Friday, March 29, 2013

Shamrock Race & Results

I missed posting this before now. Since the race, work commitments have been tough, the household caught the crud, we had a freak snow storm, and we still needed to figure out Spring Break plans. Oh, and I still needed to finish training for the Cherry Blossom 10 miler and Monument 10k.

So, the morning started out early and cold, and I was glad to have packed extra clothes for layers. The temps ended up in the low 40s but the cloud cover and wind made it feel like mid 30s for the race. I have to tell you that it felt much colder than that while we were huddled for an extra 15 minutes waiting for the race to start. There was debris on the road and the police delayed the start. Just wish they heaters at the start.

My one regret of the race was that I didn't get a picture with the pace group leaders. Thanks to Mike, Sherri, and Tony for leading the way. They were awesome, even though I couldn't make the math work in my head at the end.

The first 3-4 miles flew by. The pace seemed easy and I stayed right with the 2:00 pacers. They were chatting it up with the group. No route sheets or watch checking. This was easy. I was heating up, but knew the wind would come when we turned around at the point. And did it hit. Luckily, I found a nice Scottish lad to chat a bit with and he kept me distracted when miles 7-8 hit. It was getting tougher, but over halfway there.

Right before we hit 10 miles, the pacers said we were even a little ahead, and this is when my brain failed me. I was right on target to hit a sub 2:00, but I couldn't figure out the time math to make it work. So I did what any smart person did, and I took off or tried to in front of the pacers. I did swing by a beer stop so I could say I did drink beer during the race.

My rookie mistake of the race was not knowing where the finish line was in relationship to the turn. And it was much further than I thought. I think that is when the race photographer caught my scowl on the boardwalk. I really was thinking when I saw how far we had left "You have got to be kidding me." It was cold, windy, I was tired, and the spectators were just standing and not cheering. I am thankful they were there because I know they were freezing. When I asked them for some noise, they did cheer out, and it helped. A LOT! Because I smiled across the finish line.

My first half and I beat my goal of a sub 2. And even a 8:20 for the last mile.

I loved seeing these two new stats on my Garmin page.
And I was very happy with these results. Not too bad for this crazy ITB prone injury girl.

There was lots of cool bling after the race. The blanket was very welcome as cold as it was.

We didn't stay too long in the tent after the race. Just long enough for a beer so we could get somewhere to see the basketball games.

Yes, I am shivering below.

But we did make a pitstop for real food and hot coffee. Thank you Pocahontas Pancake for hitting the spot.

All in all, my first half was a success. The knee was a little tweaky, but recovered very quickly. I think I will be signing up for another one soon.

And I will leave you with a cute sign that I saw a pregnant lady holding while waiting for her husband to finish. I will definitely agree with her on this one.


Saturday, March 23, 2013

The Shamrock Expo

This was my first expo outside of Richmond, and I was getting anxious about the race on Sunday. As I was picking up K from the airport at 2 and I was extremely paranoid about missing bib pickup, so I headed out early to the expo. I walked right up ... no lines = score. There was an awesome rainbow with a pot of gold for photo ops, but no one was around for me to cheese it up. Definitely next time.
The race swag was a drawstring bag in green of course and a short sleeve tech shirt which I forgot to take a pic of yet. The vendor section seemed to get more crowded by the minute ... and I couldn't find what I was looking for. I was on the hunt for a long sleeve, non-tech shirt that showed my love of running. Nothing said "buy me." I was disappointed that most of the women's clothing options from the race booth were down to XS. Boo!
I also was looking for a cool 13.1 sticker, but nothing struck me, and I forgot to buy a bead for my bracelet. I was not feeling the luck at the expo. On my way out, I spotted this tough piece of green that my boys would love.
I was starving and had a bit of time before heading to the airport, so Subway it was for lunch. Would had loved to have something tastier, but wanted to keep a normal routine for the pre-race.
We were lucky that K made her connection after a delay in her first flight, so we did have time to swing back by the expo for her. I did buy a pair of Snuggbuds based on another friend's recommendations. The cord is cloth so less likely to tangle and they don't fall out, or so the claim. I haven't had time to check yet, but I will let you know the verdict.
Then we were off to find somewhere to watch basketball. We needed two screens so we could watch UNC and VCU play at the same time. This was the lovely site we saw on the way. I hope there was a pub crawl going on to help explain this crazy site.

