Race Recap: Shamrock 8k 2017

I know this recap is super late – but better late than never!

This is one of my favorite races, despite the fact that the weather is almost always crummy.  Guess that’s what happens when you have a race in March at the oceanfront.

Packet Pick-up/Expo

My stepmom and I went to packet pick-up on Friday night.  We walked through all the vendors, but didn’t get into a whole lot.  She got a new pair of sunglasses, and I got a new flip belt.  They’ve made a few adjustments and I love it!

Race Day Conditions/Attire

The forecast threatened rain, but it was supposed to be in the high-40s/low 50s.  I wore capris and a short sleeved shirt with a long-sleeved shirt over it.  I brought a poncho just in case it started raining.  I learned my lesson from last year.

Pre-Race

We parked about 15 blocks away from the start and had a decent walk to the start line.  We hit the porta-potties with about 15 minutes to spare.  We got in our corrals and just enjoyed all the costumes and excitement.

Race Time

The first 2 miles went by in the blink of an eye.  I lost my stepmom less than a quarter mile in – even though I know she’d leave me because she’s speedy. We faced a headwind for most of that time.  When the course turned onto the boardwalk, we had the wind at our back.  I took advantage of that and alternated running and walking.

Around the 3.5 mile mark, I started noticing that my sock was rubbing and I was getting a blister.  I tried to adjust, but it didn’t seem to help.

I hunkered down for the last mile or so on the boardwalk back into the headwind. I hoped to finish under and hour and 15 min, but finished very close in 1:15:13.

After Party

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I gathered all my food and swag after the race and headed to the tent.  I found my Dad and stepmom, grabbed a beer and enjoyed some of my food.  The music is always great – it is just usually SO CROWDED in the tent that we don’t stay long.

When we finally decided to leave, it had started raining.  I put on my poncho, and they had rain jackets, but we still got soaked walking 10 blocks to our car.

Overall Reactions

Despite the rain at the end, this was a good race and I wouldn’t miss it even despite the terrible weather.

Do you continually do a race despite historically bad weather?

Weekly Update – 3/13/17

This was a pretty good week, although it was pretty cold.  I guess winter isn’t ready to let go yet.  This week also brought my second race for the year.

Monday

Michael had to work late on Monday, and with it being cold out and I was tired….I didn’t want to go to the gym.

Tuesday

We went to the gym on Tuesday after work.  I got in 2 miles on the treadmill.

Wednesday

Yoga was great on Wednesday.  Class was unusually full.  She really worked our hips this class, and it felt fantastic.

Thursday

Date night! I was looking forward to this, because I feel like Michael and I don’t get to spend a lot of quality time during the week.

Friday

Friday was moving day at work.  I moved to another building.  We have a “campus” at work.  My reporting structure has changed over the years, and they are moving me in the same building as my new boss. I’m not really happy about the move. I have been in this building for a few years and I have a great seat by a window.

I left early on Friday to go pick up my race packet for the Shamrock 8k on Saturday. More on that in my race recap!

Saturday

Saturday was the Shamrock 8k.  Recap to come – but good news, I didn’t get rained on till I walked back to my car to leave!

I came home to some BEAUTIFUL flowers that Michael got me.  Michael and I spent the rest of the day relaxing, watching TV, getting laundry done, etc.

Sunday

After church on Sunday, we went out to Cracker Barrel with Michael’s parents.  It was a nice time! We even got some snow in the morning, which was beautiful.

Has winter returned where you are? What did you do for St. Patrick’s Day?

 

Race Recap: ChistmasTown Dash 8k 2016

I’ve done this race before and really love it, but in recent years it has not made the cut on my racing schedule. I was really excited to do this one with Michael!

Packet Pick-up/Expo

Packet pickup for this race is offered at a variety of locations in Hampton Roads before the race. We opted to pick it up on Friday in Newport News, since its only about a 30 minute drive.  I tried on some shoes while we were there, but opted not to buy anything just yet.  I think I might go back to Saucony Guide.

