Friday, March 22, 2013

Yuengling Shamrock 8K and Half Marathon - My FIRST Half! I did it!

I haven't blogged in almost 6 months.  I realized that I'm just not a regular blogger.  I'm still losing, but it's a little slow going at this point.  I'm almost to my baseline goal and I've switched my priorities to focus more on my running and overall fitness.

I've decided to use my blog to keep track of my races.  I've become an absolutely insane runner!  I ran my first half marathon this past know, the one I signed up for on my birthday last year?  It was AWESOME!!  I'm so in love with distance running.  I can't even put it into words.  I crossed the finish line and practically dashed over to my hotel to register for a dozen more!

Here is my race calendar as of right now:
4/14 - Kent Island Metric Marathon - 26.2K/16.3mi
4/28 - Iron Girl Half Marathon - Columbia, MD
5/4 - Apple Blossom 10K - Winchester, VA (Morning)
5/4 - Frederick Running Festival 5K - Frederick, MD (Evening)
5/5 - Frederick Running Festival Half Marathon - Frederick, MD (Nut Job Challenge)
5/12 - Cox Providence Half Marathon - Providence, RI
6/15 - Baltimore 10 miler (haven't registered yet, but pretty sure I'm doing this one)
7/13 - Jamestown Half Marathon - Jamestown, RI
9/14 - Diva Half Marathon - DC Wine Country (Leesburg, VA)
10/5 - Great Allegany 15K - Cumberland, MD
10/13 - Newport Half Marathon
10/19 - Tough Mudder Mid-Atlantic - Gerrardstown, WV
11/16 - Turkey Trot 10K
I'm sure I will add a couple more in there because the depth of my crazy has not yet been realized, I'm afraid!

Anyhow, here is my Shamrock Race Report:
This was my first half and I'm SO glad I chose this race.  It was an awesome experience!  I did the Dolphin Challenge, so I ran in the 8k Saturday, too. 

I didn't have any time goals for the 8k since I was saving my energy for the 1/2 SUnday.  I just had fun checking out the scenery and everyone's costumes! This was my first really big race w/ corrals and all.  It did annoy me a little that walkers were in the earlier corrals than me (I ran ~10:45mm) - dodging them was a bit of a pain.

There was some unexplained delay in getting off for the half.  I don't think the first corral went out until 15 min after the scheduled start and I was a ball of nervous energy, so that kind of sucked.  They were quick getting people through once they did start going.  We were in corral 7 and started just about 7min after "gun time."  I was running with two other friends and it was a little crowded for the first couple miles and then in patches throughout, but I kind of expected that knowing we were going to be running 3 abreast the whole time.

There was awesome course support - tons of people, kids, pets out cheering us on.  There were also several "beer stops" that locals put together, which I thought was really cool.  I couldn't even drink my free Yuengling after the race, much less have beer during, but it added a fun element to the course.  Checking out all the costumes was another highlight of this race.  There was never a shortage of things to see and keep you distracted and motivated.

My friends struggled a little, but we all stuck together.  Finishing down the boardwalk was amazing - it's my favorite place in the world to run!  I live in WV, so I trained at mild elevation with ridiculous hills, so running flat felt A-mazing.  We crossed the finish at 2:24:01 for a perfect 11mm pace.  My goal for this race was to just finish under 2:30, so I succeeded!  I had a stretch goal of finishing under 2:20, but I'm happy with my time for my first.  When I initially registered in June last year, my predicted finish time was 3hrs!  I'm amazed at how much I've improved since then! I still had gas in the tank at the finish, so that's a good sign in my book  :)

The weather was perfect for running.  It was a little windy along the ocean front stretches, but by then it felt pretty good.  Once you cooled down and got through the medals & food chute, it was downright FREEZING!  Thankfully the finisher item was a blanket this year!  Everyone bundled right up

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