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!

 

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?

Spring Race Schedule

When its 70 degrees in the beginning of February, you start dreaming about your spring race schedule!  While I’ve had some of these on the schedule for awhile (here’s looking at you Shamrock), unless you take a peek at my Race Schedule page, you’d never know what I’ve got up my sleeve!

Here’s what I’ve got coming up:

February 7, 2016 – Game Day 5k (Newport News, VA)

March 19, 2016 – Shamrock 8k (Virginia Beach, VA)

March 20, 2016 – Shamrock Half Marathon (Virginia Beach, VA)

April 2, 2016 – April Fools 7k (Atlantic City, NJ)

April 16, 2016 – ODU Big Blue 5k (Norfolk, VA)

The Game Day 5k this week is something that I’ve wanted to check out the past few years and never got around to  it.  I’m excited about it, as its in a city I love and has pretty awesome swag.

You may remember that I deferred my Dolphin Challenge for Shamrock until this year. I don’t feel particularly ready for it this year, but I’m not injured like I was last year.  I’ve decided to employ a walk/run strategy.  I’ll be walking the 8k with some of my co-workers (my work sponsors the 8k), and walk/run the half.

Just yesterday, I added the April Fools 7k to my schedule.  Hollie has said nothing but good things about the race, so I decided to give it a try.  My husband likes to go up to Atlantic City to go to the casinos every once and awhile, so I thought it could be a good trip for us.  I also am a sucker for less traditional race distances, since I always stick with 5ks, etc.  Interestingly enough, this is my first race out of the state where I live!

The ODU Big Blue 5k will be my husband’s first race, and my first time doing this particular race.  I’m excited about it!

I may add one or two more before summer, but we’ll see!

How is your spring schedule shaping up?  Do you ever travel for races? 

 

At Peace with a big decision: Race Deferral

I’ve decided to defer my race entry for the Shamrock Dolphin Challenge until 2016.

A few weeks ago I had posted about my strategy going into this year for my training and races.  I wanted to fall back in love with running by doing the races I loved: 5ks, 8ks, etc.  Training for half-marathons has sucked the joy out of running for me.  As such, I haven’t been training for Shamrock like I should be.  I’m still dealing with PF and heel issues, and I’m just NOT motivated.  The thought of doing the 8k and the half in the same weekend is just so overwhelming.

So I made the decision today to defer my race entry to 2016.  I feel like this is the right choice for me.  I will be able to step back this year and do the short races I love without just having to grin and bear it to “get through” Shamrock.  I want to be smart and not injure myself.  I want to be healthy and LOVE the run.

I will, however, be running the 8k in the race series this year.  I still want to be a part of Shamrock.  The 8k low stress and still a ton of fun.  I’m very seriously contemplating volunteering for the half marathon to still be part of the day.

I know many of you have had to make similar decisions and know that this is a smart one.  You guys have been so supportive.

So here’s to a great year of running the races I love and a renewed focus for 2016 (yes, I’m already looking that far forward!)

Have you ever deferred a race entry? How did you feel about your decision?

2014 – First Half Marathon, Engagement and Life Lessons!

2014 was a fantastic year for me! I hope all of you feel the same way.  I think its really important to reflect on the year and focus on the positive!

January

I hadn’t started this blog yet, but it was brewing in my mind!  I started my training for my first half marathon!

February

I began this blog! It was one of the best decisions I’ve made.  I have loved the community that I’ve found with you guys! Its nearly impossible to articulate how encouraging each one of you is!

Michael and I celebrated our first Valentine’s Day together and he spoiled me rotten.

tiffany necklace

Its so beautiful!

 

March

I ran my first half marathon – Shamrock! Not only did I run my first half, but I completed the Dolphin Challenge by doing the 8k and Half Marathon in the same weekend. It was such a rewarding experience.

Celebratory beer and 8k medal

Celebratory beer and 8k medal

My race bling!

My race bling!

Michael and I celebrated our 6 month anniversary.

We know we are obnoxiously in love and we don't care! :)

We know we are obnoxiously in love and we don’t care! 🙂

Pretty roses!

Pretty roses!

We also went to see comedian Gabriel Iglesias!

At the Gabriel Iglesias show!

April

April was my favorite month this year!

Michael and I went to Florida and I got to go to Key West for the first time!

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Sunset Cruise in Key West

 

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Key West Sunset

 

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Sunset Cruise in Key West

 

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Pool in Orlando

 

Beautiful flowers from Michael!

Beautiful flowers from Michael!

Hotel in Orlando

Hotel in Orlando

The water was so clear and warm

The water was so clear and warm

On April 19th, Michael proposed!

Happy!

Happy!

The ring!

The ring!

On April 21st, I celebrated my 27th birthday.

Michael's parents

May

In May, I ran the Chickfila 5k and logged my worst 5k time ever due to major sinus issues! But the Chickfila sandwich at the end totally made up for it.

June

I bought my wedding dress in June and did lots of other wedding things!

say yes to the dress

I said yes to the dress!

 

July

In July, I fell out of love with running, then made a re-commitment to get my act together for my fall races.

August

I started to focus a lot on a balance of different types of workouts and came up with a killer workout schedule that I kinda kept to….

September

September brought a lot of anxiety and stress, but also brought things like my 1 year anniversary and a great anniversary trip.

cape charles 2

cape charles 3

cape charles

October

October was a busy month.

I ran my second half marathon – Crawlin Crab.  I did both the 5k and the half marathon for the Shell Yeah Challenge.  I learned a hard lesson about proper fueling when I bonked early.

crawlin crab 5k 2014

Allyson and I after the 5k

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After the half!

 

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Shell Yeah Challenge bling!

Michael and I took a mini vacation to the mountains and got our engagement pictures taken.

engagement 2

engagement 3

engagement

Later in the month, I ran the Wicked 10k.

wicked 10k 2014

Wicked 10k 2014

 

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I’m such a cheeseball.

 

November

In November, I ran my third half marathon – Harbor Lights.  I was very pleased with my mental fortitude during this race as well as my fueling plan!

My AWESOME friend Diane who totally kicked butt!

My AWESOME friend Diane who totally kicked butt!

 

harbor lights finisher

Harbor Lights!

 

 

Hollie is a pro at taking pics!

Hollie is a pro at taking pics!

December

Who doesn’t love December?!

I ran my first 5-miler at the Surfin Santa. It was also my first twilight race.

surfnsanta

Then of course, Christmas with my dear family and friends.

Merry christmas

Engaged ornament

 

2014 was a great year and 2015 promises to be ever more incredible!  Happy New Year everyone!