Running, Training

Final Shamrock Thoughts

Since I am an avid promoter of Shamrock and J&A races I had to dedicate one last post to this race.  I know a lot of people don’t want to race it because of cost but for everything you receive with the race it is truly one of the best values.

The race directors actually won the road race director of the year award.  (It’s just that good). They truly take care of you and I cannot sing this race enough songs.  If you are in Hampton Roads at another time they also host smaller races that I’ve done (Wicked 10k, Surf and Santa 10 miler, Virginia is for Lovers 14k and the last I haven’t done in October Crawlin Crab 13.1).  Anyways if you are looking for a destination race, looking to race every state or want to come hang out with LOLZ, Shamrock is the race to do it.

This year we got all of the following from the race:

1.       A nice technical (fitted) t shirt
2.       Big medel
3.       Beach towel (every year they do something different…last year it was a fleece blanket)
4.       Post race food handed to you directly after you finished (water, pretzals, shamrock sugar cookie, bananas)
5.       A sweet hat
6.       Free Beer at the end in a huge warm tent. 
7.       The famous Murphy’s Irish Stew
8.       Huge crowd supported flat, fast race course

Shamrock has one of the best race “after parties” across the nation and certainly the best I’ve gone too.  I’ll honestly probably try and go back every single year (because it’s that good).  If you are looking for a flat, fast early spring hlaf marathon or marathon course…give Shamrock a thought.  (but give it a thought quickly because this year the 8k and half sold out!)

These are just my own personal opinions though and I’ll honestly never rave about Shamrock enough.   Thank you to Jerry and Amy for hosting such a fun and fantastic race.  I really hope to see more of you there next year.  So yes go sign up.  

Here are some more race reports from Shamrock.  I can’t get enough of race reports and finding new bloggers so I hope you don’t either! 

Oiselle Meet up Report 

Half Marathon:

LOLZ Race report 1:25.29

Kellie Race Report (1:35.56)

Danielle Race Report (1:41.39)

The Fit Petite (J&A Ambassador)

Kristy (J&A ambassador) 2:03.19

*I also love this post Kristy wrote about dedicated to her friends and family.  Truly lovely! (Kristy is one of the nicest, most genuine people you will meet or read her blog) 

 Dolphin Challenge (8k and half marathon)

Lauren Race Reports

Question for you: What is your favorite race? 


July through December Musings

It seems like the second half of my year was far more exciting then the first.  I like to save the best for last right?  Actually after the marathon my life seems to have simmered down.


I turned the big 23.  I’m an old lady now.

I finally ran a 5k PR that I feel I’m never capable of again (18:35).

Life is good!
Life is good!


As with the rest of the summer I worked a lot between 50-70 hours and was really burnt out.

I ran an 8k PR and then was hit by a cylist who broke my arm.

YAY for no sling!
YAY for no sling!

I was accepted to run for Oiselle! 



I ran the Rock and Roll VA Beach half marathon with Laura and Heather.  It was awkward because I ran it with a broken arm.



I moved to Texas.

I ran another half marathon a week later in San Antonio.  1800 miles of driving, two half marathons back to back…only to go a few seconds faster in San Antonio and win a sweet Growler.



(one week later) I found out I was moving to New Jersey.

The night we found out we were Jersey bound
The night we found out we were Jersey bound


I drove back across the country seeing Laura along the way.


I moved back home with my parents (again!) for a few weeks before my marathon.

Kris and I dressed up like Pumpkins for a 10k that I missed my PR by 5 seconds.



I ran my first marathon.


I moved to NJ.  After moving to NJ, I took some time off of running and just relaxed and looked jobs for a while.


I haven’t (honestly) done a lot of note worthy things this December.  It’s been just assimilating into NJ and looking for jobs.  I hope I have something to report by the end of the year.  I guess I’ll work on that.

I took photos in the snow.  It counts as productive.
I took photos in the snow. It counts as productive.

I did run my first and only race since the marathon, The Surf and Santa 10 miler.


Thoughts of 2013:

Although 2013 was anything but calm I truly enjoyed the year.  It seemed like it flew by and that I was happier then I have been, especially in the later half of the year.  It seems like I should have been more stressed being jobless and the 4000 miles I drove in 2 months but I wasn’t.  It was a really good year.  I have found the more stressed “I should be” is when I become less stressed.  Little stressors that shouldn’t stress me out often are the worst for me.

