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?