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<i><b>Event:</b> Shamrock Half Marathon</i><br><i><b>When & Where:</b> 7 a.m. Sunday, March 16 in Virginia Beach, Va.</i><br><i><b>Results:</b> 1:52:14 (8:35 pace). 41/492 females age 35-39 and 280/3,162 of all females.</i><br><br>
As I started planning a spring race calendar, I earmarked the Shamrock Half Marathon as a goal race. The course is fast and its St. Patty’s Day party atmosphere is energizing and fun. Most of my local running friends would be participating in the 8K, half marathon, or marathon. Shamrock and I have some emotional history too: I had a breakthrough half marathon here in 2006 that started the quest to qualify for Boston, which included an injury and DNF in 2007’s marathon.<br><br>
But then race week 2008 came.<br><br>
My body felt like a sluggish sack of potatoes most of the week. A few minor aches and pains I’d had after runs calmed down with lots of ice and a few easy days, but shook my confidence. Race-day weather wasn’t great, but nowhere near as wild as forecasted. It could have been a PR day conditions-wise.<br><br>
I got wishy-washy on my plans to shoot for a new personal record. I am a planner who performs best with a strategy to follow, but Saturday night at dinner was saying things like “Eh, I’ll see how I feel in the morning … at the start … at mile 3 … halfway through … at mile 10.”<br><br>
So, how did I feel?<br><br><b>In the morning:</b>With a great night’s rest in the comfortable hotel bed, I wasn’t exactly in a hurry to greet the day at 5 a.m. Some good coffee, conversation with roommie Amy, and encouraging text messages did the trick.<br><br><b>At the start:</b>The all-night rain stopped, winds subsided, and an 8:20 pace felt easy. Not a bad way to get going. Hmm, I kind of miss my music, though. It is too quiet as we count the street numbers heading north on Pacific Avenue.<br><br><b>At mile 3:</b>We head into 3 miles of road surrounded by pretty coastal forest. Here organizers attempt to entertain us with non-sensical signs like “Man running behind car gets exhausted.” Ba-dum-bum. I wish I had music. It is too quiet.<br><br><b>Half-way through:</b> It is St. Patrick’s Day, not Halloween! Why do I feel like a zombie with these achy heavy legs? I spot my friend Noel ahead and dig in to pass her, which helps for a couple miles. She catches me at mile 9 and we give each other a boost and pick up our paces together.<br><br><b>At mile 10:</b>My knee feels a bit tight, so I reluctantly let Noel go. I am excited for her though, as I’m pretty sure she is on pace for a new personal best. It is still too quiet as I count the street numbers heading south on Pacific Avenue. Finally, music! I run by a bunch of Team in Training volunteers who are cranking 11th grade cruising tunes ”Nothing But a Good Time” and “Talk Dirty To Me” by Poison. Thank you, Bret Michaels! Between the hair band and tail wind I manage to feel more like my usual pumped-up racing self until paying respects to the huge King Neptune statue that reigns over the Finish line.<br><br>
So … I don’t really know what was up with that.<br><br>
It might have helped if my head had completely been in Virginia Beach, rather than jumping forward to Boston. In the past I’ve struggled with letting self-talk affect my running, but have gotten much stronger about that and wasn’t battling negative thoughts at all. Mentally, I haven’t felt tired of training at all. But I have learned that I need to be personally motivated to race well, and right now am more excited by of course Boston, and also the idea of trail running and ultras.<br><br>
Simply, it wasn’t my day to show the half marathon who’s boss. Instead, I got a decent marathon-pace workout.<br><br>
The best thing to do is leave a so-so effort behind, focus on the considerable fun had during the weekend, and keep moving forward.
 

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hairbands can get you through a lot!! Nice time even if it wasn't a PR. The weather certainly could've been worse but it also wasn't great. Sounds like you've got some way more fun things on the horizon! Congrats for getting it done <img alt="biggrin.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/biggrin.gif">
 

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wheeeee! Bret Michaels! ha. You are going to do great in Boston <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif">
 

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SGH: I have Poison and several others on my Ipod for just that reason!!! (cinderella, ratt,white snake etc... <img alt="biggrin.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/biggrin.gif">)<br><br>
Congrats on a marathon pace workout!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Nice shirt you're wearing in that avatar, batmomm! Congratulations to you!<br><br>
I think you marathoners had it worse with wind. It did seem to die down right when we started at 7. On Fort Story, it was back up again, but I was heading south at that point. And you had that long 4-5 mile stretch running into it. It was like that in 2007, too. Besides the injury I got during the race last year, that cold north wind was part of my decision to DNF! Push into that on a sprained foot <i>and</i> be guaranteed to miss my goal, no thanks!<br><br>
Great job to you! You SHAM ROCK'd.
 

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SGH- Great race and report <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif"> Onward and upward to the next race!
 

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Good work out there SGH. I'm going to have to use that line about getting exhausted if I'm ever behind the lead car in a race again...
 

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Great job out there SGH. You had a great race even though it wasn't a PR. Did you taper for this race the way you have in the past?<br><br>
YOu had a solid performance. Be proud of it. <img alt="biggrin.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/biggrin.gif">
 

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SGH...sorry that it wasn't your day on Sunday but we all have days like that. Life is a compilation of ups and downs. I"m sorry that our paths didn't cross as we could have had a HUGE group in the party tent on Sunday. and we're both from NC...( I'm just outside of Charlotte )<br>
I also stayed at a LaQuinta but it was on Newtown Road just outside of town but I only stayed there Saturday night and drove back right after the race.<br>
Good luck & Boston and hope to see you in Virginia Beach next year!
 

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SGH - You Sham-Rocked too! That's a great race pace. Or even a great training run for Boston!<br><br>
I frequently struggle with the Monkey jumping on my back and whispering all those negative things like the wind is blowing too hard or that hill is right at the end. We even have a marathon here in Nashville called the Harpeth Hills Flying Monkey! That's one they tried to get on my back but I knew the hills and beat my goal by more than 5 minutes!<br><br>
An excellent race report! I remember the boardwalk from the Va Beach Rock and Roll half several years ago. My DW beat me in that one!
 

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SGH: There's probably a reason you were looking ahead to Boston. That's what you're building toward. This was a steppng stone. They can't all be PRs (as you surely know), but you probably got done what you needed to.<br><br>
And, as always, you spin a great yarn...
 

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Good running SisterGoldenHair!<br><br>
I like it. I think a good training 13.1 miler at marathon pace is a fine thing.<br><br>
But.<br>
No more flat running.<br>
Let me know when you want to add some hills to that diet...<br>
I'll ride my bike and you can run up and down the hills!<br><br>
Go SGH Go!
 

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SGH - really enjoyed your reports. Lots of runners good and bad have those same thoughts but don't always tell about 'em. You did fine and will do better. Good luck.
 

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Great report, so honest. And like everyone says a great training run.<br>
See you in 5 weeks! You are gonna rock!!
 

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SGH, great job. You've trained hard and you will be ready on Patriots Day. And you'll look back to Shamrock as an important part of that.<br><br>
Shamrock was my first HM (2006). I have to go back some year.
 

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Great report Sister and congrats on placing so high! My DH and I also ran the HM but I finished far behind you at 2:08. I was also very glad to hear the music on the last part of the course as it helped to energize me.<br><br>
Good luck in your future endeavors.
 
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