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!
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.
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,
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.
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?