Thoughts on Shamrock

I posted the race recap to give an overview of the mechanics of the race day for me, but didn’t share a ton about how I felt about it, other than my thoughts beforehand.

I did 3 half marathons in 2014, and none in 2015 (mostly due to getting married and all the things that go along with that.  I was planning on doing the Dolphin Challenge (8k + Half) at Shamrock last year, but plantar fasciitis kept me out of it, so I deferred to this year.

My heart really wasn’t in it this year.  I mostly decided to run it because I had paid for it, I paid to defer it, I wanted to complete it from a Type A perspective.  I’ve been mourning the loss of a personal trainer (moved on to new opportunities), I’ve gained weight from being married and happy (its a real thing!), I had a less than mediocre training plan, and I had my fall a few weeks ago that interrupted my training.

I had already made up my mind well before Shamrock that this would be my last half for awhile.  I talked about that some last year.  I don’t see myself doing a half marathon anytime in the near future.  I don’t enjoy training for them, I don’t enjoy what they do to my body, they make me injury prone…so I don’t want to do them. At least for the foreseeable future.

That being said.  I’m glad I ran this past weekend.  Even though it was my slowest half to date, the weather was miserable, etc….I ran/walked a great mental race.  I succeeded so much mentally, and that is a huge win for me.

I’m very much looking forward to my race schedule for the rest of the year. I have a bunch of 5ks, a 7k (cool!), a 5 miler, and a 10k.  I don’t really plan on doing anything longer than a 10k for awhile.

I’m looking forward to training for shorter distances, for not feeling pressured to have this enormous training plan with long runs, the opportunity to mix up my workouts and not focus just on running, etc.

Thanks for letting me think out loud and process how I’m feeling.  I know that I’ll be much more engaged with my training and my running by backing off of distances I don’t love.  Thanks for all the support you’ve given me and continue to give me!

Love you guys!

 

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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?

 

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?