Shamrock Half Marathon (1:29.52)

Shamrock Half Marathon (1:29.52)

This was my 8th year running Shamrock. Many long term readers know but I grew up in the greater VA Beach area. 1:29.52 is neither my fastest nor my slowest Shamrock. It’s on the slower side, but that’s okay.

Last year I had an incredible experience that would be hard to beat and ran a 1:23. This year the goal was just to finish healthy. My training over the winter was nothing to write home about, and I’ve come to terms that this Spring might be a rebuilding season for me (something I personally seem to need after every marathon?).

Anyway, I arrived at the start around 6 am. The weather was ideal. It was low 40s, some wind but not much. Most importantly, it wasn’t raining. Two years ago,it poured rain and was low 30s.

Before the race, I met up with my good friend Jen. We haven’t seen each other since we both lived in NYS. We’ve both since moved, but it was nice to catch up. She ultimately ran a 1:18 and placed 3rd.

Yuengling Shamrock Half Marathon Virginia Beach me running

After that, I tooled around and got to the start about 5 minutes early. I talked with rabbit teammate, Nick, and by the time I knew it, we were off.

Since the half and full start together now, it was crowded. Right off the bat, I felt decent. Plus unlike the day prior, I remembered to start my watch. I plugged along and cruised the first mile in 6:44. I felt good and realized a sub 90 minute half was doable if I continued to feel okay through the race — a great goal to make a mile 1.

Yuengling Shamrock Half Marathon Virginia Beach me running

At mile 2, I saw my dad’s friend and waved. I started getting into a rhythm.  The next three miles were relatively boring. I logged 6:44, 6:44, 6:40 (mile 4 on the gradual uphill was my fastest), 6:44. At mile 5, I was feeling good. I thought wow, this is much faster than I anticipated (I didn’t have a goal prerace, but didn’t anticipate being that fast either).

Then we entered Fort Story, and it all changed. Fort Story is a lonely part of the race. Unless you have a military ID, spectators can’t get on the base. It’s right along the water so extremely windy. In fact, one year there was a layer of sand across the entire course.

Miles 7-9 broke me both mentally and physically. I didn’t feel good, and I was running alone. There was some wind but nothing terrible. It wasn’t that I didn’t feel good because I had raced the day before, I just mentally felt disconnected and my legs felt stale. I told myself, make it to mile 10, and you’ll be heading directly home. I ran a 6:55, 6:59, 6:50, and kept it barely under 7 minutes.

Yuengling Shamrock Half Marathon Virginia Beach me running

I knew the 90-minute pace group was probably catching me soon.  Around mile 10, a man started talking to me about “my form”.  I wasn’t feeling the greatest and not in the mood to chat. We kept plugging along.

Mile 11 went down with nothing major. I ran a 6:55 and we had some wind at our backs. At mile 12, the 90-minute/3 hour marathon pace group engulfed me. I thought, wow I really did slow down. I also felt my shoe beginning to come untied, and it just felt like the wheels had come off.

The group engulfed and went around me and it stung. I hit mile 12 just over 1:22 and I knew I was still at 1:30 pace. Now I was just much closer than the start of the race. It made me feel a little better the group was ahead of their goal pace.

The last mile goes to directly into the wind. When you’re close to a time goal, running into the wind the last mile is the last thing you want to do.  You can see the tent and King Neptune and it just never feels like it’s getting closer.

Yuengling Shamrock Half Marathon Virginia Beach me running

Then at mile 13, I saw it click 1:29:10.

Yuengling Shamrock Half Marathon Virginia Beach me running

I tried to sprint as hard as I could to the finish. I didn’t have much gas left but it was enough to get right under 1:30.

Yuengling Shamrock Half Marathon Virginia Beach me running

Thoughts:

I’m pleased with the race but know I have a long way to go fitness wise. In all, another good Shamrock. It’s one of my favorite races of the year and I always enjoy seeing local friends as well as others that come from far.

Yuengling Shamrock Half Marathon Virginia Beach me running

Yuengling Shamrock Half Marathon Virginia Beach

Chilling on the beach with Nick

Questions for you:

Have you run a race for several years in a row?

What is your favorite race? 

 

Adrenaline 5k (19:26)

On Saturday I ran the Adrenaline Run 5k. The Adrenaline Run is one of the most competitive 5ks in the greater Philadelphia/New Jersey area. It sells out every year and the typically the first 150 finishers all run under 20 minutes. This year I ran 19:26 and was around 130th place.

I’m biased by RunningCo. Always does a great job putting the race together and it’s always a lot of fun. Anyway, after an exhausting and busy week, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I knew I wouldn’t be running 18:29 like last year, but I was hoping to be faster than the last 5k I ran.

I warmed up a few miles and got to the start line around 10 minutes early. Since I knew quite a few people there, (I would think about 1/3rd), I talked and caught up with several people. Before I knew it, we were off.