Anyways upward and onward to 2014 from here!

Question for you: Most notable thing of 2013? 

NYC training cycle, Running

Marathon Hanker Down (8 weeks to go)

This summer was a relatively productive summer as far as training goes.  Like last year I managed to stay injury free and log some great miles.  (Let us hope that I don’t develop a cyst two weeks into fall like last year though)

Summer I ended up PRing  in:

The 5k.

As least I got a swell medal and remembered to take a photo.  Proper blogging technique!
As least I got a swell medal and remembered to take a photo. Proper blogging technique!

The 8k.

The 10k.

And I also got my first glimpse of breaking a race tape and winning the Run for the Dream Half Marathon. (One of my most proud moments of running).


So as far as running, I had a great summer.  I certainly had some lower points to accompany the high points but that is how life goes.  I spent a good portion of the summer questioning whether I would make it through my training.   After fracturing my elbow two weeks ago and thinking the worst I’m happy to report that I got the best situation out of it and can continue to train. 

So now that I’m roughly 8 weeks away from the New York City Marathon and have my base in it’s time to start the bread and butter of “real training”.  It’s not a secret I don’t have a coach, a real training plan or any clue what I’ve gotten myself into with marathon training…I’m not an expert and don’t claim to be.  I will admit to have scoured the internet asking everyone and anyone for help, reading several books and articles and trying to figure out what will work for me.  (That being said, I still don’t know).

With 8 weeks to go and soon to be settled in Texas, I know I will start longer runs.  I plan to peak at 22-24 miles.  For me personally I know I will feel far more comfortable doing a 22 mile run versus peaking at 20.  I’ll probably take it very easy and hope Tim will do some or all with me.  I don’t plan to do Yasso 800s or hit the track.

I do plan to do a few longer tempo runs. During the summer I did a few tempo runs ranging from 6-16 miles which were a big confidence boost for me.  The area of Texas I’m moving does not have a plethora of races like VA Beach.  Therefore I’ll have to make my own speed and that is something I’m not used too.  I’ll probably take a weekend travel trip to do 1 or 2 races in the next two months but other than that I don’t have the luxury (or bank account) to race every weekend.

With 8 weeks to go and the amount of time I’ve already invested in training it’s time to hanker down.

Questions for you:

When do you start to real hanker down (does anyone even use the word hanker) for training? (Bonus points if you answer about a  marathon).

Proudest athletic accomplishment? 


ECSC 8k (30:45)

Last weekend I ran and PRed in the ECSC 8k by over a minute.  Even though the events afterwords were unfortunate, I still had a great race and I did want to write a recap.

The race goes along with the East Coast Surfing Championships which are held at VA Beach every August.  Therefore last weekend the beach was much more crowded and parking was a lot harder to come by.  After finally finding a garage to park in, I was able to get my standard 2 mile warmup.

It was a smaller race start then I’m used too and didn’t see a lot of my friends there.  I tried to line up pretty close to the start since it wasn’t a mat start either.  Once we actually started I got into my normal groove.  I didn’t feel awesome but I didn’t feel awful either.

For the first mile I was caught up in the crowd.  There were a lot of people who took it out extremely fast and I had them pushing me.  The course was a straight flat road down and back. There are no hills at VA Beach and the only turn was the turn coming back. There was a lot of wind in one direction though.  During the first mile I was second female overall. (5:48)

I was about 50 feet behind the first female so I really locked her into my sights and tried to push to catch her.  We ended up running the second mile together.  During the second mile, a van backed onto the race course but luckily for us they were a bit further away so it didn’t interfere.  Mile 2 was a little bit of a blur (6:25).

The third mile included a round about turn and onto the boardwalk.  By this point, I had tried to pick it up.  Since we were going the opposite direction the wind was at our back.  I turned to the person next to me and said it should be pretty quick for the second half and it was like instanegative split.  A lot of the ECSC surfers were out cheering which made it pretty cool (6:16).

Mile 4, I started to just feel dead and was trying to hang on for dear life.  It was a pretty hard mile for me.  Since I’m not used to racing 8ks (I’ve done 3), it just felt like an extended 5k.  Two extra bonus miles (6:13).

