Thursday, March 22, 2012

Shamrock Half Marathon Recap

OK. OK. If you have been following my blog at all, you may have seen me mention that my goal for the Shamrock half was sub 1:50. I did not meet that goal. I was close and finished at 1:51:38. You would think being so close I would be upset, analyzing every mile, my training, my fueling, but I'm not. I am actually estatic with my 1:51. When I started training last year for the RnR VB, my goal was a sub 2 hour and I thought that would be a stretch. So, to do what I did, I am fist pumping like I was at the Jersey Shore.

Randi is my running partner. She is amazing. She has gotten me through some long runs that I did not have my whole heart into. We are pretty well matched but she has more mental toughness (and fitness) than me when it comes to pushing through those miles. Thanks Randi for helping me achieve this! You are the best!!

Randi and me pre-race.

Randi PR'd by about a minute and finished only 11 seconds off our goal. Great Job Randi!!

I felt great going into this race. I rested and fueled well the week leading up to it. I just had a good feeling that things were going to work out. I know I said my goal was a sub 1:50 but I would have been happy with anything under 1:53/4. It was just going to depend on all the other variables, weather, crowds, etc... I had done all I could do at this point and I was going to leave nothing on the table. 

With that said and with my track record of injury and illness (remember my Disney half marathon) I was more paranoid than a meth addict. I asked anyone that coughed to wear a mask; I wouldn’t drink the water from the water stops at the 8k (I didn’t want to risk a stomach bug); and every little ache and pain I had I was sure it was going to require an MRI and months of rehab. But ha! Bad luck, you didn’t get me this time!

Here is the breakdown:

 Miles 1-7: We  stayed between 7:50 to 8:20 mile. Every time we got to a mile marker we checked out Garmins for feedback and my handy dandy pace band to see how we were doing. By mile 7 we were about 30-40 seconds ahead.

my home-made pace band

We kept asking each other if we were ok and tried to slow up a bit here and there but I think we just both felt so "on" that we went with it.

Miles 8-9: We started to slow down a bit and by mile 9 we were closer to our goal pace. I still felt good and thought I could keep it close to our goal pace. I had a GU at mile 8 and just kept plugging along.

Miles 6-9.5 are on Ft. Story. You could hear the waves crashing on the beach as you ran by the two beautiful lighthouses. There was also group of Marines cheering us on (I felt like I should stop and give them a group hug for serving). Randi started to pull ahead or I started to fall behind, either way, I kept her in my sights, but as the miles past she got further and further ahead of me.

Coming out of Ft.Story there was a water stop with music and a the volunteers were so full of energy I could tell I was fatiguing but they really gave me some energy. I also saw my old co-worker, Thomas and that also gave me some strength to keep going. (Poor guy had to listen to me whine and complain about my injuries, my training, and my running stories 40 hours a week for almost 3 years). He is a good guy and humored me. It was nice to see him out there, it gave me motivation to keep going.

Miles 10-12: Unfortunately my excitement from the crowd and seeing my friend did not last long. The crowd grew sparse and there wasn't any music (I really hope my husband gets me those Yurbuds for my bday..hint hint). My legs grew heavy and although, I felt like I was giving it all I had, my pace slowed and Randi disappeared. I knew this was pushing my goal further and further away, but I just kept telling myself that it was ok and no matter what, I was going to PR and I should be proud of my accomplishment.

Mile 12: I gave it all I had. I tried to pick up my pace and when I hit the boardwalk for the last half mile I dug deep and pushed as hard as I could. When I crossed the finish line  I knew I had left it all on the course. I rarely feel like I am going to puke when I race, but I did that day. That for sure is a sign you are working hard!

I am super happy and proud of my time (and that I wasn't sick or injured). I wanted to thank my husband for supporting me through this. It takes a ton of time to train for a half and after working a 40 hour week, taking care of two little kids it can be draining. He never gave me too hard a time about spending many a weekend morning out running. He knows how important running is to me and was a big part of me achieving this PR. Love you honey!

Ok, enough mushy stuff. (He will probably be embarrassed and ask me to delete that last part).

Now onto why didn't I get the sub 1:50? I don’t' know. It could be a combination of things. My sickness at the Disney Princess. My "over-it" feeling about training that I had been dealing with since before the Princess. I really didn't push myself the last month of my training. I was tapering for Disney, then I was sick, then I was tapering again for the Shamrock. I kind of lost that loving feeling with running in there too. I needed a mental break and may have taken it a little too light the last coupe of weeks. We may has started out too fast as well. Or, it could have been a combination of those things. Either way, it's over and I am happy with my time.

Now what to do with myself? I have my list of races and 'to do' items for around the house. Now that I won't be leaving for 2 to 3 hours every Saturday or Sunday morning I should be able to get that done and spend some quality time with my boys!

If you are wondering how I fit my training into my day and was able to get such a huge PR....check out
Run Less, Run Faster (but only if you are not in my age group and if you are, won't be running any local races against me!)


  1. Awesome job! You're speedy! I am now battling a sore hip flexor. grrrrr

    I may be on the rest for a while.

    1. Thanks and booo! Sorry you are hurting!!

  2. Thanks for sharing your race recap on the Shamrock!

    1. I hope you decide to run it! I would love to meet you in person :)