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?

Race Recap: Norfolk Harbor 5K 2016

This is only the 3rd year they’ve held the Norfolk Harbor race series in downtown Norfolk (formerly called Harbor Lights).  I did the half marathon 2 years ago, and the 5k last year.

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Packet Pick-up/Expo

I opted for race-day pickup.  It was quick and efficient.  The shirts fit much better than the Wicked shirts from a few weeks ago!

Race Day Conditions/Attire

It was about 40 degrees at the start.  It was going to warm up to 70 during the day, but I knew that the wind would make me want long sleeves.

I opted for capris, a tank top, long sleeved shirt over, and my go-to hat.

Pre-Race

Since I did race day pickup, I just stayed at the building until about 20 minutes before the start when I headed outside.  There was a lot of great people watching.

Race Time

I was in corral 3 of 5, and I positioned myself toward the back, because I knew I planned to mostly walk with a little bit of running mixed in.  We got off fairly quickly.  The first half was pretty uneventful, a little walking and running all mixed together.  I saw a runner fall on one of the areas with cobblestones.  She did a somersault! There was a volunteer right there that scooped her up and helped her out.  She seemed ok, probably just a little embarrassed.

Michael went to a Starbucks to sit while I ran.  I actually saw him sitting in there and I waved at him as a ran by!

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The second half seemed to go pretty slow.  I thought I knew where we were in the city, but with all the turns, I was a bit turned around.  I saw where we were at mile 2 and couldn’t believe we had a whole mile to go.

I finished in 47:12 at 3:07 miles.  I guess I ran the tangents really well?

After Party

It was a beautiful day for an after party.  I got my beer and snacks and walked around a bit with Michael. We had some plans for the day, so we didn’t stay long, but it was a nice time.

Overall Reactions

Great weather for this race! I really enjoyed it! This is one of my favorites, and its part two of the Triple Jog challenge (Wicked was the first, and Surf N Santa is the last).

Have you every run a race that had cobblestones on the course? Do you think the course I ran was short, or is it possible that I just ran the tangents REALLY well? 🙂

 

Race Recap: Wicked 10k 2016

Sorry for the late posting!  The Wicked 10k is always a great time! Who doesn’t love a Halloween race?! I love J&A races and I love running out at the VA Beach Oceanfront. Its a familiar place to run for me.

Packet Pick-up/Expo

I opted for race day pickup because I’m lazy.  Pickup was pretty efficient, but the shirts were a disappointment.  I ordered the same size I normally do, and it was way too small.  Guess I won’t be wearing it!

Race Day Conditions/Attire

The race started at about 40 degrees, warming up to 50 degrees within a few hours.  I opted for a short sleeved shirt under a long sleeved shirt, and capris.  I wore a hat, because I’m in love with wearing them for races now.  No costume this year because I was lazy!

Pre-Race

I hung out in the convention center post packet pickup and just relaxed.  I headed out about 20 minutes before the race start so I could get in my corral and look at all the costumes!

Race Time

I had planned on walking this race because I haven’t really been doing really ANY working out, let alone training for a race.

The first half of the race went pretty quickly, and I was able to stick to about 14 minute miles walking, which I was pretty proud of.  I really enjoyed getting to see all of the costumes on parts of the course that wrapped back around itself.

The last half of the race was a little rough. I was ready to be done.  I am not really a fan of the 10k distance at all.  I started getting a blister on my heel (sock seam in a bad place) and I slowed down considerably.

I wanted to finish on or around 1:40, so I ran a little bit during the last half mile.  I finished in 1:40:18.

After Party

To be honest, I didn’t even attend the after party. Michael and I had plans later in the day and we wanted to get out of there.  After it being so difficult to get beer afterward last year, I didn’t really mind skipping it!

Overall Reactions

Great weather and a great day.  I wish I had trained for it and run it, but I still had a ton of fun walking!

Did anyone run a Halloween run? How was it? Have you ever dressed up for a race?

