Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Shamrock Half Marathon Race Recap

Alrighty, time for the main event! The Shamrock Half Marathon! I ran this race for the first time in 2011 and PRed by 25 minutes. Insane, I know! Who does that??? I was really looking forward to running it again and had a goal of running it in 2:50:00. Sadly, my training was not what it should be and my goal was to be sub-3:00:00.

Sunday morning I got up and immediately went to the window of our hotel room to see if it was raining. The forecast said it might and I was not prepared for a race that was cold and wet! Hubby said the race organizers posted the rain had stopped, so I relaxed a little. I knew I wasn't as prepared for a cold race as I would have liked to be, but no rain did make it less stressful!

I got ready and we were out the door by 6:30 a.m. to head to the start. There were 10 corrals this year! 10! That's a lot of people! And it was neat walking out of our room and seeing all the people walking to the start. We arrived near the start line and decided to walk a bit further up as last year I had to fight my way from the back to my corral. Well, this year when we walked down the side street to where I thought I should line up, I had to walk backwards...several blocks! Ugh. So many people...

I got in my corral and hubby headed to the start to cheer me on as I passed. I put myself right up front. I didn't want to be any further back than I had to be. And I waited. I didn't have a watch on, so I didn't know what time it was, but people around me started getting antsy. Apparently, it was past 7:00 a.m. and there had been no starter gun. Being so far back we really couldn't hear any of the announcements. We did her the National Anthem signer, but that was all. So, we waited. Freezing. The temperatures were in the low 40s, but the wind chill was insane! So cold!

We finally get started about 10 minutes later than we should have, which means our corral went off about 7:20 a.m. We hit the road, I saw hubby on my right, waved, and got going. The course I knew. Which turned out to be a good thing. I liked the familiarity of the course, knowing what to expect. I had my music and there were lots of people around. I found a rhythm and I went with it.

I have no photos from the race. I had actually meant to take my camera with me, but the memory card filled up on Saturday afternoon at the aquarium. Sorry!

The race went along fine. I knew I wasn't running as fast as last year, which is ok. The road out to the military base was fine. Fun little jokes on the side of the road, pretty scenery, and a nice, flat course. What I remember most about those miles is just being content running. Sounds odd, but those miles were good miles. I was somewhat warm and felt good.

I mention feeling warm because as we turned onto the base at about mile 6 that feeling of warmth went out the window. The trees on the road leading to the base blocked the wind. The base? No trees or blocking. We were just about a block from the ocean/beach and the wind was nasty! The entire time I was running on the base, my hands were so cold they hurt. That is the only thing I really regret not having with me on the run was a pair of gloves. I wore a long-sleeve pull-over that I packed last minute (thank heavens!), but gloves would have been a God send! These miles were miserable only in the sense that my hands hurt. I felt fine other than that. There were lots of people out cheering for us, which for some reason I think was more than last year. There were some lovely military personnel who came out to give high fives and I felt bad because I knew if I high fived, my hands would break. I waved and said thank you.

Once off the base, my hands started to feel a bit normal again. Not much, but they didn't hurt as badly. Just off the base my back started hurting. Ugh. That's the first time in three races that happened. I've managed to get myself in good enough condition since Philly that my back has held up fine. This race, nope. Soreness. From about mile8 on out, I had to stop several times to stretch out my back. Frustrating.

The rest of the miles were good. I knew I wasn't going to PR. I could tell from the times Garmin had that this race was going to be one of my better ones, but it wouldn't touch last year's Shamrock Half Marathon time. I turned onto the boardwalk and wow. The wind nailed me! I felt like I was pushing against a locked door. Two of the Livestrong volunteers ran along side me to the boardwalk. I'm sure in their minds that was helpful as they yelled encouraging things. To me, not so much. I run solo and to be singled out like that? Didn't like it. I'm a jerk, I know.

I hit the boardwalk and ran. I had hoped to pick up speed and nail the end, but nope. I didn't have it in me. That's ok. As I passed hubby just past Neptune, he said I looked good. I think he lied.

I felt like I just wanted the race to be over. LOL! And from this spot on the course to the finish line it wasn't far. I crossed the line at 3:01:09. 11 minutes slower than last year. Blargh. I came up to the medal volunteers and the lovely lady actually placed my medal around my neck. Thank you! I went through the corral picking up my water, Gatoraid, hat, pretzel, granola bar, banana, Shamrock cookie, FLEECE BLANKET, and finally a bag to put it all in! I stopped for the photo in front of the backdrop and the nice photographer helped me get all my stuff into the bag. I got my photo taken and it was off to find hubby to celebrate!

Here are some photos of us enjoying the after-party:

So, while I didn't get the PR I was hoping for, overall it went alright. A bit cold, but in the end I ran those 13.1 miles. I made it back to the beach. I had a good time with the hubby. I am a Dolphin Challenger again!

Did you race this weekend? How did it go?


  1. Congrats on the double race weekend!!! Yes, it was FEEZING!! I thought it was funny that we got blankets, how fitting! :) I really liked this race and plan on doing it next year again.

    1. The blankets rocked! I ended up not using mine at the after party, but I've used it at home. It's so cozy! Hubby is running it next year, he's deferred the last two due to injuries. He wants me to run the half again. I may. I know for sure I'm not doing the 8k. But, maybe the half again. :)

  2. Hi! Just found your blog looking for Shamrock race reports, I'm looking at it for next year. I think I'm in! Love the fleece blankets, I hope they do it again. :) Great post.

    1. Hi Paulette! Welcome! I would highly recommend Shamrock! We've been at the 2011, 2012, & 2013 races and not a bad thing to say. The medals are awesome, the surprise gift at the end is great [2012 - sweatshirt; 2013 - fleece blanket], and the after party is second to none! I'm probably their best (uncompensated) ambassador. LOL! Seriously, it's a great race and I can recommend a hotel exactly at the finish line for you if you chose to do it. We've stay at the Best Western Plus Oceanfront. You literally finish at the back of the hotel. It's reasonably priced and perfectly located. :) Good luck deciding!