Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Shamrock 8k

Saturday morning hubby and I ran the Shamrock 8k. For him, it was a down grade from the marathon/half marathon he was going to run. He's been fighting injury and had to defer. Instead of doing nothing, he decided to at least run the 8k and I ran the 8k to complete the Dolphin Challenge again.

We arrived at the start line about 7:30 a.m. for an 8:00 a.m. start. The temps weren't too bad, around 52 degrees. We hung out, then headed to our corrals - hubby to corral 2, me to corral 5. I was pleased to once again not be in the last corral. LOL!

The race got underway on time, which is always good. Being so far back meant I didn't get started really until about 10 minutes after the start. That's o.k. I had a nice conversation with two ladies who were running their first race. They were sweet to chat with and I hope they had a great race!

As my corral got to the start area, the announcer said he saw his favorite sight - runners on both sides of him! We started off through the large Start arc

and I laughed as the live band just beyond starting playing Blink-182's What's My Age Again? Blink-182 is one of hubby's favorite bands and I had to laugh that they were playing that song. The start was chaotic honestly. So many people and many of them not understanding the whole corral system. I was stuck behind lots of people who started off walking, which made it hard to get a good start. As I ran I thought races should switch from what time do you think you'll finish to "runner," "run/walk," or "walker." Then the runners and run/walkers know where to line up and walkers were in the back. This may sound mean, but as a slow runner I deal with this all the time. I don't want to screw the fast runners who are running for prize money/medals, but it seems as if no one considers that slow runners still want to have a good race too.

Anyway...we ran down Atlantic Avenue for about 2 miles. The race takes you past much of the restaurants/hotels/activities that make up Virginia Beach. It's so flat. It's so nice. LOL!

And don't forget all the fun costumes!

Once you get past the first part of the course on Atlantic Avenue, you turn onto the boardwalk. It's such a fun part of the race honestly. I enjoy seeing all the runners ahead of me and the ocean on the side. To me, it's a pretty unique experience. Maybe not to everyone, but to me it is.

We headed down the boardwalk and enjoyed the view. This is my favorite part of the race and I took it all in. We then turned off the boardwalk and back onto Atlantic Avenue. For some reason the distance on Atlantic Avenue this time seemed long. Not sure why. But, we came up to the turn to the boardwalk

At this point I checked my Garmin and had about 6 minutes til the hour. I really wanted this race under 60 minutes. I decided at this point not to check it again until I crossed the finish line. I just ran, not knowing what would happen.

Along the way I saw hubby standing on the side of the boardwalk. Phew! He finished! I hit the finish line and was happy to finish and be standing up. I looked down at Garmin hoping beyond hope that I might have PRed, even if I didn't manage a sub-60 8k. I was disappointed. I finished in 1:02:50, 59 seconds slower than last year and 2 minutes and 51 seconds slower than I had hoped. Crap.

I went down the boardwalk, picking up my medal as I went about to cry. Honestly. I know it sounds sad, but I was really upset. As I waited in line for my medal, I heard music coming from the party tent. And I laughed. How could I not? As I stood there fighting back tears, Bob Marley's Everything Is Gonna Be Alright was playing. Alright Bob. I'll take your advice. It is going to be alright.

After grabbing my medal, food, water, and koozie, I found the hubby and we went to party in the tent.

And thank heavens we did! While I felt a drop or two of rain hit me as I walked through the finisher's line, it sure let loose after we managed to get in the tent. It poured! Oh my goodness! I felt so bad for those still out on the course. We hung in the tent until the rain calmed down and enjoyed our adult beverages. The band was great, the people were fun, and we just celebrated running the race.

And now it was time to get ready for the Shamrock Half Marathon...

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