Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone!!!
I remember thinking last week…”Okay Kristin, when it’s St. Patrick’s Day, you will be done with your half marathon!”
It is now St. Patrick’s Day, so guess what? I’M DONE WITH MY HALF MARATHON!!!
Party time?! Well, not exactly because uh, I can’t really move that much. I mean, I can hobble around and stuff, but even that’s a bit of a challenge. I’M SORE!!!!!
I don’t mind being sore though because soreness = acknowledgement that I gave it my all!! I put everything on the line and came out of Shamrock Half Marathon a success!!! I’m overwhelmed with joy!!
With this race being my first “real” half marathon (one that I actually trained for as opposed to one I did a few years ago with no training + tons of rain), my original goal (going into my roughly 12 week training period) was to get under a 1:40!
Let me be very specific, I’m a new runner! Going into my half marathon training (12 weeks ago), I ran an average of 12 miles a week! That’s it! Although I know a lot about running and a lot about training (because I’ve been around it for so long), I’m a very new racer! In the past, I’ve put most of my energy into swimming, but that’s all different now. I’m beginning to put equal effort into both swimming and running, which I love! I now run about 30 miles a week!! It’s great!!
BUT back to my Shamrock Half Marathon recap (http://www.shamrockmarathon.com/)!!
ARE YOU READY?!
It all started Saturday morning!! My right leg was still very sore and to be honest, I was very afraid! I needed to run 3 easy miles that morning before I left for the expo. I drove to the Yorktown Battlefields with my husband, got out of the car, and did it! Instead of running an easy pace (like originally prescribed), I decided to run a semi moderate pace to get my legs moving. I had a need for speed baby and honestly, my legs didn’t want any part of it. As I stood by the side of the road, now done with my 3 miles, waiting for my husband to finish his 5, I was basically in tears. My right leg was throbbing and I didn’t know what to do. I mean, after all, what could I do? I could either suck it up or give in to the tears, right?
I decided to think positive and it worked!
The 30 minute drive to Virginia Beach was fun! I even took some pictures!! Surprise, surprise!!!
THE EXPO!!! The Virginia Beach Convention center was very crowded. After all, there were about 10,000 people signed up for the half marathon. I think about 9,000 people actually ran it, though! Irregardless, there were lots of people meandering around, taste testing Nuun, trying on cute headbands, and buying anything that looked the least bit green (in honor of St. Patrick’s Day)! Haha, I loved it!! I had my bib, my husband had his bib, so we were good to go!! We left and ate some really yummy food at Whole Foods!! I’m a big believer in eating certified organic foods (also using organic makeup, hair products and everything else, but that’s another post)! I ate a scrumptious veggie burger, also black beans, sauteed mushrooms, sweet potato wedges, and a crumbled blueberry brownie for dessert. Can you say fabulous??!! It was out of this world delicious!
RACE DAY!! What?! Already?! YES, there wasn’t anytime for NO time because it was GO time!!
Let’s get after it! I got up at 4:30 am, ate half of a bagel, drank a little coffee, had a little Nuun, watched some TV, and then relaxed for a bit. At about 5:45 am, we drove from our hotel to a nearby parking lot (that was a few blocks away from the start), got out of the car, rolled out our legs, put on a sweatshirt, and then made our way to the start line! We stopped at a porta potty on the way to corral 1 (which was our corral). The music was blasting and the crowd was hyped, so I felt a surge of energy.
THE START!! About a minute from the start, I threw off my sweatshirt and the work began!
My pace stayed steady throughout the entire race. I ran next to my husband for 13.1 miles and although we didn’t talk much, his presence was enough to keep me calm.
I experienced some random leg twitches throughout the race, but overall I felt pretty good. I stayed focused, mentally strong, and didn’t let little things get to me (like the wind, uneven pavement, lots of runners, etc.).
The fans really helped to pull me along on some of the long straightaways: There were bells ringing, whistles being blown, loud cheering, lots of colorful signs, and even some adorable dogs on the course. I’m sorry, but no matter how much pain I’m in, I will always smile when I see a dog!! I love animals so much!! My Italian mastiff, Prince, said he was cheering me on from his pet hotel room!! I believe it!!
THE FINISH!! Thank you, THANK YOU, I was finally about to finish! Despite the horrible, gusting wind that lasted 3 whole miles (that caused some people around me to fall off) and the fatigue that had built up in my legs, I finished strong! I began tearing up the last mile and wasn’t even sure I’d be able to smile (for the finish) because my body was so exhausted. My husband ran through the shoot and I followed behind, crossing the finish line, and then literally grabbing his arm (not to embrace him may I add) in a desperate attempt to not fall over. My momentum was so forceful and my legs were so tired that I thought I might just hit the ground, but I didn’t!
MY CHIP TIME!! 1:37:50!!! I was so happy!!! After 3 months of training, my goal had changed (before the race) from getting under 1:40 to getting under 1:38. I DID IT!!
MY PACE!! 7:28 min/mile!! I’d also like to report that my actual pace (from my Garmin watch) was 7:24 min/mile having run 13.2! That’s exciting, right?!
Mile 1 (7:26), Mile 2 (7:24), Mile 3 (7:20), Mile 4 (7:26), Mile 5 (7:31), Mile 6 (7:25), Mile 7 (7:25), Mile 8 (7:26), Mile 9 (7:28), Mile 10 (7:19), Mile 11 (7:24), Mile 12 (7:23), Mile 13 (7:28), .2 (1:16)
I’d also like to thank everyone for your loving support!! You guys are so sweet and I can’t imagine my life without you!! THANK YOU!!
I should be able to download my photos by the end of the week, so for now, thumbnails!!
My next half marathon?! The Crawlin’ Crab Half Marathon October 5th!