The start is jam-packed. Since I knew I would be nowhere near the front, I didn’t line up in the front. As we began running, I realized around .5 I had forgotten to start my watch. In a 5k, I thought it seemed silly to start it then, so I just didn’t. I’ve run races with GPS before, and while it’s nice to know your splits, your legs still move without a watch. I could have run 22 minutes or 18 minutes, and I would have had no clue.

The first mile was crowded. It was hard to get any rhythm. We ran straight into a headwind. It was one of the windier days and so we were just running into a headwind down Kings Highway. I saw my co-workers and friends in front of the store which is always motivating.

We rounded the corner near Saxbys and went straight into the neighborhoods. It’s a long flat, windy stretch. If it wasn’t windy, it’s easy to build speed there.

Just after mile 1, we turned the corner, went down a small downhill and hit the water stop. It was nice not to be in the wind anymore. We went up a few inclines. My husband, who hasn’t been running much, passed me around mile 2. I was happy for him and just focused on the last mile.

The last mile went straight back Kings Highway and headed towards the finish. It’s flat and fast, and this year with the tailwind it was even faster. (A perk of the headwind going out). If I were to guess, my bet is my last mile was somewhere around 6:0X because of the tailwind. With the long stretch, you can see the finish line for over a half mile away.

me running adrenaline run

I saw the clock go over 19 and I knew somewhere where I was speed wise. I had no clue until that point. I powered as much as I could and crossed in 19:26. I’m happy with my effort for where I am, fitness wise. It’s always tough not to compare yourself to a faster year, but it’s my fastest 5k in several months so I can’t complain about that.

Finally, have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport. 

Questions for you:

What is your favorite 5k?

Have you ever raced without a watch? I’ve done many. At my first marathon, NYCM, my watch stopped working at the start (and it never worked again).

Training Log: 2 Races and Building Fitness

Training Log: 2 Races and Building Fitness

Last week was exhausting for life and exhausting for running. It wasn’t until Friday that I felt like I wasn’t “on the go” and had some time for myself.  I feel like the last two weeks I’m starting to see glimpses of fitness come back. While I’m still nowhere near where I would like, I’ve made a successful jump towards it.

Monday: Easy 60 minutes/Core
Tuesday: OFF
Wednesday: 6X800s jog/800 easy (total miles 10)
Thursday: OFF
Friday: Easy 60 minutes/Core
Saturday: Adrenaline Run 5k (19:26)
Sunday: Shamrock Half Marathon (1:29.52)

Thoughts:

I took 2 rest days off again. I think I’m going to continue that trend for a few weeks as I increase my speed. Increasing speed and keeping at high mileage, is a recipe for disaster. On Tuesday, I just felt exhausted, and I had no energy. I knew any run wouldn’t be worth it. So I didn’t.  The easy runs were just easy and boring.  Many people ask about core my core routine, and I wrote about that here.

Workout Wednesday: 6X800s averaging 6:01 pace

This is one of my faster workouts in a while. I was surprised at how good I felt.  The last few were even under 6 minutes. I jogged 800 between for a total of 10 miles with warmup/cooldown.

Adrenaline Run 5k: 19:26

I’ll have a full recap later.  It’s my fastest 5k in several months. I didn’t feel good or bad, just meh.  The weather was windy with a good headwind or tailwind.  It’s been a fun race for me, because I get to see so many local people since our running store hosts it.  I was too busy talking to start my watch so I had no idea what I was running. I wouldn’t have run any different if I knew my splits.

Shamrock Half Marathon: 1:29.52

Of the two races, I’m happier with the 5k. I took the half out faster than I should have and faded quite a bit in the final miles. I’m proud that I was somehow able to muster up the energy to run just under 90 minutes. I won’t say I’m terribly excited about running a 1:30 half, but I’m not devastated either.  It was a good effort for where I’m at fitness-wise right now.

For now, I’m just plugging along. I’m hoping to keep the momentum of training and slowly getting back into shape.

Posts from the Week:

Guide to Vital Proteins Products: Collagen Peptides, Whey, and Gelatin

9 Years ago I Began Running

Glycerin 17 Shoe Review

Finally, have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport. 

Questions for you:

What was your best workout?

How long does it take for you to “feel in shape”? 

Old Bridge Diner

Old Bridge Diner

Recently I was at the Old Bridge Diner with Jess. I have driven by the Old Bridge Diner a couple of times but never stopped.

Atmosphere: A
The outside is a large, shiny, metallic, diner. It looks the part of a stereotypical NJ diner. The inside has a full-length bar, plenty of booths, tables, and a small dessert case.

Old Bridge Family Diner

Coffee: B
The coffee was good, and the waitress brought plenty of refills. It was piping hot, which was nice for the cold day.

Old Bridge Family Diner

Food: B
The Old Bridge Diner has everything you would want in a NJ diner. There are plenty of breakfast options like eggs and pancakes, as well as lunch and dinner options. I noticed on the front board, the “pork chop special” so I decided to go with that. I had no idea what it came with, I just noticed the “pork chop special” and rarely turn down good pork chops.