Race Day Conditions/Attire

It was a cold day.  Temps were going to be in the high 30s, low 40s for race time.  I opted for long leggings, short sleeved shirt, long sleeved shirt, and a hat.  I wore a sweatshirt until the start.

Michael wore 3 layers up top and pants.  We need to get him so good technical fabrics for cold weather!

Pre-Race

We went down toward the start about an hour before the race.  But it was cold and that ended up being a very bad idea. We froze before the start. The start line was chaos too.  The corrals were out of order…found out later that they were somewhat organized, but not in a way that was communicated well.

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Race Time

Michael and I stuck with each other for the first 2 miles or so.  We alternated running and walking.  Once we got in the park, he started slowing down and told me to go on ahead.

My favorite part was in the park, around mile 2.5.  There is a bridge lined with Marines (the race supports Toys for Tots). I picked the right hand side of the bridge, and shook each one’s hand and thanked them for their service.  I got responses ranging from “Thank you for your support,” to “Semper Fi,” to “Oorah!”  It gets me emotional every time.

The course leaves the park around mile 3, and I kept alternating running and walking, using any downhills to my advantage. I kept looking for Michael during the loops and saw him a few times.

I finished in 1:23:19. I could have done significantly better if I ran the race on my own.  But it was more important to me to spend some time running with Michael and enjoying the course.

After Party

We were far too cold to stay afterward, and there wasn’t really an “afterparty” per se.  They just had some hot chocolate.  Definitely prefer J&A parties!

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Overall Reactions

It was a very cold day, but it was a great time. I  love running through Busch Gardens.  Makes me want to go back for ChristmasTown for real!

Have you done any Christmas races yet? What was the most chaotic race start you’ve ever seen?

Weekly Update – 11/28/2016

Monday – Wednesday

Monday through Wednesday were crazy at work.  I have mentioned some of my frustrations before, but through the restructuring we’ve had, I have less help than I’ve had before.  Work that used to be handled by 3 other people is now falling on me.

Thursday

After work on Thursday, we had dinner at my mom’s.  My grandmother was in town from PA and it was good to spend time with her.  Since my grandfather passed away this spring, its reminded me how important family is – especially those that live father away.

Friday

I worked from home so I could intercept a package I had delivered to the house instead of work.  I usually don’t mess that up, but I did for this item!

On Friday, we went up to Newport News to pickup our race packets for Christmastown 8k.  Pickup was at a running store, and I got tempted by all of the shoes.  I think I want to go back to Saucony Guides! Afterward, we went to a cute little diner for dinner.

Saturday

On Saturday morning, I had to work for a little bit.  Afterward, we had a meeting with our builder! They are making some real progress!

After our meeting, we had lunch at JoJacks.  Then we went to the craft show at the high school and saw MomLOLZ. We got a few Christmas gifts for other people…and a few for ourselves!

Sunday

Sunday was the Christmas town 8k at Busch Gardens – recap to come! After the race, we went straight to Cracker Barrel and inhaled our food so fast I didn’t even get a chance to take a picture!

We spent the rest of the day doing chores and watching movies on Netflix.

How was your week? How do you spend your days after races?

 

Shamrock Weekend Race Recap 2016

This weekend was an interesting one and quite frankly, one I’m very relieved that its over!

I did the Dolphin Challenge, in which you do the 8k on Saturday and the half marathon on Sunday. In my last post, I talked about my goals for this weekend being to enjoy the 8k and finish the half injury free.  With my fall a few weeks ago and my kneecap contusion, I didn’t know how my knee would hold up.

Friday/Saturday – Packet Pick-up/Expo

Packet pickup is efficient, as normal. Michael and I went after work on Friday.  I had to wait a bit in the ID line so I could get a drink bracelet. I perused the expo a little bit, but we planned on going back on Saturday for a more detailed look.

Didn’t end up spending much time on Saturday at the expo, and didn’t end up buying anything.

