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Shamrock Sportsfest Marathon - RunMarathon

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Virginia Beach, Virginia
United States
Shamrock Sportsfest
40F / 4C
Total Time = 4h 36m 19s
Overall Rank = 1676/2555
Age Group = M40-44
Age Group Rank = 191/253
Pre-race routine:

I trained very hard from November 1st to the middle of January. Then I hurt my hips and lost a week and then my motivation wasn't where it was prior to the injury. I got my long runs in, but my miles for the last five weeks prior to taper were low.
I drove up to Virginia Beach on Saturday Afternoon and got my stuff from the expo. I stayed at the home of CaptanTony and The Goddess. they were wonderful hosts and they fed me well and we got to hang out with their kids, who are very great kids. Of course that shouldn't be surprising knowing the parents. I got a good nights sleep and woke up around 6:00am, leaving for the race sit at around 6:30.
Event warmup:

My warmup consisted of walking the 8-10 blocks from my car to the starting line and moving around a bit waiting for the start. Since the full was much smaller than the half, there was plenty of room at the starting area for warming up, stretching and such. I found the 4:15 pace group, made some new acquaintances and waited for the start at 8:00.
  • 4h 36m 19s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 10m 33s  min/mile

The race was a fabulous experience, from which I learned alot about myself.
When the run went off, I was running with the 4:15 pace group. The pace was excellent. It was effortless and we headed out of town to the south side and went over the first bridge crossing. I soon found myself running with a woman from Omaha about 50-100 yards ahead of the pace group. We made it out to the first turnaround and started heading back into the hotel row.
Unfortunately, I was starting to have some GI issues, and we hadn't seen any porta potties for a long time. I knew we had woods around us at the present time, and the issue was starting to press, if you know what I mean. So I told the girl that I had to duck into the woods and take care of some business. I ran into the woods, dropped trow and took care of business. Then I came back onto the race course. I lost maybe 3 1/2 minutes. (Luckily, this was a one time event).
When I got back on the course, I started running at a pace maybe 10-15 seconds per mile faster than before. Not necessarily a good move looking back on it. We headed into a Marine base and the Marines were all out cheering for us. I was extremely humbled that these men and women who are protecting my freedom are out there cheering us on. Aside from the finish, this was my favorite part of the race and I gave high fives to probably 300 Marines.
We headed into the beach area and ran for awhile on the boardwalk. I was starting to feel the effects of the faster pace but kept on going right through the half marathon mark.
The second half started with a long run down the main beachfront road. I switched to walking about 1 minute at the start of each mile. I also walked a little longer through the drink stations. I was starting to get really tired, and the course got a little boring as we headed around Fort Story. The crowd dropped way off, and the people were stringing out a bit more. I really could have used my ipod for this stretch. During this section, my pace dropped some, but when I was running, I was still running at the 9:45 pace. The walking was bringing my pace up.
CaptanTony had warned me that this stretch through the trees would appear uphill, but it really wasn't. That bit of knowledge helped, as I could keep the hill demons out of my mind during that part of the race.
Then around mile 22, as we were leaving Fort Story, I hit the wall. I started walking about a minut at the start of each mile and at the start of the second half of each mile. When I was running, I was running slowly, around 11 minute pace. When I walked, I was getting a little dizzy, then to top it off, when I started running after walking, my left hip and knee were really screaming at me for about 30 seconds to a minute of running. I told myself if I could just keep running, I wouldn't have to go through the pain each time I stopped. But I couldn't keep running. I started picturing my kids running alongside me cheering me on. I don't know how or why, but I just kept trodding along.
The last .4 miles or so are along the boardwalk and it was really awesome, as there were prople all around cheering you on to the finish. It just seemed like the finish line kept getting further away, the harder you ran. It was like those movies where you are runnning down the hallway and the door at the end keeps getting further away. Well I finally hit the finish line, and I was really happy to be there.
My time was about 21 minutes off my goal, but it was my first Marathon, so I wasn't too concerned.
What would you do differently?:

There are two things I would have liked to do differently. First is keep my training going throughout the entire training cycle. I was doing very well prior to my injury and the subsequent failing motivation.
Second, I should have not worried about running faster after my stop. It wasn't like I was even running with someone I knew. I had only met her during the first six miles. It was nice talking with someone since I had no music, and the pace was great and seemingly effortless, but I should have known that I couldn't make up 3 1/2 minutes.
Post race
Warm down:

I walked around, had some Irish Stew, a beer and some conversation with some random people.
Then I walked back to my car and drove 3 1/2 hours back to NC.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I think I ran the second quarter of the race too fast, trying to make up for my stop. This came back to haunt me in the end. The girl I was running with before my stop was 3 minutes ahead of me after 7 miles, 2 minutes ahead of me at the half, 3 minutes ahead of me after 18.1 miles, and 16 minutes ahead of me at the finish. I burned out at the end.

Event comments:

This was a great race, held at a great town at the perfect time of the year, weatherwise. There is a lot of St. Patty Day spirit, and the crowds were awesome.

Last updated: 2008-09-27 12:00 AM
04:36:19 | 26.2 miles | 10m 33s  min/mile
Age Group: 191/253
Overall: 1676/2555
Performance: Good
First 6.5 Miles around 9:45 pace Second 6.5 Miles around 9:35 pace (oops) Miles 13-22 in the 10-11 minute pace range Miles 22-26 12 minute/mile pace with alot of pain and walking.
Course: The course was nice. Flat and Fast. There were two trips over a bridge at the south end of the beach area, but nothing big. The first half of the race went south down past the aquarium and water park, then looped through a Marine base before heading back downtown. The second half of the course was the same as the half marathon course, which went north up and around Fort Story, then back through Fort Story past the lighthouses. Finishing up with a long run through town and a finish stretch on the boardwalk.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %0
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2009-03-25 8:35 PM

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Extreme Veteran
Cary, NC
Subject: Shamrock Sportsfest Marathon

2009-03-25 8:57 PM
in reply to: #2040512

Subject: RE: Shamrock Sportsfest Marathon
Awesome job Keith! Shamrock was my first marathon too! It was freezing the day I did it.. Ready to come to Florida and run one?  Congrats again, you worked hard and had fun, right?
2009-03-27 7:36 AM
in reply to: #2040512

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Extreme Veteran
Williamsburg, Virginia
Subject: RE: Shamrock Sportsfest Marathon
Great job and congrats. That must have been a tough 3+ hour drive after the run.
2009-03-27 10:21 PM
in reply to: #2040512

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Chapel Hill, NC
Subject: RE: Shamrock Sportsfest Marathon
Great race report. You did a great job, despite training problems and GI issues! Marathons scare the heck out of me!
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