Race Recap: Crawlin Crab 5k 2016

This J&A Race is a favorite of mine.  Its only 20 minutes away from where we live and its super organized.  It usually kicks off my fall race season, and this year was no exception. Michael was upset that he didn’t sign up for the race, and was really regretting it. Maybe next year!

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Packet Pickup and Expo

I opted for race day pickup.  We got there about 15 minutes before they opened the doors.  They were very quick.  The expo was tiny, and we didn’t stay long.

Race Day Conditions/Attire

It was going to be in the low 80s with a slight chance of rain.  I opted for a tank top, capri pants, and a hat.  Hats are slowly becoming my new favorite item to wear on race day!

Pre Race

After picking up my packet, I hung around inside until about 20 minutes before race start.  Michael walked down to the Dunkin Donuts to get some coffee.

Race Time

I was in corral 3 out of 4, and I positioned myself near the back of the corral.  I knew I planned on walking most of the race, so I didn’t think it was fair to be up front. They kicked off Team Hoyt a few minutes before the race start, and before I knew it, Corral 3 was out!

I decided I’d run the first quarter mile, see how I felt, then walk.  I saw Michael in his return trip from Dunkin.  I started walking after I hit the quarter mile mark.  The leaders were already doubling back by the time I hit the .75 mark.  Hit the first mile and felt good.

It started sprinkling around the 1.5 mile mark.  I was grateful for the cooling affect, but really didn’t feel like getting soaked.  I saw my friend Becca on the other side (it was mostly an out and back course.  I ran across for a hug and started running a bit again.

I was relieved when had less than a mile left….until it started POURING.  I’m not exaggerating, it was a TORRENTIAL downpour.  At that point, you just have to succumb to it, but I started running again because I’m not stupid and don’t want to be in it forever.

Thankfully it stopped raining after a quarter mile or so.  I walked some more, but then ran into the finish.  I finished in 48:26.

After Party

The after party was outside, and boy was it muddy.  I stayed long enough to get some yummy tomato soup from Baker’s Crust and a beer.  I don’t know why I was smiling this big after being that soaked, but it must have been the soup making me happy 🙂

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I’m not happy with where my fitness is at, but I’m happy to be getting back into racing season – it will certainly be a great motivator!

Race Recap: ODU Big Blue 5k 2016

This was my first time doing the ODU Big Blue 5k, and my husband’s first race EVER. J&A always puts on great races, and this was no exception.  The highlight of this game is that you get to finish on the 50 yard line of the football field!

Packet Pickup and Expo

We opted for race day pickup, since we didn’t feel like fighting traffic on Friday night.  It was pretty quick, like most J&A Races, and we found a place to hang out for awhile.  We didn’t feel like taking our stuff back to the car, so we opted to do the dry bag check.

Race Day Conditions/Attire

High in the low 60s and not a cloud in the sky…perfect running weather, and much better than the weather I’ve had recently. I opted for a short sleeved shirt, capris, and a hat.  I’m becoming more of a fan of running with a hat on.

Pre Race

We had a lot of time to kill before the race. I had a chance to eat my Clif bar and drink a bit of water.  Michael had to use a porta potty, which he was not a fan of (I guess I’m used to it?!)  I fangirled over Kris Lawrence when I spotted her at some point pre-race. We watched the kids fun run, ran into my friend Kim (who I’ve done a few races this year with), a friend from college, and had plenty of time to head to our corrals.  I started in corral 4, Michael was in 5. I put my headphones in and got ready to start while Michael settled into his corral.

Race Time

They started the corrals within about 30 seconds of each other.  I hoped to run the whole race, but ultimately left it up to how I felt.  I ran the first mile with no issue.  I took a small walk break right after the 1st mile marker since I wasn’t breathing correctly (yay allergies) and took a second to catch my breath and start taking deeper breaths.  I ran though the second mile, and saw Michael at the turnaround.  He was not far behind me.