There were a lot of tourists on the boardwalk for the last mile but I was able to get by them without any falls.  During the last mile, I had felt the other female behind me and she was gaining.  I tried to pick it up too but it was extremely painful.  I was really giving this race everything I had.  I really wanted to hold on for dear life and moved my legs as fast as they would go.  I knew I wasn’t going to have a good kick if it came down to the last 100 meters.  I barely stayed in front of her but if the race had been another .100 meters (If that) I can almost guarantee you she would have passed me (6:03).

Final thoughts on the race:

I honestly don’t know.  This was a great race for me but I don’t have a lot of positive or negative thoughts about the race itself.  I raced my hardest and PRed.  It was a completely flat and fast course (not counting the wind).

Questions for you:

Have you ever been surfing?

What is your least favorite aspect of a course?  (if it’s hilly, lots of turns …ect).


CHKD 8k (31:48)

I had honestly been excited for this race for quite some time.  I hadn’t run an 8k since my first month of running in 2010 and my Pr for an 8k was 43:20.  Also I knew it was a fairly big race with a lot of local competitors.  The weather had been forcasted to be beautiful (which it was) and I was gun ho for the last couple of weeks for getting a PR. 

Then on Wednesday like I said, I started feel sluggish.  My voice deepened and I realized I was getting sick.  I debated doing the race.  Using my proper blogger technique, I whined about being sick and said oh no I won’t do this race (when it wasn’t really a question that I would…sorry I already paid the 40 dollar registration fee).  If I was unable to breath at all or had a temperature I wouldn’t have, but I could breath, didn’t have a temperature by Friday night, I just sounded like a man and was congested.

So I got to the race and did a 2 mile warmup.  It felt like I had a million layers of mucus in my lungs but pretended to take deep breaths and made it to the start line.  I decided if I wasn’t able to race as fast I would like, at least look intense…so I ran in just a sports bra (I’ve done that in 3 races ever).

Since I was avoiding talking to a lot of people (being sick, I sound like a man), I just went to the starting line.  I saw a few friends and then started the race.

Bonus points if you can find me in this photo…

The first mile was pretty smooth.  It felt actually easy (I was surprised) and someone told me I was 7th female overall and to start moving up.  I said we still have 4 miles to go not my time to shine and some other guy said all about the pace.  Right then (6:13).


The second mile I found managed to stay (and remain close) with a fellow local area runner Mike.  I don’t know why this mile was much slower (more tangents and turns? More talking?), I really haven’t the slightest clue.  I wasn’t feeling awful but wasn’t really like…oh today I’m going to the Olympics.  (6:31)

Mile 3 was the exact same way and by this point I had made my way up to 5th place female.  When I passed 4th place female, she said “oh shit”.  I don’t know if she realized how loud her music was or that I wasn’t wearing any but in typical instigator demeanor I tried to muster strength to look like I was cruising by as well as raise the roof as we both went by the water stop.  (6:32)

Mile 4 I had my sights on another female and I really started to drop the hammer.  Around mile 4, I saw the 3rd place female way ahead in the distance.  I started to really try and pick it up.  This is where I could feel my lungs full of mucus.  Yummm.  (6:16)

It wasn’t until mile 4.75 I passed the 3rd overall female but in a turn of events it became an ALL OUT 200 meter dash.  She crossed the line one foot ahead of me.  I was pretty bummed since it had been a clear outkick and I have always thought of myself to have a decent kick.  Unofficial results had us both at tied at 31:50 but had me in 3rd and her in 2nd.  Then when they announced official results and awards they had me in second with a time of 31:48 (must have been chip time). Oh and the last mile was 6:18 with my kick that dropped below a 5 minute pace for a few meters (which is a new speed record for me I think)…god knows I could only hold that for the 5 meters.

This race (as you can see) was actually extremely place driven race.  I won’t lie that I like to win things…I am competitive.  I sought out other ladies and tried to pass them (and I still don’t care about males so high school boys don’t grunt like I’m doing you a disservice by passing you).  This is a huge PR for me (12+ minutes) but I know if I wasn’t sick I could have been around 31.  I knew no matter what PR I would probably get, it wouldn’t be exactly what I had wanted because I was still recovering from whatever bug went around.

It was really a cool thing to have the race come down to the final meters for second overall.  I’ve had plenty of those experiences with swimming but never in a running race really.

Questions for you:

Do you have a good kick at the end?  Has it ever come down to the final meters for you?

Do you workout when you are sick?

I’ll do easy workouts unless I have a temperature, can barely breath or feel extremely weak.