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Shamrock Marathon - RunMarathon

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Virginia Beach, Virginia
United States
J&A Racing
40F / 4C
Total Time = 4h 25m 6s
Overall Rank = 1546/2991
Age Group = 40-44
Age Group Rank = 178/281
Pre-race routine:

Marathon starts 1:30 after the Half-Marathon runners go out. I knew streets would be closed and parking a pain if I didn't arrive early. Started pulling into a lot right near the finish line, but they were charging $20 to park. City of VaBeach doesn't enforce parking meters until after April 1st (something everyone should know who comes in to run this event). Found a spot for free three blocks up from finish.
Had a friend from high school running the half. Havent seen him since 1986, so after exchanging cell phone numbers in the days leading up to the event, I found him in his coral about 30 minutes before the start of the half.
After his coral went off, I wandered to dry bag check (which wasn't open for the full folks when I passed it after parking). This was my 5th Shamrock event, and I don't know how many events put on by J&A in this area. I've kind of gotten into a routine, where I head to the lobby of one of the hotels that I frequent often (points) and I hang out in their loby until closer to race time. The bathrooms there are usually extremely clean, and I can sit and relax especially if it is cold outside. From there, I head towards the starting line, but camp out at the fire pits at the Hilton if it is a cold morning, which it was very cold for this event.
About 5-10 minutes before start, wander to my coral.

I probably should have eaten a bit more early on, but wanted to try the run on an empty stomach tech spouted by Hammer Nutrition and Marathon Running Acadamy. I took in 1 hammer gel 10 minutes before start, but I was noticible hungry. I drank half of a 16 oz bottle of water, which I started the run still carrying. Dropped it accidentally at about the 1/2 mile mark and never saw it again.
Peed 3 times before the start (Home, Hotel, & Public Bathroom - seems like a lot to me - is that my age showing itself?) and felt like I could go again at the start.
Nutrition carried with me, 1 carb boom (pre race, didn't take), 3 oz Hammer gel in flask for as needed on the course (only used 1 oz, before the start), and 5 scoops of perpeteum (675 calories) mixed into two small bottles to be taken in 1/6 total per serving (112.5 calories) every 4 miles.

Clothing, thin UnderArmor shirt, Loose Long sleeve winter running top, Nike Rain Coat, shorts, Newton Gravety shoes, ankle socks.
Event warmup:

No warm-up today. I had on throw-away pants and figured I'd take the first mile pretty slow due to crowds anyway. Looked for the 4:20 pace group, but was disapointed to see that the 4:20 pacer didn't show up. Decided I'd try to hang with the 4:15 group.
  • 4h 25m 6s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 10m 07s  min/mile

