Monday, March 26, 2012

Shamrock 8k Recap

This is a week late, but I need to talk about how great the Shamrock 8k was!

I look ready to kick some a$$!

The race morning was beautiful and unseasonably warm for mid-March. The sun was peeking over the coastline as I drove into the resort area. I was very nervous for my first race back, but I felt cautiously optimistic. I knew that I had trained enough to make it through the race even if I wasn't going to post my best time. My goal was to simply be present during the race and finish strong.

Oops, excuse the extreme close-up of my finger!

This was also the first longer race or event that I've done all alone. I went to packet pick-up alone, I drove to the race alone alone, stood in line for the bathrooms alone (but I did chat with a really nice lady!), found my corral alone, ran alone, and finished alone... Poor hubby and the kids were stuck driving around looking for a parking spot as I crossed the finish line! That was a very different feeling. I was missing my best friend, the person I've done just about every triathlon, 5k, half-marathon, duathlon with, but it was also an opportunity for me to be courageous and independent, to push myself before and during the race. It was a good experience for me.

I could feel my nerves setting in as each corral started the race, but I tried to keep my breathing even, and I settled into an easy pace. Looking back, I feel like I could have possibly pushed myself a little more, but I was afraid of my breathing getting too tight, and I didn't have my inhaler with me. The first three miles were pretty easy. At mile 3.5, I stopped for water, which was probably a mistake because then I battled a cramp for the next 1.5 miles.

I have to admit, I did stop to walk once because I was getting a bad cramp and starting to feel mentally defeated. Thankfully, an older lady running with an American flag, put her hand on my back, pushed me forward a bit, and told me, "Don't stop! Rock on, girl!" That was all I needed; I thanked her, and I pushed and found my way to the finish line.

Here are my splits from my Garmin. Not my best (I need to stop saying this), but pretty good considering I only trained for about a month or so.


I am pleased-- my official race time was 54:29, about 2:30 over my initial goal of 52:00.

For a while, I've been toying with the idea of registering for the Rock and Roll half, but I haven't committed to it because I am not sure how I can get good runs in with the heat of the summer and all three kiddos home all summer. After some encouragement from my friend over at A Balanced Fit today, I decided to forgo the Breezy Point Tri in June (still aiming for the Patriot in September), and instead I registered for the ZOOMA half in Annapolis! 

That gives me just about 10 weeks to get back to half-marathon form, which is very doable.  What's great is that I can still incorporate my triathlon training into this plan, so that I will still be on track for a strong Patriot Sprint in September. 

Just a closing note-- I am so thrilled to be back into training, back into ME again. I've been to the pool twice in the last week, and while it is really challenging swimming again after such a long break, it is empowering. Advice to moms, to anyone? Find what makes you buzz, what makes you feel alive, what makes you feel like YOU, and immerse yourself in it. There is nothing else like it.

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