Shamrock Half Marathon (1:33.06) 

Running the Shamrock half marathon this year was not one of my better ideas.

I was running three weeks post marathon.
I am working to recover from my bum butt injury.  While my hip and butt are improving, I’m not completely healed.
I knew it wasn’t a smart idea but Shamrock is one of my favorite races.  I didn’t originally travel to Virginia to race Shamrock.  I was in town taking care of wedding things.  I planned to run the race until it hurt too much.  Then I would stop.  Since obviously I finished the race my pain never got out of control.  (ETA: My bum butt was sore the next day though). 
Anyways, we got to the race at 5:45.  Shamrock is tricky because you never know exactly how parking will work out.  My dad, T and his dad, ended up having plenty of time before the race. I am always arriving late so it was a nice change.  We walked and headed to the start.  None of us warmed up and we all stood around chatting.  I never got to make a final bathroom stop because the line was so long (probably close to half an hour) but I figured I could just go at one of the porta potties on course if needed.
At the start I met up with Kris L and Rochelle.  We briefly chatted and by the time I knew it…it was time to go!
shamrock 2
T and I ran the first mile together.  We found ourselves with the 1:35 pacers.  Funny enough, the 1:35 pacers were the same 1:45 pacers at the Harbor Lights Half Marathon.  So my two experiences running with pacers…were with the same pacers.
By mile 2, T had dropped me and I found myself hanging out with the 1:35 pace group.  We talked about random life events, life and New Jersey.
Honestly the next five miles flew by and by the time I knew it, we were at the halfway point.  The pain in my piriformis felt exactly the same as when I started the race.  It was no better or no worse.  It was just a literal pain in the butt.  My bum butt wasn’t causing me too much harm so I just continued.
shamrock 4
The first half of the race averaged a 7:11 pace.  I felt more out of shape than anything (but that didn’t really stop me talking).  I can tell I haven’t raced fast in a while. I decided if I was still feeling good by mile 10, I would attempt to push the pace.
Around mile 9, the famous Kris L strolled by us.  She made us look like we were all standing still.  We chatted for a few minutes and then she continued to run fast and drop us.  The pacers and I laughed for a while and said we felt famous for the few minutes she ran by.  It’s not every day that such a stellar runner runs by you during a race.
By mile 10, I determined I was feeling decent enough to push the pace…so I did. Mile 10 I ran in 6:55.  I didn’t feel great but I also didn’t feel awful either.  I felt the same as if I was running a 7:10 pace so I just rolled with it.
At mile 11, there was beer!  When I ran with the 1:45 pacers at Harbor Lights, they encouraged me to take a Bakers Crust Pie.  This time for 1:35, they encouraged me to take a cup of beer…so I thought…eh why not. I have no regrets.
Mile 12 was a 6:52 mile.  Another person in the pace group and I ran the last mile together until he sprinted to the finish.   We ran mile 13 at 6:41.  I felt more strong during the last few miles then the first few.  My piriformis felt the same as when I started the race.  So my bum butt had no change in injury status,
shamrock 3
This is a prouder race photo I’ve had.
I finished the half in 1:33.06, which is about 10 minutes slower than my PR.  I’m not upset because I know I’m not at a PR fitness level right now.  I’m still recovering from my bum butt issue as well as recovering from a marathon.  It;s not a great time for me but it was a fun time.  I have no regrets running the race.
As I always say, Shamrock is one of the best races I’ve done.  The crowd, the cheering, and the race organization cannot be beat.  It’s a race that I would always recommend.  If you are ever looking for a well put together goal race (8k, half or full) Shamrock is one I highly recommend.
T and I post race.
T and I post race.
Questions for you:
Did you race a St. Patricks Day race?
Have you ever run a race that you felt better at the end versus beginning?