Saturday – Shamrock 8k

Race Day Conditions/Attire

Saturday was to be the better day of the weekend in regards to weather.  It was supposed to be highs in the low 50s.  I decided to wear capris, a short sleeved shirt, with a long sleeved shirt over it.  I dressed a bit warmer since I planned on walking the race.

Pre-Race

I was a little late getting out of the room, so by the time I got down to the meeting place for group pictures (my company sponsors the 8k), I missed the picture.  I got in my corral and got myself ready.  Right at the last second, I ran into our wellness coordinator, Christy.

Race Time

Christy and I took off at a fast walking pace and chatted pretty much the whole way.  The first two miles were a blur.  The weather was great, the sun was out, it was amazing.  Then the wind came.  The wind was gusting and making it hard to make forward progress!

Around mile 3 or so, we ran into a friend from work.  She had back surgery 6 weeks ago and has bronchitis, and was STILL out there rocking it.  Christy and her sweet heart decided to stay back with her and encourage her along.  I wanted to finish.  My husband worries when I don’t finish when I tell him that I will.

The last few miles were windy and cold, but I finished in 1:21:48.  Totally fine by me.  Saturday was all about walking and saving myself for  Sunday.

After Party

The after party was crowded, as expected.  I got my beer, drank about half of it, then was pretty much ready to go.  I normally like to stay at the afterparty, but I wanted to rest up for the following day.  After the party, we went to Pocahontas Pancakes (omg its AMAZING) and got some great food.  I got a huge ham and cheese omelet and some home fries.  Yummy!

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Overall Reactions

I was proud of myself for not trying to run, just enjoying a nice 8k walk and taking in the sights! Mission accomplished.

Sunday – Shamrock Half Marathon

Race Day Conditions/Attire

A freakin’ Nor’easter hit the day of the half and full marathon. Rain, wind, cold and torture.  Wind held strong between 16-21 mph with higher gusts.  It was pouring rain and cold at the start.  I opted for capris, my calf compression sleeves, shortsleeves, long sleeves over, and a light rain jacket.  I even wore a hat for the first time! A very nice lady at the hotel gave me a trash bag to wear.  SO GLAD I TOOK THAT.

Pre-Race

I waited until 10 minutes before the race start to go to my corral.  I had to walk up a few blocks from my hotel.  I got poured on the whole time.  I was seriously second guessing my decision.  Made no sense to me to be out doing a half marathon in the middle of a nor’easter! I turned on my music and settled in mentally for a long morning.

Race Time

We took off about 15 minutes after the first corral.

Miles 1-3 were ok. Mostly ran, few walk breaks.  I remembered to take my first chews before the 5k mark.  Fueling win.  I saw my friend Mary for about 10 seconds at a water stop, but she took off and I lost her.

Miles 4-5 were a relief from the wind and rain.  I think the rain stopped around mile 3 or so.  While miles 4-5 were a relief from the elements, I had some serious chafing going on.  I had a moment behind a tree to adjust my clothing that I think might have left the tree scarred for life.  Sorry for the TMI, but that’s how it goes.

Miles 6-9 were awful as expected.  That stretch up in Fort Story is horrible.  The wind kicked up again and was tearing into me.  At mile 6.5, I saw a girl who was down on the ground, passed out*.  She had a few people around her, one cradling her head, the other trying to talk to her. I stopped to find out what happened and if they needed me to call 911.  They said they had already called.  I stopped, said a little prayer for her, and got back on my way.  I was relieved when I saw emergency workers headed her way.

*If anyone knows what happened to her, please let me know!

I had a few moments of near breakdown until we got out of the base.  Even though I was mentally prepared for that part of the race, the weather really got to me.  I’m sure I’m not the only one that felt that way.  I was more mentally present than that part of the race when I did it in 2014.  I don’t even remember parts of that course from last time, that how out of it I was last time!

Miles 10-13.1 were pretty decent.  I walked pretty much the entire time.  The marathoners were starting their second half and I yelled, clapped and gave a thumbs up to as many as I could.  I got a few smiles.  It was nice to take my mind off of things.

