Another Shamrock weekend has come and gone and it was just as great as it was last year and the year before and the year before and the year before...Congrats to all the runners! Living in Virginia Beach gives me access to a ton of racing events and the reason I keep coming back to this one is that it encompasses everything I love about running, including giving me a reason to get outside during the often dreary drizzle of of our winter rains.
Shamrock weekend, as it is known in these parts, is put on by J&A Racing and Yuengling. It is a weekend full of everything running, from the 26.2 yard Leprechaun Dash to the Full Marathon; the big names it draws, like Bart Yasso who gave us a pep talk before our race, and the excitement of the expo; it truly has something for all runners.
Since I am training for a half marathon next month I chose to do the 8k this year and see if I couldn't PR. It has been a couple years since I raced a true 8k, not a 8k obstacle course or mud run, and I wanted to see what I could do while mentally checking how ready I am for my upcoming half. So on Saturday morning, I headed down to the VB Oceanfront with my sister-in-law Jill. We meet up with some of the women from my running club and got some quick pictures while we tried to stay warm. It wasn't too cold, but it certainly wasn't stand around in your shorts kind of weather. I wore this old hoodie that I was ok parting with in the corral, luckily for me it was exactly where I left it at the end of the race for me to reclaim.
I had planned on doing a warm up run and then doing my little movement prep routine, but I wanted to be in a good spot in my corral. Really I didn't want to be that guy. You know the guy I'm talking about. The one in his singlet in 20 degree weather doing quick 20 yard runs and whipping his legs back and forth to get loose. I'm sure it helps but I'd rather be inconspicuous and take my chance at being 5 seconds slower than if I whipped my hair back and forth, I mean my legs.
Anyhoo...I was near the front of corral 1 and only 3 seconds back from the gun time. I felt good and fell into and held my pace for the first couple of miles. And the it happened...I got into my own head and backed off my pace. I kept thinking "you are doing it again, you are starting out too fast and are going to die at mile 3." So instead of dying at mile 3, I backed off at mile 2 and by mile 4 was up to an 8:03 pace. There is a turn onto the boardwalk at about mile 4 and as I took the turn onto the boardwalk I felt like my breath was being robbed from me. I'm starting to think I have exercise indused asthma, but that is another story. I pushed through it and tried to finish strong and leave nothing on the course. I finished at 39:10. Yes a PR! A 2 minute PR, but I think I could have done better. I still had gas in the tank and wished I hadn't backed off. I'm such a typical runner. I should be happy with my time and I am happy with my time, how could I not be, a 2 minute PR, but I can't help think I could have gotten under 39 minutes.
I met up with my family and brought my son down to the race after party where we ran into our old friends, who if you are reading this the next time you are in town I want to see you for more than 10 minutes!
After I got some food and drink we headed back to take shelter from the rain and wait for the Leprechaun Dash to start. My little guy was doing this one. He was so focused!
It must have been his pre-race warm-up!
He is either playing on an iPhone or reading inspirational running quotes!