This past weekend is easily one of my favorites year after year. For one, its my youngest childs birthday and two, its Shamrock races weekend. Shamrock, in my opinion, is the big kick off for Spring in Virginia Beach. Most people are aware of the half and full races but there is also an 8K, Final Mile for kids, and the cutest Leprechaun Dash you’ll ever see making the whole weekend a family fun celebration complete with an after-party in a huge tent on the beach (band and beer too!).
Friday I was lucky enough to be one of the elites asked by J&A Racing to speak at a local elementary school pep rally. The kids in this school have been training for the Final Mile and enthusiastically raising money for Operation Smile. Hearing their stories, seeing their excitement, and learning the “ice cream & cake” dance meant more to me than I’m sure my appearance and little talk did for them. I’m always so focused on the goal oriented aspect of running, that while I try to be a good ambassador, the social & community side sometimes evades me. This was a huge reminder that while PRs are great, the things people (and you) will remember the most years from now are the friendships and smiles made. The other speaker for our pep rally was Joanna Zeiger, last years Shamrock Marathon winner and, no big deal, but she’s also an Olympian. Big thanks to our coordinator, Jess Horton, for introducing us so graciously. I wasn’t able to get a picture of the three of us, but here is one of Joanna, a friend Justin Turner, & I right before the Shamrock Half. Justin also spoke at another school.
Sunday morning I picked up my friend and training partner, Megan, at 5:40 am and we headed to the oceanfront as we were both entered in the Half marathon. I think I may have mentioned it before but this was not a race for me. The Boston Marathon is a month away and with my calf only 90% healed, now is not the time to risk restraining it so the plan was to run for fun. I thought it would be difficult for me to see friends racing while I was running, but honestly it wasn’t. I ran the first half with friends while we chatted, then after we got separated I seemed to run from pack to pack to talk to friends along the way. In one group I found Hollie. I was laughing because she had a whole pack of runners laughing and chatting along with her. She’s like a really speedy running party.
There is not much to recap about my race. I did not wear a watch and later my coach pointed out that I ran 10 miles at sub 6:50 pace while having fun. With the amount of cross training I’ve been doing, I’ve been questioning my own fitness, so that was nice to hear. I may not be in the shape of my life for Boston, but I’m not at my worst either. We are making the best of the situation and I’m still
a little a lot on cloud 9 about my Boston bib so nothing is stopping this smile. My finishing time for the Shamrock Half was 1:31:33 for 48th female.
After my race, the real fun began. All of us halfers celebrated briefly then the cheering for the full was underway. Shamrock brought in an amazing elite field on both the mens and womens side. Also, two of my good runner friends made their marathon debuts. Ben D. and Kellie both killed it!! Kellie’s recap is worth a read so check it out. I got a little sunburn out there cheering even with the new hat we received at the finish line.
Sunday afternoon, I was exhausted from the weekend festivities. I iced, rolled, stretched, and relaxed. I’ve been doing a bunch of reading during my rest time and thought I’d let you all know about this great new book. Runners World has sent me Meb Keflezighi’s new book called Meb for Mortals. It’s sooooo good! I don’t want to give anything away but here is the link to purchase- Meb for Mortals. He touches on diet, mental game, stretching, & his own personal story…basically everything he currently does or has done to become the great Meb. Rarely do running books address how to feel or react when you prepare perfectly and DON”T meet your goal, Meb does in this book and I think every one of us can appreciate that. I know I do.
Congrats to all the Shamrock runners!! I feel so lucky to have met a few of you this past weekend. Enjoy that well deserved recovery time!!