It took forever to get to mile 3 and when I hit it and saw how far we had to go, I knew that I had longer than a tenth of a mile to go.  Darn it all that weaving I did.  I had hoped to get under 40 minutes (and when my garmin hit 3.10, I definitely made it), but I finished officially in 40:29. Michael ended up finishing in 40:10.  He beat me!!!! I demand a rematch.

While I’m a bit frustrated that I didn’t hit my time goal, that was the best 5k time I’ve had since 2013.  I can’t be mad at that progress!  I’ve gained quite a bit of weight since 2013, so it makes that victory even sweeter.

After Party

I think this was the longest I’ve spend at an after-party.  Michael got to ring the PR bell and write his PR up on the board. I fangirled over Kris Lawrence again. The after-party was tailgate style, and they had free Moes (yum) and Corona for us.  We also found some free Krispy Kreme.  Michael and I devoured our burritos and got a beer.  I spend the whole after party just in awe of him and I am beyond proud of him.  He even mentioned wanting to do a race with me next month!

Do you run with your significant other? What was the best food you’ve had at an afterparty?

Race Recap – For the Cure 5k 2016

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This was my second race with Road Rage Events.  I’m really enjoying running at Mt. Trashmore.  This one was called “For the Cure” and was to benefit breast cancer research. My grandmother died of breast cancer, so doing this race felt like a good way to honor her memory.

Packet Pickup and Expo

Kim and I did packet pickup on race day.  We got there about an hour before the race.  Packet pickup was a little disorganized, but we got our bibs and headed back to the car to relax a bit before the race started.

Race Day Conditions/Attire

It was going to be a nice day, warming up to around 70.  It was supposed to be just around 50 when we finished, so I didn’t want to dress like it was too warm!  I opted for some capris and a long sleeved shirt over  a short sleeved shirt.  That way I could peel off the extra layer if I got warm.  I did push my sleeves up at a point in the race, but it wasn’t too bad.

Pre-Race

After packet pickup, Kim and I sat in the car for a bit, but headed out early to see the kid’s fun run.  There was this one cute little kid who refused to run and despite encouragement from his dad and the crowd, slowly walked his way to the finish line.

It was then time for the 5k to start. We placed ourselves toward the back (there were no corrals) and we seemed to place ourselves appropriately.

Race Time

Kim wanted to mostly walk during this race, but she did want to beat her time from the Freezerburn 5k, so we decided we were going to run a bit.  I let her set the pace and decide when we would run.  We made goals like, “lets run to that bench down there,” or “lets run until the bend in the course.”  We often ran to pass people.  The first mile flew by, and before we knew it we were at the halfway point.

Mile 2 was pretty easy too.  We came upon a gentlemen and his trainer…and he was struggling.  We ran with him for a bit to encourage him, then passed him.  I was really proud of how hard Kim was working.  Running is not easy for her, but she kept pushing through.  She suggested times to run, ran further than our goals, and rocked it.

We ran in to the finish line and finished in 47:24, which was a big improvement on Freezerburn for her!

This was not a race that I was racing… I was just treating it as a workout.  Ya know, a workout with a tshirt and a medal at the end!

After Party

They had a table with water, powerade and some pretzels and granola.  We climbed up Mt. Trashmore after the race, then came back down to hang out a bit more before they started cleaning up.

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Have you ever run with someone and helped them stay encouraged during a run?

 

 

 

Race Recap: Game Day 5k 2016

Its been a long time since I’ve done a Flat Out Events race.  They primarily do races up on the peninsula, so I often forget about them!  I’ve wanted to try the Game Day 5k for a few years, but this is the first time I pulled the trigger on it!

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Packet Pickup and Expo

Like last week, this was another smaller race (probably around 800 people), I opted for packet pickup on the day of the race.  Despite packet pickup being a little disorganized, I was able to get my race packet fairly quickly.  Michael and I had a lot of time to chill in the car and wait for the race to start.

