TowneBank 8k at Shamrock Marathon recap

marathon weekend page one

We made it to VA Beach on Friday evening, with about an hour and a half to spare before the expo closed. I picked up my packets for the 8k and Marathon and did a quick once over of the spending options throughout the expo. The kids had a tough time falling to sleep the first night, but they did eventually crash and Scott and I enjoyed some delivery Chinese food. Thank goodness for delivery.

On Saturday morning I grabbed the shuttle from our hotel to the race start for the 8k. The shuttle was awesome. I walked straight through the lobby and was on a shuttle in less time than it would have taken to get to my car in the parking lot. I texted Kellie and we met in the lobby of her hotel. I was able to get a muffin there and we sat and relaxed a bit before our race.

The 8k was just going to be a shake out run for me. With the marathon the next day my training plan called for 25-30 minutes and I figured that a little farther wouldn’t be a big deal, especially if I didn’t push the pace. Kellie and I did the 6:1 intervals I would use in the marathon and had a really awesome time just chatting and running and taking in the scenery.

We finished in 58:08.3 which was perfect since we were aiming to finish in under an hour. It was Kellie’s first 8k race distance so she got to ring the PR bell, but with my 49:14 from the Run Green 8k, I wasn’t going to be able to ring it until Sunday.

After a couple of beers at the party tent and a delicious cookie, we headed back to our hotel rooms. I had a little more trouble locating the shuttle on the way home, but made it back to the hotel and had a quick change of clothing before taking the boys to Dairy Queen for lunch. Then it was off to the expo for me to work at the J&A race booth with some of the other ambassadors.

I had a great time at the expo giving out cups full of race info on the series of races that J&A puts on throughout the year: Crawlin Crab, Wicked 10k, Harbor Lights, Surfin Santa, Shamrock, and the ODU 5k. I even got to hang out with Bart Yasso and get a couple pictures with him.

After the expo, the boys and I met up with the Griegers for dinner at a nearby Italian restaurant and then headed back to our respective hotels for an evening swim. Overall, it was a pretty great day, and a relaxing lead up to the marathon.


Shamrock Marathon Recap

marathon weekend page two

I think Hoku sang a song about my marathon weekend and it went a little something like this:

Sun’s not up

A little after five

Grab breakfast for myself

Leave the worries for someone else

People say

They say that it’s insane

They tell me to have some fun,

Well I am

On this perfect day,

Nothing’s standing in my way

On this perfect day,

When nothing can go wrong

It’s the perfect day,

I’m in the race

But I’ve already won

And getting there can

Be half the fun,

So don’t stop me

Till I’m good and done,

Don’t you try to rain on my

Perfect day

A week or so ago I posted my training plan for the Shamrock Marathon — my second attempt at the marathon distance and I shared my goals for the event: 1) beat last year’s time, 2) break 5:30, 3) break 5.  I honestly thought that breaking five was a pipe dream, but you gotta have a pipe dream.  The morning of the race I woke up about an hour before my alarm, grabbed a muffin and a danish from the lobby and got ready for my race.  I headed over in the shuttle and got to see the start of the half marathon and even the back of Kellie as she took off with her wave and got a picture with Corinne another of the J&A race ambassadors and my steepest competition in the Battle of the Ambassadors.

I waited in the Hilton hotel on the 2nd floor until closer to the race start enjoying the view of the beach, the indoor restrooms, and the conversation from veteran marathoners talking about their 3:30 or better goals for the day.

Ten minutes before the race was supposed to start I headed downstairs and found the corral 4 sign holders.  I got in line with them so that I could be at the front of the corral but noticed along the way that I was actually in front of the rope for the fourth corral so I ended up starting in the tail end of the third corral.  The five hour pace group was in the fourth corral so I knew they’d be behind me during the race until I figured they would pass me and I would have my moment about that.

The third corral was off and I would refer to my arm full of names for me to think about throughout the race.  Each mile marker I would check for the next name.  It was a great way to focus my mind throughout the race so I wasn’t doing a bunch of mental math or checking my watch or having self doubt.  Half the time I ran for the folks who nominated someone and the other half was focusing my energy for the ones they nominated.

The course goes on two different bases and I made sure to high five every person I had the opportunity to on base.  The boys were waiting for me at our hotel at mile 14 and it was SO great to see them.  I told them to be outside at 11am and if they hadn’t seen me by noon to give up.  I passed by them at 11:15.  After they saw me, they grabbed a bite to eat for lunch and then started making their way down the beach to the finish line — I beat them to the finish by about 45 minutes.

Along the course I spent some time on the boardwalk or at least with views of the beach and water and went by a couple of lighthouses too.  All the way there were offers of bacon, M&Ms, sour candies, twizzlers, orange slices, beer, and mimosas.  I turned everything down but the mimosa — one of my buddies Tracy insisted I have fun during the race so anytime I thought of her, it brought a big smile to my face and when I ran a mile for her the mimosa was offered so I figured I should enjoy it!  It was around mile 19 at that point.

I stuck to my 6:1 intervals from the end of the RunBuds season so I had no idea how fast/slow I was going throughout the race.  14 minutes/mile is not my pace so I wasn’t hitting the mile markers during walk breaks and I had not done any kind of calculations to see how many miles in I should be when I hit walk breaks at the mile markers.  So I just ran when I was supposed to run and walked when I was supposed to walk.  Once we got to Atlantic Avenue someone yelled out that I was on target for a five hour time so I had it in my head I could actually make my A goal at that point, but we were already 22 miles in.  So I just kept steady with my intervals.