We couldn't hear the games, but did find a spot to watch and carbo-load (via beer) and cheer both teams on to victory.

We finally made it to our room and started prepping for the 5:20 wake-up call. Shamrock Half next up!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Quick Shamrock Tail

This weekend was not quite what we excited temperature wise. The high today was 40 with a feels like 32-34 for most of the race and windy.

But the real thing that matters is that I finished my first half marathon and broke two hours thanks to smart training and a flat and fast course. There are many other people and things to thank, but I will get to those in another post.

So, for now, a couple quick pics.


Official time was 1:58:21.

After an early wake-up, 13.1 miles, lots of other walking, cheering two basketball teams to a loss, room exchange debacle at the hotel, finally a shower, and dinner, this girl is ready for bed at 9:30.

Glad I'm not working until 5 pm tomorrow.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

On St. Patrick's Eve

This flat mama is ready to Sham Rock On to 13.1 miles tomorrow morning in Virginia Beach. Hoping to meet some Tough Chiks and Moms Run This Town peeps.

If you see this outfit (starting in Corral 4), please yell out "Go Jilly Bean!"

See you over the rainbow ... at the beer tent.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Can this weather hold?

I left work almost on time tonight. Headed home instead of the gym to sneak in 3 taper miles before dinner. After a rainy day, the sun was shining and I could wear a skirt and test my shirt for Sunday (glad I did). Since time was on my side, I started making dinner first to get it started. Spinach ravioli bake was a first time recipe and a hit with both me and hubby.

But back to running. Why can't I slow down when I know I have such a big goal in front of me? The first mile chimed at 9:07 which is race pace. Slow the heck down. I did manage a little better for the rest. Must have been the 70 degree weather, birds chirping, sun out that made me do it.

Love that blue sky.

And the bright pop of yellow in the yard.

And just because I was having a craptastic day until I saw this, and I actually laughed out loud.


I'm heading to the treadmill on Thursday for the last run so I can slow down and give the legs a rest. Fingers crossed. And the shirt tag on the side chafed me, so I need to perform some tag surgery. This is the one and only running gear that has caused chafing, go figure it would be a shirt for my first half. Glad I listened to advice and tested everything.


Saturday, March 9, 2013

Taper time or not

I am getting excited. This time next week, I will be in Virginia Beach hopefully sleeping prior to a 7 am start for my first half marathon.

Even with the stress of work, I have gotten my runs in and I have tried to focus on improving my pace. I used McMillan to set my ranges, but found I was running more of my weekly runs on the slower end of the range.

My running partner, L, wanted to push the pace for this last long run to see if she was ready to tackle a sub-2 goal next weekend. I told her to go ahead and she what she could do. I was feeling pretty good and stayed with her the first mile and a half before I dropped back a bit. But not as much as I thought I would need.

I can't believe I was able to do this, and it was completely doable.

I checked to see how this compared to other "fast" times for me. My three faster times were all races with great PRs for me. Hopefully, this is a good omen of times to come. Fingers crossed.

My toes are green and ready. And I loved being comfortable wearing flip flops this afternoon.

I will be tapering the rest of the week.


It's a pressure cooker in here

The last month or so at work has been more stressful than it should be. The nature of my work is bad enough, but add in some additional unnecessary drama, and I have had enough. Thank goodness for an extremely supportive husband, friends that will let me talk it out, and running.


I am really trying to not let it get to me.

I'm not sure where this came from, so if you know, please let me know so I can credit it. A friend sent it to me, and I hope she and God are right.

I'm hoping for a better week this week, and I'm trying to figure out what I can do to make it happen.

A running recap is up next.