I was really disappointed in the shirts for this race.  When they have unisex shirts, I get a medium, and when they have gender specific, I usually get a women’s large.  These were unisex shirts, and the medium was SO small.  Might as well have been a small.  I don’t think I’ll be wearing that shirt…

Race Day Conditions/Attire

It was in the 20s when I woke up, with the high only supposed to be around 40 for the day.  It was also pretty overcast, so I knew it would be a cold one.  I literally wore the same layers I did last week (long pants, tank, long sleeved shirt, and headband), but this week, I added a vest and my gloves.

While it was 37 degrees, I was so underdressed.  I froze the entire time! You would have thought it was in the 20s still!

Pre-Race

After packet pickup, Michael and I sat around in the car.  It was a little too cold to just hang around outside.  The 10k was starting at 9, and the 5k started at 9:15.  I headed out there a few minutes before 9 to see the 10kers start, and to get a bathroom break in.

There were signs for corrals, but nothing super organized.  Like always, people were lined up improperly, so there were walkers in front of runners, etc.

Race Time

I started less than 20 seconds behind the gun.  I was able to pass a lot of the walkers with ease, and since the race was fewer than 400 people, it spread out pretty quick.  I ran the first half mile, then alternated run/walk every quarter mile.  That strategy seems to work pretty well for me.  I know a lot of people do time intervals, but I prefer distance intervals.

I hit mile marker one pretty quickly – I was surprised how fast I came upon it.  I think I ran/walked the first mile in just over 13 minutes.  Getting to mile two seemed to take a bit longer.  The 1okers joined back in with the 5kers just before our 2 mile mark, and at their 5 mile mark. Unfortunately, it was a little unmatched.  The 5kers were run/walking, and we were joining in with 10kers who were running.

I took my gloves off for a few minutes, because I felt like my hands were getting warm, but promptly put them back on!

The water break was at the 2 mile mark, then it was just over a mile to go.  This mile seemed to fly by, and before I knew it, I was around the other side of the block from the finish line.  I could tell my Garmin was a bit ahead (I ended up running 3.16 miles), but I decided to go for it at the end.

I crossed the finish line in 43:51.  I felt like I worked a lot harder than that time, but oh well.

After Party

I was freezing at the finish.  I got my medal, my water and snacks, caught my breath for a few minutes, and decided it was time to go. They were having the afterparty at a nearby restaurant, but I just wasn’t feeling it.

Have you done a superbowl race? What was the coldest race you’ve ever done?

 

 

 

Race Recap: Freezerburn 5k 2016

This was my first race with a new race series and my first race at Mt. Trashmore.  The race was put on by Road Rage Events and I loved it!  I also really enjoyed a new race course.

Packet Pickup and Expo

Since it was such a small race (several hundred people), I opted for packet pickup on the day of the race.  Packet pickup was pretty well organized and I was able to get my packet pretty quickly.  Michael and I had a lot of time to chill in the car and wait for the race to start.

Race Day Conditions/Attire

It was supposed to warm up to the 50s later in the day, but it was in the 20s when I woke up.  It was going to be nice and sunny, but since I’ve never run at Mt. Trashmore, I didn’t know how the wind would be.  I opted for long leggings, a tank top, long sleeved shirt, gloves and headband.

I ended up not wearing the gloves, but did wear the headband the whole time, which surprised me.

Pre-Race

After packet pickup, Michael and I sat around in the car.  It was a little too cold to just hang around outside.

I went out about 20 minutes before the race to hit the bathroom and see if I could find my friend Kim.  I was able to find her and hang out with her.  Since I’d been feeling under the weather, I planned to mostly walk this race, which made her happy cause then I’d stick with her.  We were also joined by another friend of hers (who’s name escapes me!) and her 2 kids.

We placed ourselves toward the back (there were no corrals) and we seemed to place ourselves appropriately.

