The Shamrock Half Marathon – Virginia Beach and Williamsburg, VA

Spring break!!!  I’m finally done with Pathophysiology.  I squeaked by with a A by a mere 6 points!  My upcoming class is Philosophy, which I’m less than thrilled about.  But, we’ll see…

So, it’s no secret that I’ve been feeling pretty burnt out recently.  All work and no play makes for a rather depressed and stressed-out Caty. Which is why I’ve been super excited about my upcoming Shamrock Half Marathon!  Not to mention the fact that since it’s a flat course, I have a really good chance of coming in under 2 hours (which is one of my goals for 2013).  If nothing else, I’m sure to get a PR!

On our way to VA Beach!
Hubby and I
Cole was such a good baby and slept most of the way down!
Little Man and I at the Expo
Hubby, Little Man, and I
Happy baby!
Bart Yasso from Runner’s World. Geek-out moment!!
All decked out for race day

We got down to VA Beach on Saturday around 12:30pm.  I had worked all Thursday night, didn’t get much sleep on Friday and had to stay up late to finish packing.  Note to self: make sure you don’t work a 12hr night shift three nights before a race, especially if you have to travel.  There was a speaker at the expo at 1pm that I was totally geeking out about.  Bart Yasso is the Chief Running Officer at Runner’s World magazine, and he was doing a talk on the joys and power of running.  He is basically the Running Guru.  He even has some speed workout named after him (Yasso 800s, which I plan on doing soon)!  He was the one who personally emailed me back about Crowdrise when I asked Runner’s World how to start running for a charity (when I started Team Outrun Mito).  He has a marathon on all 7 continents, even while battling with Lyme disease.  Overall, just an inspiring runner, and a really funny guy (as we found out at the expo)!

I also go to meet a Facebook friend for the first time!  Deb Buenaga contacted me last year when MitoAction posted my information about Team Outrun Mito.  Her youngest son has Mito, and she is the founder of Preston’s March for Energy which is a non-profit organization that supplies bicycles for disabled children.  She lives in Delaware, but since one of her family members is part of the organization that puts on the Shamrock race series, they come down for it every year.  I was unable to run last year due to being 6 months pregnant, so I was very excited to finally meet Deb this year!

After hemming and hawing about what to wear, I finally settle on my thin running tights with my special green Running Skirt over top – I can’t very well run a St. Patrick’s Day race without wearing green, now can I?  I opt for my Lululemon green tank top under my white Underarm long sleeves, complete with my green fingernail polish, gloves, and hat.  You can tell all that from the picture, right?

Since we were up and in the car an hour and a half before the race started, we were able to find a pretty decent parking space on 25th Street, which gave me a nice 15 blocks to warm up to the starting line.  Even though my Accuweather app called for cloudy and possible rain, I brought my “lucky” Oakley sunglasses with me.  Really, it’s just because I hate running in my regular glasses.  Something about those shades help put me in race-mode.

At the start. I’m in the center in the blue fleece behind the girl in green.

The weather could have been worse – it could have been raining!  As it was, it was a cold 30 degree morning with wind gusts up to 20mph.  Between miles 3-5, the course was more inland and shaded on either side by lots of trees.  I actually broke into a little sweat at this point, but as soon as we entered Fort Story, the wind cut in on the side and stayed there the rest of the run.  It was enough to make one feel cold and sweaty at the same time.  I was so grateful I didn’t throw away my long sleeve shirt!

Notice that there are no finish line pictures of me…  Well, there’s a story to that.  I finished in 2:02:22, just 2 minutes and 23 seconds off the time I really wanted.  And yes, I was pretty bummed about that.  But on the bright side, I did shave 13 minutes off my previous PR!  🙂
So, there was supposed to be a blue family reunion tent at the finish line.  After limping through the chute and being loaded up with bananas, pretzels, fluids, and my finisher items (medal and a very welcome fleece blanket), I found myself on the beach looking at a humongous white tent, aka the beer tent.  Though it was much warmer inside due to lots of sweaty runners and no wind, there was no”family reunion” area.  And, as usual, I had left my bag – with my cell phone – with David.  Not helpful.  So here I am – damp, sore, and beginning to violently shiver – wandering between the beer tent and the finish chute, trying to think where I could find David.  This goes on for an hour, at which point I know I am rapidly approaching hypothermia.  Last time that happened, I had a lovely ambulance ride to St. Francis where I spent 4 hours in their ER and almost 2 whole days before I felt human again.

A windy finish on the boardwalk
Mommy took too long, so Little Man fell asleep

As I’m shaking and stumbling towards the first aid tent, a kind gentleman and woman recognize that I’m not doing so well and escort me over to first aid.  The woman was apparently a nurse and was trying to help me calm my breathing down.  The techs that were working that area have to all but drag me back out and across the finish chute to the larger medic tent, where I vaguely remember lots of people checking my vital signs and asking me too many questions.  One of them gets a hold of David, who eventually found me.  Apparently, Little Man got bored and fell asleep amidst the screaming finish line spectators.  🙂  I’d like to think that I learned my lesson from last time, because I only spent an hour in the medic tent.

Spending a cold, drizzly day in Colonial Williamsburg
On the shuttle going back to the car
My little baby is getting so big…

Since I didn’t want to spend 3+ hours in the car right after running 13.1 miles, we drove a little over an hour to spend two days in Williamsburg.  David had found a Groupon for a very nice resort just outside downtown Willaimsburg.  I’m pretty sure the condo is almost twice the size of our apartment!  Sunday evening was spent in watching Little Man explore the large condo, eating dinner at Baker’s Crust, and watching some TV before bed.  Monday was another cold, drizzly day.  David had found another Groupon for passes for Colonial Willamsburg, so we braved the cold and walked in 18th century Willamsburg.  We toured the Capital building, the coffee shop that served little cups of coffee afterwards, and the Governor’s Palace.  Though I was a hungry and cold Caty-cicle at the end, I greatly enjoyed the time with Hubby and Little Man.  We all got some time together, without any real responsibilities (laundry, cooking dinner, work, etc.).  We left on Tuesday morning, feeling re-energized for the next 3 months before my next half marathon.  Yes, I’m already registered and training for my 5th half marathon  – Zooma Annapolis on June 1.  Hopefully, that will be the race where I break 2 hours.

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