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? 

Categories: Tags: , , ,


  1. Gosh Hollie you always impress me, even injured you run a half-marathon faster than I ever will lol. So glad to hear your bum isn’t any worse! Sounds like you had a great time and enjoyed the race too, that’s what its all about anyway right?

  2. Great job Hollie!! You are a very talented runner!! I love your attitude! Your dedication is amazing! XOXO

  3. Running with you for a bit during the race, chatting, and hearing you make everyone laugh was the most fun! I know this strange injury is literally a pain in the @ss but your fun attitude is contagious. Loved seeing you and what a cute pic of you and Tim!

  4. Nice time especially considering your injury! Glad it doesn’t feel worse as well. It’s funny when you say a “bum butt” and we Brits call butts bum so it just sounds like you’re saying butt twice to me. Random sorry!
    Can’t believe you had beer. Crazy! At the Paris marathon there was a random man with a table set up giving out dried meats and champagne. This was at like mile 24! Mental.

  5. That time is still pretty incredible especially with your injury. I would have a hard time deciding on a race that I loved too if I wasn’t so hurt that I couldn’t run, but it might not be the best decision in terms of the healing process. It seems like you really had fun with the race though which is awesome. I really need to up my finish line picture game…

  6. Yay!!! You drank beer during a race! Welcome to my running/racing world 🙂 I’m glad you’re feeling better, or at least, not worse!

  7. Shamrock is the best! Glad your enjoyed the race and physically held up so well.

  8. So glad you were able to run without aggravating your injury – it really is an awesome race and I can see why you wanted to do it.

    P.S. the King Neptune challenge people are cray cray.

  9. Love that race photo! some races are meant to be enjoyed glad you finished off strong.

  10. I love how you can run sub-seven miles while drinking beer! I’m so glad you got to have fun and enjoy this race. It sounds like it was such a blast!

  11. I really want to run this race one year-I’ve only heard good things. I’m glad you had a fun race-I love your race photos!

    1. You should def do it when it fits into your schedule Lauren. It’s do much fun whether it’s your goal race or not 🙂

  12. So proud of you finishing with a pain in the butt! It’s hard to run when you feel something, so for you to START a race with tiny discomfort takes a lot of mental strength!

  13. Woohoo for running without too much bum pain! Hopefully that means healing/recovering is going in the right direction.

  14. Ok, don’t shoot the messenger, but oh to be in my 20s again! I’m glad you can heal up so much so quickly and jump into a race like that. My old body would be in traction after that! Nice work.

    1. I’ve been recovering well from my marathon (minus my bum butt). I think part of that comes from not having the marathon I had ultimately prepared for.

  15. Great job, Hollie. Too funny about your pacer/the beer. This was my first Shamrock weekend and I had a great time. I am definitely will sign up for it next year.

  16. I ran a 10 mile race once 6 days after a marathon- that wasn’t my best idea either. I definitely did NOT feel better at the end though. I’m sorry your piriformis is giving you trouble- I’ve had similar issues (i.e. my “dead butt” diagnosis this time last year). Wish I had been able to see you this weekend- love that photo of you and Tim! 🙂

  17. It’s been my dream to have some beer midrace but it’s never actually happened. Mostly because I ran only one shamrock race and was testing my fitness. Another day!

  18. I think I always feel better at the end of the race because I start out way behind my race pace. I feel bad saying excuse me to get to the right section of runners I should start with, so I end up with the 11+ minute people and make my way up. That usually saves me some kick at the end lol

  19. Congrats on a solid race! Now that the fun is over, it’s time to heal up!

  20. I ran the half this year too! Normally, this race and DC RnR are the same weekend so I was pumped when they changed the dates! Great job – great time even without an injury. I was just a tad bit further behind 🙂

    1. I hope you enjoyed the race too. Did you run RnR (I mean swim…LOL I heard that was crazy conditions!)

  21. Smart idea or not, that sounds like a great race! It always makes me smile reading your race recaps because you are the only other super chatty racer I come across 🙂

Comments are closed.