Race Time

We walked almost the entire race. That was probably a good thing, because it was cold out and difficult for me to breathe, even when walking.  We chatted pretty much the entire race, which was really nice.  I don’t typically enjoy running or walking with other people, but it was really nice.  Helped pass the time.  Before I knew it, we were at the turnaround point for a water break.  The back half of the race flew by.  I knew I’d get under 50 minutes if I ran in the last little bit, so I jogged in the last quarter mile or so.  I finished in 49:38.

This was clearly not a race for me.  I barely ran.  Sometimes I think it is totally ok to just do a 5k for fun and walk if you want!

The course was really nice.  A good portion of it is spent around a man-made lake, and of course, you can see Mt. Trashmore pretty much the entire time.  The race course wasn’t closed off, so sometimes you saw people just out for a walk in the morning with their pets.  I’m not normally a fan of open race courses, but it wasn’t bad. Maybe because I was doing this race for fun.

After Party

Since this was a very small race, I didn’t expect a large after party.  They had a table with water, powerade and some pretzels and granola.  Despite the lack of a fancy after party, people hung around for quite a bit.

The medal was great – they do a summer race with the Heat Miser on the medal!

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Do you enjoy trying new race series? Do you enjoy small races?

 

 

 

Race Recap – Surf-N-Santa 5 Miler 2015

All I’ve done this year are J&A Races.  I think I have a bit of a problem.  I think anyone that has done one knows how incredibly organized they are!!!

Packet Pickup and Expo

Since the race started at 4:30pm, I opted to do race day pickup.  We arrived at 3pm and I picked up my packet.  I realized that the bib had my maiden name on it, instead of my married name.  I didn’t think it was a big deal so I just let it go.

As Michael and I were sitting around, I realized it did matter! Since I did the Wicked 10k, Harbor Lights 5k, and now Surf-N-Santa 5 miler, I was eligible for the “Triple Jog Dare” which earned me a special medal.  I realized by looking around that those eligible people had a special bib.  So I went back into the expo, explained the situation, and they gave me a special sticker to put on my bib so that I would get my medal at the end.

Crisis averted!

Race Day Conditions/Attire

Although it has been extremely unseasonable warm in VA this fall/early winter, we had a cold snap this weekend.  Highs were only in the 40s, and the temperature was sure to drop as the sun went down.  Also the boardwalk is known for being particularly windy, so I was prepared.

I opted for long leggings, a long sleeved shirt and a vest.  I also wore a headband that covered my ears, but that came off after the first half mile…

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Pre-Race

After packet pickup, Michael and I hung around and did a lot of people watching.  Lots of good costumes!

I headed to my corral about 15 minutes before the race started.  Then they delayed for 5 minutes.  I think they kicked off all the Team Hoyt participants at 4:30 instead of 5 minutes early.  They seemed to space the corrals out pretty well.

Race Time

My corral started…and then we immediately ran into walkers from the corral before us.  I respect all levels of fitness, but I just want people to be true to their corral! If I know I’m running slower than the corral I’m assigned…I start back a corral.  But I digress.

I ran the first mile, then started alternating run/walk every quarter mile. Mile 1 flew by, and the first water stop and first turn around appeared very quickly.  Miles 2-3 were pretty fast too (with the wind at our backs!), as we were on the boardwalk and taking in all the lights.  I managed to snap a few pictures:

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Mile 4 was actually a really great mile for me.  I felt fantastic and felt as if I had a ton of energy.  Unfortunately, the turnaround brought on the wind, so I started getting much colder.

Mile 5 was rough as it was the most boring part of the race in terms of scenery, and it was dark, so most of my time was spent concentrating on not tripping.  I knew I was set to be under 1:15:00, so I pushed on and finished strong into the convention center at 1:13:21.

After Party

I was able to get my medal and my Triple Jog Dare medal – which is awesome!!!!

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They gave out beanie hats as a finisher item, which is pretty cool.   I scarfed down my granola bar and my water and headed for the beer.  They had Sam Adams – so I enjoyed a nice winter lager.  They had a potato and sausage soup.  It was good, but after a few bites, I was done with it.