Old Bridge Family Diner

I decided to order a small greek salad instead of the regular salad. Truthfully, the salad was somewhat plain. Not terrible, nor bad. It could have used olives or something to give it more of a “greek flair.”

My pork chops were delicious and topped with sauteed vegetables. The balsamic glaze was perfect, and they were cooked nicely. They were in the top of diner pork chops I’ve had.

Old Bridge Family Diner

My meal also came with a potato and chose baked.

Dessert: A
Since my meal came with dessert, I chose bread pudding. A unique addition to the bread pudding was the pear inside. I don’t know if I’ve ever had pear inside my bread pudding and it was great. I have no complaints.

Old Bridge Family Diner

Service: A
Our waitress was extremely friendly, and our food came out fast. Everything about the service was great.

Cost: $
For my special and coffee, the cost was $20.

Overall Thoughts/Would I Come Back?
I liked the Old Bridge Diner and would come back if the opportunity presented itself.

Atmosphere: A
Coffee: B
Food: B
Desert: A
Service: A
Cost: $15-20
Overall: A

You Can See All 234 Diner Reviews Here.

Questions for you:
Do you like pork chops?
What is your favorite dessert? 

Guide to Vital Proteins Products: Collagen Peptides, Whey, and Gelatin

Guide to Vital Proteins Products: Collagen Peptides, Whey, and Gelatin

As many people know, I’m a Vital Proteins Ambassador and have been using Vital Proteins Collagen for over a year now.

One of the most common questions I get is: Which is best?

Unflavored peptides?

Whey?

Beauty Greens?

Like most anything, it depends on your goals. Any quality Collagen can benefit most people.

Vital proteins collagen gelatin

I’ve written several posts of how it’s personally helped me including:

Why Collagen Post Run?
Hair and Nail Benefits of Collagen
Skin Benefits from Collagen
Top Benefits of Collagen

Before we Dive into Different Products, a Few Things About All Vital Protein Products:

  • Free from artificial ingredients and sweeteners.
  • Contain All Real Food

So Why Use Collagen?

If you are looking for a protein powder, Vital Proteins is the most natural. There is just one ingredient, collagen.  The body produces collagen naturally.

Vital Proteins Collagen Guide:

Unflavored Collagen Peptides:

The unflavored is your basic collagen. It mixes well with almost everything from hot beverages to cold, to baking recipes. Yes, it does taste flavorless. The unflavored collagen peptides are the most popular, and one of the easiest solutions for anyone wanting to improve their overall wellness routine.

You can add it to almost everything since it tastes like nothing. If you’re not into fru fru and fancy, this is the Vital Protein product for you.

Flavored Collagen:

Like the unflavored collagen, the flavored collagen has all of the benefits from collagen, but also has probiotics and is flavored.  It should just be a subcategory and has the same benefits as unflavored but with flavor.

The flavors contain no added sweeteners.  There is anything from vanilla to blackberry to mixed berry. I’m a fan of mixed berry myself! It’s a great option when you want a hint of flavor in baking or smoothies.

Marine Collagen Peptides:

Vital Proteins Marine Collagen is very similar to the unflavored. It mixes into both hot and cold liquid. The difference is where the collagen comes from. Marine Collagen comes from snapper (fish), where the unflavored collagen comes from Bovine.

Gelatin:

Gelatin can be confusing, and it appears almost identical to regular collagen.  I wrote a longer post here about the differences.

In short, gelatin is still collagen, but the processing is different.  When gelatin cools, it becomes a “gel-like” substance. It resembles jello and is a great thickening agent for smoothies or even making your own gummies!

One of the significant benefits of gelatin versus collagen is with digestion. It helps to coat the digestive tract. Gelatin is known to help those with a leaky gut syndrome or IBS.

One thing to keep in mind is that gelatin doesn’t actually thicken until it begins to cool.  If you heat it, it’s still liquid or soup like.

Collagen Whey:

Collagen Whey is my favorite product. The Collagen Whey has just whey protein and collagen.  The product is loaded with hyaluronic acid, probiotics, and amino acids. I usually have a serving almost every day.

If you are looking for collagen with more protein, the whey is your best bet. There are 25 grams of protein, plus 10 grams of collagen in each serving. I make a lot of smoothies from the whey. A few of my favorite are:

Vanilla Almond Recovery Protein Smoothie Recipe

Vital Proteins Berry Blast Recovery Smoothie

Vital Proteins Recovery Smoothie

Vanilla Almond Recovery Protein Smoothie Recipe vital proteins

Hopefully, this Vital Proteins helps you decide what is best for you.  I’ve personally used each of these so if you have any questions feel free to ask.  I’ll have another guide to the lesser known product next month.

Thank you Vital Proteins for allowing to me continue to be an ambassador.

Questions for you: Do you use Collagen? If so, what’s your favorite?

 

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