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Shamrock Sportsfest Half Marathon - RunHalf Marathon

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Virginia Beach, Virginia
United States
Shamrock Sportsfest
Total Time = 2h 59m 18s
Overall Rank = 2647/3162
Age Group = F25-29
Age Group Rank = 651/713
Pre-race routine:

Onion Bagel with a little olive oil spread. 24 oz gatorade.
Picked up Matt to carpool to race so his little ones could sleep in with mom. Watched rain on windshield as we drove, praying it would be over when we got to the race.
Got to VaBch early to find parking as close as possible to race line finish. Walked part way in ridiculous wind and cold. Found gear check half way and put pants and jacket in bag. I was left with running short and a long sleeve technical shirt. COLD!!!!!!! Continued walking to race start. The wind would NOT let up!
Event warmup:

Huddled like a penguin except when in porta-potty praying it wouldn't get blown over with me in it! Stretched, chatted with other runners. Tried to stay warm. A white-flag cold advisory was issued by the medics due to the wind chill.
  • 2h 59m 18s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 13m 41s  min/mile

Knees were hurting all night and morning. I knew this wasn't going to be a PR race, so I was just going to have fun with it.

Took fuel belt with Infinit mixture and 3 gels. (I'm always too paranoid about my blood sugar to not have my fuel belt with me.) Used 2 gels on course. Took in gulps of gatorade when I felt like I could use it.

Didn't take long to warm up and I was fine the whole way. I saw tons of clothing on the side of the road and plenty of people stripping layers because they overdressed and didn't consider how much warmer they would get during the race. At this point, I was quite comfortable and happy in my shorts and long shirt.

Time would have been 10 min faster if I didn't have to stop for the porta-potty twice! I don't know what was up with that. Lines were long at every stop. I seriously thought about hitting the woods, but there was no foliage cover.

Started out easy and was at 9:50 pace. Kept relaxed and entertained myself listening to other runners. Continued when knees were twinging, but when it really hurt, I would slow to walk. But that was boring, so I'd limp for a bit, try to get my knees to calm down, then start running again. (Repeat process to finish line.) I had to stop a few dozen times on the side of the road to massage my knees. Every step for 13.1 miles felt like my kneecaps were trying to explode off my legs. At this point, having fun and just finishing were my goals. I was really disappointed when at the 5mi marker I was over 1 hr. But, there was a potty stop in there as well.

I tried to be friendly with other runners and encourage the ones who looked like they were having a tough time. Some people were really appreciative. (People are so much friendlier in tris!) I was really surprised when I'd start running again, feel relaxed and comfortable (considering), and be passing tons of people. (Ok, so we're all pretty slow in the back of the pack, but it made me feel good anyway.) My run times were much faster than my last half. If you take out potty stops, I was only about 8 minutes slower than my last half time. I was surprised by that.

Feet felt sore at mile 10. No blisters at all during the race. I felt surprising good considering I hadn't done anything close to this distance since October. Need to practice mentally that I have to run 14 miles to the finish instead of focusing on the 13.1 as the finish. If not, that last 1/2 mile seems like 5!

When I noticed I might be able to finish in under 3 hrs, I pushed the last mile. I barely made it! Overall, considering the pain I was having, I'm happy.
What would you do differently?:

Not run the couple days before the race. Stay off my feet the day before the race. Figure out how to avoid the porta potty.
Get my knees healed and stay healthy.
Post race
Warm down:

Walked, stretched, found gear bag and put on pants and jacket (it was cold). Hydrate.
Considered going to get food and beer at the after party tent, but there were already about 100 people in line outside the tent. My hubby had finished 45 minutes before me and was soaked and freezing when I arrived, so we hurried to get him warm and dry. No food or beer. Iced knees when I got home.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

2 words - patellar tendonitis
Other than having to walk to protect my knees, I was happy with how much my run times have improved.

Event comments:

I love the turnout of races like this. I love the atmosphere of lots of people. The coral in the beginning was a joke. It was so disorganized, I saw tons of people just jumping in where they could. Including me.
Kudos to the volunteers standing out in the cold. They weren't running, so I'm sure it was miserable.
I wish there were more music on the course. I never run with an ipod, so the musical distraction was nice.
Pretty course. Pretty flat. Fun atmosphere. Line for the food and beer tent was enormous!
Oh, and what was the deal with the swag bags? I got a lonely little power bar in mine when I finished. Nothing else. I saw other bags with tons more yummies. Luck of the draw I guess.
The hamrock hat was nice at the end. And the finishers medals were really cool! I like medals. You don't get cool shiny things for 5-Ks. (Money doesn't count. I'm slow.)

Last updated: 2007-11-27 12:00 AM
02:59:18 | 13.1 miles | 13m 41s  min/mile
Age Group: 651/713
Overall: 2647/3162
Performance: Good
first 4.9 mi - 1:10:14/ 14:20 last 8.2 mi 1:49:04/ 13:19 Negative splits! Yea!
Course: Start at Cavalier Hotel at VaBch, north/west along Atlantic Avenue then along Shore Drive (very slight uphill) and start to turn back through Fort Story's West Gate (temps got COLD here! We could see our breath!). Continue along Atlantic Avenue, east/south along Cape Henry Road and out Fort Story's East Gate to Atlantic Avenue, followed down past 45th street and onto the boardwalk for the last bit. Finished at Laskin Road and 30th Street at King Neptune statue.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %0
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Ok
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Below average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2008-03-17 9:36 AM

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Newport News, VA
Subject: Shamrock Sportsfest Half Marathon

2008-03-17 9:49 AM
in reply to: #1275658

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Out running or enjoying a fine glass of red...
Subject: RE: Shamrock Sportsfest Half Marathon
Congrats on the race! I saw tons of people hitting the woods too, but I'm too modest.

Great job!
2008-03-17 10:16 AM
in reply to: #1275658

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Science Nerd
Redwood City, California
Subject: RE: Shamrock Sportsfest Half Marathon

Nice race!!

I noticed that people in tris are much friendlier, too.  I was cheering for all the marathoners passing in the other direction, but I was pretty much the only one.  Strange. 

2008-03-17 1:02 PM
in reply to: #1275658

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Extreme Veteran
Williamsburg, Virginia
Subject: RE: Shamrock Sportsfest Half Marathon
Great run and nice job running on some sore hurting knees.
2008-03-18 6:40 AM
in reply to: #1275658

Newmarket, Suffolk
Subject: RE: Shamrock Sportsfest Half Marathon
Nice race! Now time to concentrate on the big dog in May :-)  
2008-03-18 9:09 AM
in reply to: #1275658

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Williamsburg, VA
Subject: RE: Shamrock Sportsfest Half Marathon
Excellent job!! You really amaze me at how strong you are. I am soooo proud of your accomplishments.  With all that pain, I would have wimped out for sure. Hope for our half in April we can do as well.

2008-03-18 10:22 AM
in reply to: #1275658

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Subject: RE: Shamrock Sportsfest Half Marathon
Nice job pushing it out!
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