dolphin Challenge medal. I saw Michael and was instantly relieved. I got my dry bag and headed to the after party. I realized that I had been done for about 10 minutes but hadn’t had anything to eat or drink yet. I drank half my water and headed for the beer. I quickly scarfed down my pretzels and awesome Shamrock cookie! I only had 2 beers because we were ready to get warm and I already had a good buzz.
The rest of the day was spent stretching and being lazy around the house. My wonderful amazing boyfriend brought me Starbucks and picked up a Firehouse sub for me (for some reason, I reallllllly wanted a sub).
My ultimate goal was to finish, but my secret goal was to finish under 3 hours. I finished in 2:55:33! I know that is not anything close to what is considered a good time, but its MY time. And I’m so proud of myself.
What was your first half marathon experience like?