Monday, March 22, 2010

Shamrock Half Race Result!

Okay, so I’m not sure if anyone noticed, but I said NOTHING about my goals for the Shamrock Half Marathon. The reason being that I originally signed up to run this race by the side of my friend, Meghan. It was her first half. I did the Army 10 Miler with her in the fall when I was training for the OBX half.

In DC, all the snowfall that we had made getting to the gym pretty difficult here over the winter. Meghan wasn’t able to train as much as she wanted. I think the longest run she did before race day was 8 miles.

I didn’t want to leave her side. But I also didn’t want to walk. PERSONALLY, I don’t think I would have been able to run an entire half marathon with only one eight mile training run before the race. Up until yesterday I’ve also only ran half marathons alone. So maybe that’s why in my mind this seems pretty impossible/painful. And she did at least know what it’s like to complete a 10 mile race…..

I showed up in Virginia Beach on Friday night to pick up my packet from the expo. I finally got a race technical shirt that fits me (third half’s the charm!) I also bought a Shamrock Half Marathon T-shirt and shot glass. Last year I NEVER would have spent the extra money, but I knew I really liked this race and figured I’d advertise it to everyone I see at the gym (and anyone who asks me for a vessel with which to measure their liquor.) My three friends who were doing the race (MEGHAN, Sarah, and Caitlin) weren’t coming into town until Saturday. I used Friday night to catch up with some friends from college/watch March Madness.

On Saturday the four of us running the race checked into the Homewood Suites in Virginia Beach. It wasn’t ocean front (about a 15 minute drive to the starting line). But it had a special rate for Shamrock runners. We each paid $22 for a room with a kitchen, king size bed, and queen size sleep sofa. The hotel also had a free breakfast (that started early on raceday), pool/hot tub (Score!), and offered us a late checkout for free. I’d totally stay there again! For whatever money the hotel lost offering a cheaper rate it must have gained in loyalty by catering to the needs of runners!!!

Some of the hotels I researched online were requiring a two night stay for a discount or increased their rate because they knew a lot of people would be needing a hotel during what is typically their “off season.” Side Note: There is NOTHING that irritates me more than people who try to make a buck off of the running community (which is known for being friendly) and [most-likely] do not run races themselves. GRR. It makes me want to scream at them “Get off you’re ass or stop acting like one!” Not like I’ll ever encounter them. But that’s my opinion of greedy hotel owners and the people putting premiums on race bibs on Craig’s List.

Anyway, after checking into our hotel. We went down to the beach. Then we checked out the race finish line. The marathon bananas, pretzels, and bottles of water were already sitting out. We also saw a Yuengling truck making a delivery! It was a really warm day so Meghan and I didn’t bother to bring sweatshirts. As soon as the sun went down we realized this was a mistake and we’re both the proud new owners of VB souvenir shop sweat shirts. Mine’s black. Probably not something I would have bought otherwise. But, I’m sure I’ll laugh every time I wear it. And any piece of clothing that makes me happy is a worthwhile purchase.

We went to dinner at Giovanni’s Pizza & Pasta. Besides an understandably long wait for our food, (everyone and their brother (who was a runner) wanted pasta in an area known for seafood) I was pleased with this restaurant. We ordered three very different dishes [seafood Alfredo, pasta with meatballs and tomato cream sauce, chicken cacciatore] and all were delicious.

This was actually my first time EVER carb loading with pasta before a race. I’m weird and don’t really like pasta all that much. I might do it again. Since I felt great during the race…

After dinner it was more March Madness at the hotel (let’s not even discuss the bracket I made with Kansas winning it all) and I went for a dip in the hotel hot tub. I met two runners from OH-IO (a mother and daughter)…then it was bedtime. Right before bed Meghan told me

“I’m glad you’re doing this with me. This is one of my life goals. I’m nervous but excited to make it happen.”

Ironically, I had ran the most halves of anyone in our group, and I was the one who slept the WORST. I’m mostly blaming allergies/excitement but in the tossing and turning I decided..

“I CAN’T leave Meghan. There is NO WAY I can leave Meghan. I’m trying to run 4 of these this YEAR. This may be the only half marathon she does in her LIFE. I’m going to stick with her.”

Meghan (and I) ran the entire race in 2:26:32.

45ish seconds faster than I finished the race last year.

45ish seconds slower than I finished the OBX Half.

I have so many things I want to share that it’s going to take more than one post. BUT for those of you dying to hear a result. There it is. Oh and here is the four of us in a pre-race picture at the Homewood Suites on Cleveland St.

1 comment:

Adam said...

That is awesome! Congrats.

I'm with you on getting pissed about hotels etc taking advantage of the runner community.

BTW - your friend is amazing for being able to finish in such a good time after only going 8 miles before. I'm with you - there is no way that i could have done that!