Yuengling Shamrock Dolphin Challenge
March 19-20, 2011 - Virginia Beach, VA
Saturday: Towne Bank 8K - 1:04:54
Sunday: Shamrock Half Marathon: 03:08:03
Race Summary: Ran "nearly naked" all weekend long (no watch to keep track of race pace) and had a fantastic time enjoying the Race, my Friends, the Beach and, of course, the Beer!
Also picked up my HALF FANATICS membership by finishing 3 Half Marathons within 72 days! I am already looking at the list, trying to figure out how to move up to the next level of membership since "3 Half Marathons in 90 days" is only Level One.
THE LONG VERSION: (grab some coffee or a pint...this was a long weekend!)
Friday: Race Expo Fun
Headed down to Virginia Beach with my wonderful friends and Team Z teammates, Leanne and Judy and we timed it perfectly! 3.5 hours from my front door to the Race Expo in Virginia Beach. We had fun picking up our race packet and shopping the Expo. It always nice to be at a Race Expo with friends who like to check out every vendor. I bought an official Shamrock Race pint glass for Jim and a commemorative race pin for me and managed to leave the expo with only the two race shirts that were part of my registration! That is a real accomplishment for me! LOL
We headed to our hotel. Judy reserved a room in the Hampton Inn Oceanside - PERFECT LOCATION! It was right on the Finish Line chute for all the races for the weekend as well as the START for the 8K race and the 12-mile point of the Marathon. We were within walking distance of the Finish Line and Beer Tent! It doesn't get much better than that.
We headed out to dinner at "Rudee's on the Inlet" and had a great meal and then went back to the Hampton Inn to chill, get ready to race the 8K and wait for the arrival of our friend/teammate Keri - who rolled in about 10PM. Let the MEGA SLEEPOVER / RACE WEEKEND Begin!
Saturday: Dolphin Challenge - Race #1: Towne Bank 8K (4.9 miles)
Got up at 6:30am for an 8am race start, got dressed and headed down to Continental Breakfast at the hotel. Bagel with Peanut butter (standard training/racing breakfast) and glass of Skim Milk and I was ready to go. In retrospect, I realized that I did not eat my breakfast early enough, compared to normal training days - I really felt that during the race.
We walked out the front door of the hotel and were immediately standing in front of Corral 3. We walked over to Corral 4 as a group and Leanne, Judy and I eased into the crowd to wait for the start.
The weather was descent; breezy but temps in the low 50s already - perfect for a nice "almost 5-mile run."
Wave Starts had us crossing the start line about 5 minutes after the Elite Wave and we headed South towards 2nd Ave (start line was 31st Ave) with the wind at our back. I decided that this weekend I was running "Naked" - No Watch or Garmin to keep track of my time or pace - This entire weekend would be about Running for Fun and having a wonderful time with my Friends and Teammates. This would be my last big Team Z Race Weekend, as Jim and I are getting ready to move in the end of April. FUN was the ONLY GOAL!
First 2 miles were OK - I was having some odd lower shin pain and felt really low on energy. It frustrated me a little, since this was the "short run of the weekend." I really had no clue how long we had been on the course because I never saw the Mile 1 marker but we passed a water stop at 1.5 miles (which I know from looking at the race map the day before). Skipped that water stop and just enjoyed being well in the middle of the pack and really tried to let go of how frustrated I was at feeling "kinda empty of energy". With 9,000 people racing the 8K, even my slower pace is still the middle of the pack - no chance to feel like you were alone on this race course.
We hit 2nd Ave and turned onto the Boardwalk and INTO THE WIND for the next mile. The wind gusts were 15-20mph and all around, people were joking and/or moaning about the wind. My shins had finally stopped bugging me, so I was just happy to feel like I finally warmed up a bit. Took a cup of water at Mile 3 / water stop and enjoyed all the "Go Holly!" from fellow Team Z peeps as they passed me. No worries on being passed, I was out to have FUN!
We turned left of the boardwalk sometime around 25th or 27th Ave and back onto Atlantic Ave and ran past the hotel and got a bit of a break from the wind - thanks to all the big hotels for the last mile. Passed the Hampton Inn, passed the Start location for the Half Marathon on Sunday and turned Right for the last quarter mile down the boardwalk to the Finish Line. Treated to a TAIL WIND all the way into the Finish Line and had the pleasure of running with Teammates AJ & Nicolas for a "Three Z Finish."
I expected that I would finish right around 1:00:00 and did not actually look at the Race Clock at the Finish Line because I was busy having fun finishing with my Teammates. Crossed the Finish, got a nice Finisher Medal, met up with Leanne and Judy and we headed straight to the Beer Tent for a Yuengling - By 9:15am - after running 8K - I was standing on the Beach enjoying a beer with good friends!
CHIP TIME: 1:04:54 - This definitely reflects that I was low on energy and could have done a better job of eating breakfast earlier.
Rest of Saturday: Race Expo, Cake Adventures & Team Z Dinner:
Met up with Keri after the 8K, rinsed off and changed and then went back out to the Race Expo so that Keri could pick up her packet for the Half Marathon too. Then Keri and I went on a little COSTCO adventure. Since this would be my last TEAM Z Race Weekend before our move to Alabama, I wanted to do something to say "Goodbye" to my Teammates, so Keri helped me coordinate with Coach Ed and Coach Alexis to bring "dessert" to the Team Z Pasta Dinner on Saturday night.
Keri and I bought 3 huge sheet cakes for the 130+ folks that were going to be at the Team Z Pasta Dinner and then we headed back to the Hamton Inn to chill out with Leanne, Judy and Alexis until it was time to go to Dinner.
Had a wonderful time at the Team Z Pasta Dinner and Coach Alexis helped me tell the Team "Goodbye" and we all enjoyed some tasty cake - then we headed back to the hotel for an early night before the Half Marathon in the AM.
That's it for PART 1....
Yuengling Half Marathon to follow in Part II (Damn this is long! LOL)