Again, I planned on running with the 4:20 group but stayed with the 4:15 group for the most part. The group was not stopping for water or bathroom breaks. By mile 8ish, I knew I was going to have to hit a bathroom soon, but didn't want to expend the energy trying to catch back up to what was shaping up to be a fairly fun run group. I upped my pace about 30 seconds per mile and around mile 10, I spotted an empty porto-potty with no line. Felt like I peed forever... but as I exited, my 4:15 group was right there. Hopped back into group (about 30 folks) as we made our way to boardwalk. Boardwalk was head first into a 10-15 mph steady breeze. I tried to get into the middle of the group so they would all shield me from wind, which I think worked great for me.
As we got into the second half of the course, the overall winner flew by us the other direction in OBVIOUS pain. If ever any doubt, I'll never win one of these things as I'll never subject myself to the pain he was appeared to be in. As our group commented about him, we realized that we still hadn't seen second place. I heard after the race that there were three folks bunch together for the lead on Ft Story, so he opened what felt like a 4 minute lead over only a few miles. RESPECT!!! I also took a course provided Carb Boom gel packet at the 13 mile mark.
As we left Atlantic for Shore drive (Miles 15-19), I could feel myself starting to struggle to keep up. I think as a whole, our group slowed a little as mile 19 was the first point where we were a little behind pace. Unfortunately, my wheels pretty much fell off right at mile 19. I had missed my mile 16 perpeteum nutrition - as I had a mild bloating feeling. I pocketed a Carb Boom gel packet, but didn't take it.
From there is was a mental struggle to just keep the legs moving. I wanted to try and keep the 4:15 group in site, but by mile 20-21 they were gone. I started to take a few walk breaks (walked all aid stations from Mile 19 on) I tried to never walk more than 1 minute, and most walk breaks were right around 30 seconds. My walk pace was VERY slow - not at all like my IM walk pace, so I figured the only way to finish was by gutting it out and running, no matter how slow. My time on Ft. Story was very painful and slow, but I passed a LOT of folks who were reduced to only walking by that point. Traded positions with a few other folks doing a run/walk to the finish (A big thank you to the girl in the translucent red shorts and black thong - who was a very lovely vision during the dark moments of the event - Hope those hamstrings eventually loosened up for you). Saw wife and kids at the 26 mile marker and I stopped and hugged them for a few seconds before running it in accross the finish line, a full 1 hour and 12 minutes faster than my previous marathon attempt.
What would you do differently?:

Well, I can't say that I'd train more often, as I ran for 106 consecutive days leading up to this event. Of all the workouts that were "revised" the long run was probably the most common. I needed a LOT more longer runs under me. I thin I had 3 runs of 18 miles, and really nothing of 19-22. Next time I want 3 runs of 20+ miles.

I'm grading this run Average, because the final 7 miles were so painful and off pace. However, the first 18 miles of this run were awesome, really enjoyable. Plus, I'll never shave this much off of a PR again (well, I think I will for my next Full Ironman - and possibly my next HIM.

Nutrition - needed to eat more earlier. I started my day a solid 3 hours before event. I could have had a large 800 calorie breakfast in me and digested it enough before the start to have an empty stomach with a lot more calories to draw from.
Post race
Warm down:

VERY slow shuffle through the swag isle (medal, hat, photo, water, gatoraide, pretzles, cookies, etc.) Long walk to dry bag pick-up included a rest on an empty park bench where wife and kids found me. Laid down and streched back and legs somewhat (shoulders were surprisingly VERY tight - need to relax).
Made our way to the post-race tent for some SALTY beef stew and water. Didn't think I could handle any beer.

Event comments:

5 minute delay to start the Full. Felt like a 15 minute delay for the 1/2, but back in Coral 9...who knows exactly.

I love J&A events and think everyone should choose them if only doing a few events over the course of a year. Shamrock is my favorite. This was my 5th Shamrock (2 8k's, 2 Half Mary's, and 1 Mary) and I'll be registering for next year's full next week.
I was glad to meet up with friend from HS before the race, though he had to leave for DC before Marathon was completed.

Last updated: 2012-12-10 12:00 AM
04:25:06 | 26.2 miles | 10m 07s  min/mile
Age Group: 178/281
Overall: 281/2991
Performance: Average
Timex Global Trainer actually worked. Too much data to hand write down. Short version, Mile 1-19 at 9:45 pace, with HR slowly climbing from 140's to 160's over that span. Miles 20-26 = 10:00 - 11:00 pace with HR mostly in the 150's. Avg HR for entire event was 157... too high.
Course: Figure 8 course. Mostly flat with the only two noticible elevation points being out and back over the Rudy Inlet Bridge. Always windy along the boardwalk. Lots of water/gatorade stops. Wish more nutrition was available, but as I pack my own, not sure I'd use it. A few long, slow, very gradual uphill sections, that are surely offset by some downhills sections, that I never seem to notice. :) Mostly all Paved street running. Some grass side paths available on Ft. Story.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? No
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2013-03-19 3:41 PM

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Smithfield, VA
Subject: Shamrock Marathon
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