Around mile 12, there was a bunch of people with a keg of beer in their front yard, handing out Dixie cups of beer to runners.  Why the heck not? I took one.

I ran in the last quarter mile or so and finished at 3:25:06.  This was my slowest half marathon ever, but guess what, I finished, and I finished healthy (except for an awful blood blister).

After Party

I didn’t even go to the after-party.  I was too cold.  We had a late checkout at the hotel, so I walked back about 7 blocks to the hotel, warmed up and enjoyed my snacks from the finish line.

Overall Reactions

I’m glad I decided to do the race despite the issues with my knee the last few weeks. I’m totally ok with my slow time, I finished the race uninjured, and that is the most important. Over the next few days I’ll be sharing more thoughts about the race and my perspective on it, but I wanted to share the recap with you first!

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Have you ever done a race in the middle of a nor’easter? What was the toughest race (for any reason) that you’ve done?

 

Weekly Update – 3/14/16

Pretty boring week up until Shamrock.  I have had a long rest before Shamrock due to my knee contusion from my fall at work.  Hopefully that proves to be a good thing!

Monday

Got in a quick .50 miles in on the treadmill before yoga.  Yoga was ok.  Its still hard to kneel on my bad knee, as the bruise is deep and hurts!

Tuesday

I worked all the hours on Tuesday.  I didn’t finish work until 7:30, so no workout for me.  Its probably a good thing to rest up.

Wednesday

On Wednesday, the weather was amazing.  High of 84.  In March.  Michael and I went for a walk around a local neighborhood off the water.  I didn’t really keep track, but I think it was about 2 miles.

Thursday

No workout on Thursday.  I had a lot of errands to get done before Shamrock weekend!

Friday

Expo!  More to come!

Saturday

Shamrock 8k! More to come!

Sunday

Shamrock Half! More to come!

Pretty boring week…until Shamrock! Post coming tomorrow!

 

Shamrock this weekend!

Well, its reckoning time! Shamrock is this weekend.  To be honest, I wasn’t terribly pleased with my training up until my fall.  While, the last 3 weeks of super light activity has served as an extremely long taper and a chance for my knee to continue to heal, I wish had an opportunity to keep training.

I’ll be doing the Dolphin Challenge this weekend – the 8k on Saturday and half marathon on Sunday.  I deferred this challenge last year due to my PF issues, otherwise, I wouldn’t normally be attempting it again.  But since I paid for it… 🙂 In all seriousness though, this was planned to be my last half marathon for the foreseeable future.  I’d really like to be able to follow through with it.

My plan for the 8k is just to walk with my friends from work.  Some of the girls here are doing their first race ever – and they are walkers.  It’ll be good not to be tempted to run and to rest up for Sunday.

Sunday is the half and they are calling for terrible weather.  Send positive thoughts toward Virginia Beach and hope that we get limited rain and wind! I know all the other half marathons and full marathoners would greatly appreciate it! I’m excited about the cooler weather (I LOVE cool weather for races), but I could do without the rain.

I’m hoping my knee holds up (I have nothing to indicate it shouldn’t at this point), but if it doesn’t, I am willing to DNF to protect myself from getting injured.  I will be employing a walk/run strategy and am totally ok with being one of the last to finish.  The half is relatively walker friendly with a time limit of 4 hours.  That would be a 18:19 mile.  Even walking most of the time, I should be able to beat that. I seriously don’t have any other hopes other than finishing.

Goals for this weekend:

  • Walk the 8k and have a blast with my work friends
  • Fuel well for the half (I have a bad habit of pretending I don’t need my chews till I crash at miles 7-9)
  • Be mentally strong during the half.  The weather conditions and interrupted training schedule could get to me
  • FINISH safely and uninjured

Would you mind sending positive thoughts my way this weekend? I’d really appreciate it!

Are you racing this weekend? Do you do any St.Patrick’s Day themed races?