The band was wonderful (as they always are), and I thoroughly enjoyed an inside party. All in all, a good race.

Do you do any Christmas races? Have you ever earned extra medals for doing a race series?

Race Recap: Shamrock 8K 2015

I’m going to refer to this race as “that time I couldn’t work my Garmin.” #runningfail

Packet Pick-up/Expo

Everything was super efficient at packet pick-up; J&A races are always very well organized.  I loved the shirts this year, and I was glad they brought back the drawstring backpacks! I made my way up and down through the expo, cause I was looking for another rack to hang my medals on.  The other one I have is quite tiny and I’ve since filled it up.  I have medals from 2012-2014 on there!  I found a really nice shop that had some really cute racks.  You can check out their stuff at yorksignshop.etsy.com.

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Look at this super cute sign I bought! I can’t wait to get all my medals on it 🙂

Race Day Conditions/Attire

It ended up being a lot colder than I had bargained for and I was way under dressed.  As a result, I had to wear my sweatshirt, which I knew would be a bad idea once I got going.

I wore capris and a long sleeved shirt, then ended up wearing my yellow sweatshirt over it.  I also picked a horrible bra and I ended up with chafing.  I won’t be making that mistake again! I wore my Injinji toe socks and they mostly did great, except I did forget to put glide on my feet like normal and I ended up with a blister.

Pre-Race

Michael and I got there in plenty of time, but we had a decent walk from our parking lot to the race start.  We took a race picture with my coworkers, and by the time that was done, I didn’t have much time to find a bathroom.  I could NOT find a porta potty for the life of me! Turns out they were on the boardwalk side, 2 streets over from the start.  I barely had time to make it to my corral before the start.

Race Time

I started in corral 10, just one group back from my assigned corral of 9.  I figured since I knew I would be starting a little slower and probably not running much, I thought I’d be honest 🙂  I completely failed at starting my Garmin at the start.  I realized it when I looked at my watch and started it at what I guessed was about 3 minutes in.  When I got to the first mile marker, I realized I had only gone a quarter of a mile without the watch. It made it easy to keep track of where I was…I was always .25 miles further than my watch said!

I did manage to run some…and got overheated by mile 2.  I shed my sweatshirt and tied it around my waist, only to have to put it back on again when I got to the boardwalk and hit that horrible wind. Once I hit the boardwalk, that’s where it seemed to unravel for me.

Since I am still recovering from my upper respiratory stuff, once I hit that really cold air, I was having trouble getting air in while running.  I was ok while walking, so I resorted to a lot of that.  It started getting really mentally discouraging when I saw those runners who had already finished starting to double back on the bike path.  It got even worse when I got to the last mile of the course and spectators were walking across the street in front of me.  How rude! and that’s a HUGE pet peeve of mine.  Let people finish their race.  (Am I the only one that gets upset at that?!)

I saw Michael with about 3/4 of a mile to go and handed him my sweatshirt.

My official finish time was 1:12:49.  I can’t say I’m pleased, but considering all of my plantar fasciitis issues  and basically not running since December….and being sick, it wasn’t too shabby.

After Party

Getting into the tent was next to impossible.  I waited forever for beer and got cut in line a million times.  Since it was so crowded in the tent, Michael and I decided to go outside so I could finish my beer.  As a result, I didn’t really get to hear the band and I didn’t feel like going back in for food or more beer.  I feel this way about Shamrock every year…just too crowded inside the tent and usually too cold to be on the beach.

We had a long walk back to the car and it was nice to finally sit.  My feet didn’t feel great, and the aforementioned blister was really starting to hurt.

Overall Reactions

I’m glad I deferred the Dolphin Challenge and just did the 8k.  It was much less stressful.  I love this event and will continue to love it, even if I don’t do the longer distances.

Did any of you run Shamrock? How did you do?