I also heard from spectators that the 5 hour time limit folks were behind me and I had not seen them pass so I figured if I could just keep them behind me, I might actually have a shot.  When we got on the boardwalk and I could see the finish line I thought about my RunBuds ran the last bit for them.  I turned my watch off when I hit 26.21 miles and I took a second to look at it before I did the last bit to the finish line.  It read 4:48:00 — I had done it!  Sub 5!  I did a little fist pump in the air and went the rest of the way.  Official chip time: 5:00:11.4  Thank you, J&A for my perfect day!  #ambassadors

Mile 1: 11:31

Mile 2: 11:09

Mile 3: 11:05

Mile 4: 11:10

Mile 5: 11:31

Mile 6: 11:00

Mile 7: 11:28

Mile 8: 10:56

Mile 9: 11:02

Mile 10: 11:00

Mile 11: 11:18

Mile 12: 11:33

Mile 13: 11:12

Mile 14: 11:38

Mile 15: 11:23

Mile 16: 11:10

Mile 17: 11:32

Mile 18: 11:52

Mile 19: 11:40 — mimosa mile

Mile 20: 11:09

Mile 21: 11:22

Mile 22: 11:44

Mile 23: 11:49

Mile 24: 11:27

Mile 25: 11:51

Mile 26: 11:20

Page Nine 2015

Homework Runs got canceled a couple of times in February due to snow and ice, but we managed to get a couple in.  A bunch of RunBuds also showed up for the practice run for Florence Forth and we had a nice showing at a run scheduled with a lunch at Tyler’s to celebrate.  Kristen arranged a hang out at Tyler’s to celebrate Ellen Moss, Bull City Running Company’s Director of Community Engagement.  It was a great time, even when Connor got frustrated and started throwing pool balls.

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Page Eight 2015

The Massacre Marathon is a fun race in Greensboro, NC.  You can run the race as an individual, pair, team of four, and this year as a team of 5-8.  Last year we ran it in groups of four and this year I ran it with Kellie and Tracy organized a group of running buddies to run it as a team.  I had 12 miles on my plan for the day and wanted to run at least 7 loops in a row to get that run in so I took the first lap, Kellie took the next five, then I ran seven, we alternated the last three.  On Tracy’s team everyone ran at least 2 laps, and some ran 3.  It was a fun morning and a great way to get a long run in.

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Page Seven 2015

The month of February is all about love, the love of running and sweets of course!  The chocolate 5k was something I was super excited about in 2014, but the stars did not align and the race was set for a date that I already had a race lined up.  So when they brought it back this year, I was more than excited to jump on the RunBud bandwagon to participate.  I mean who doesn’t love running and getting handed chocolate and a finish line with a chocolate recovery drink?  A week later, Caroline and I took on the Krispy Kreme Challenge as a Dynamic Duo.  The challenge was to run 2.5 miles, eat a dozen donuts, and run 2.5 miles back — all in under an hour.  We managed to squeeze it in just under the buzzer.  Surprisingly, the six donuts felt absolutely fine, though I cannot imagine twice as many.

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Shamrock Marathon training

half marathon-001I am a week away from the Shamrock Full and I’ve been equal parts excited and nervous for race day.  I’ve had the pleasure of being a member of the race ambassador team for the J&A race series and in addition to running the Shamrock Half in 2012, have gotten to run in the inaugural Harbor Lights 5k and Half and the Surfin Santa 5 miler this past year.  I know without a doubt that the event will be awesome logistically and that I will be well taken care of as a runner.  All that being said, I know there is nothing I can do to prepare myself more for race day.  Really it’s totally dependent on weather and conditions at this point.  By race day I will have put approximately 800 miles in of training as well as consistently hit crossfit at least 1-2 times per week for the last twenty weeks.  I realized at some point in December that if I was going to start following a training plan, that I was already several weeks in.  Luckily I had been training for Harbor Lights which was late in November, so it wasn’t like I had been slacking off.  The hay is in the barn as coach Jason would say and I’m as ready as I can be.  Here’s hoping for a spectacular race!

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Page Six 2015

In January, marathon training was in full swing.  I’m logging a ton of miles and feeling good.  Cecilia started having a weekly Buehler run on Sundays and I’ve been able to make it out a couple of times for that.  I was selected to be a Nuunbassador for 2015 which is awesome.  I love NUUN!  I use it on all my long runs and often drink it the day after long runs as well.  It makes a huge difference in my running and helps me avoid the wall.  I failed my iron test in December when I tried to donate blood so I ended up having to push back my donation until January.  I passed with flying colors this time.  I’ve been taking an iron supplement occasionally and I’ve also been eating more shredded wheat.  It has something like 90% of the iron you need in a day.  A few buds have joined me on my 15X15 in 2015 journey and are doing 15k instead of 15mi.  Ginny finished her first 15k of the year in January.  Cecilia and Susie are doing it as well.

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Win a free custom Esprit de She performance Moxie Cycling jerseys (valued at $58)

RunBuds and other female running friends… I have an opportunity to give away three custom Esprit de She performance Moxie Cycling jerseys (valued at $58) to three people who register for the Esprit de She Cary 5k or 10k using my referral code: EDS028 All you have to do is register THIS month, and forward me your confirmation email and I will enter you into a drawing for one of the three jerseys. I will pull three names on April 1st and announce the winners. The odds are as good as the number of people who register. Good luck!

Page Four 2015

Bull City Running Company held a relay race at the end of January.  The RunBuds put together three or four teams for the relay.  It was 20 laps at the Occoneechee Speedway in Hillsborough.  You could pass off the baton in whatever order you wished and could run as many laps as you wanted at a time.  I ran pretty consistently, and we passed off our baton each lap.  One of the groups did three laps each then two, one did two, two, and then one.  There was even a group that did all five laps and then passed off.  There was a lovely after party at the Mystery Brewing Company.  It was an all around lovely day with the RunBuds.  I definitely hope they hold it again.

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