Sunday, March 23, 2014

Shamrock Half Marathon.

Last weekend was the Shamrock half marathon.  When I first signed up for this FOREVER ago it was going to be a group of us renting a van and driving down together.  But as we all know shit happens.  I forgot to book flights until about a month ago.  Because of this I had to 1. get Business Select which are like twice the cost of regular tickets and 2. I had to fly down Saturday morning and back Sunday afternoon.

I had been stalking the weather all week and was not sure what to bring to wear.  I had ordered a kilt from Amazon to wear but it didn't arrive on time.  I decided on my Digital Running shirt, shorts and rainbow arm warmers.  It was supposed to be the upper 40s so that should have been fine.

So Saturday morning I was up at 4 to get my 6:15 flight.  It was pretty uneventful.  Got my rental car and headed to Party City to get a kilt.  That was a success and then I went to check in and rush to the expo.  I met up with my friend Darling there, she had been there a couple of days already but likes expos.  It was pretty empty so we got my stuff and wandered around for a bit.

Hydrating and reading

Darling and I 

As we were leaving I was hungry.  I had stopped on my way to the expo and grabbed a banana but I didn't get oatmeal from Starbucks as I had hoped since the Saturday races were just finishing up and everything was PACKED including Starbucks who's line was out the door.  So on the walk back to our hotels we grabbed Subway.  I just love Subway LOL We made plans for me to pick her up at about 4:30 since I was going with her to a dinner that one of her running groups was having.  Red Felt Running Club.  I got back to my hotel and set out my outfit for the next day.

I didn't plan on taking a nap because I was afraid if I did I wouldn't be able to get to sleep at night but I guess I was tired because I laid down for a minute and before I knew it, it was 2 hours later.  I wasn't sure about going to the dinner since I was not a member of the group but everyone I did get to meet was super nice.  I didn't meet everyone because there were about 50-60 people there.

It actually wasn't that good but that kept me from overeating lol

When I asked if I could use this picture on my blog everyone said it was OK and it was even requested I put the picture below in.  I think it really shows how fun these people are.  LOL

One of the greatest things about this group is that at some of the bigger races they not only have a huge group running but they have huge groups there for cheering and support.  I remember at the Diva this year they had a tent at the dreaded mile 10 and it was just what I needed.  I wasn't even a member of the group then,  I am happy to say that now I am :)

Well after dinner I headed back to the hotel to relax some and try to get to sleep early.  I was actually going to try to get into a Half Fanatic picture and a Team Tough Chik picture in the morning.  I have been in TTC for over 2 years now and a HF for a year and have never made a prerace picture.

I headed out at 6:10 to walk over to the start area.  IT.WAS.FREEZING!!  OMG!  I had a zip up hoodie on over my clothes and was still freezing.  Everyone else had sweatshirts or jackets on too so I didn't see any HF Shirts.  I did see my online friend Jess who is in TCC, she knew where that picture was going to be taken so we headed over there.  I was excited to see Rebecca who I met at Richmond last year.

It was time to head to the corrals and I made the decision to keep my sweatshirt on and not check it.  I was too cold.  I wished I had stopped and got a throw away or picked up one of the ones I saw on the street the day before LOL.

We headed out and I was feeling good.  Of course I got warm quick so I had to tie the sweatshirt around my waist.  I was sticking to my 3:1 run/walk.  We started along Atlantic Ave past homes and there were spectators out there and quite a few were handing out beer.  I don't drink but even if I did I am not sure I would want beer at 7am LOL  As we were getting to the end of Atlantic Ave the lead runners were coming out of Fort Story.  Even though it means I am a slower runner this is always one of my favorite parts.

I missed the lead runner as he was so fast!!!!  He finished in like 1:07 or something crazy like that!!

We headed into a park like area with wider roads and tree lined streets.  It was probably my favorite part.  I was still feeling good.  I was keeping my pass under a 13 min mile so I was happy, hoping for a time less that 2:45 and at this rate I would do it.

But then we turned into Fort Story.  Just after the entrance the trees stopped and there was nothing to block the winds at this point.  Plus the scenery got pretty boring too.  We did get to see 2 lighthouses which are always beautiful.

As you can see I was tired!!

As we came out of Fort Story we were back on Atlantic Ave.  I saw another HF that I am friends with online, Letty.  She was running with her daughter in law.  She is so cute and sweet!!  I was hoping to find them again at the finish line but I never did :(  We then started to see the lead Marathon runners.  Again, I loved it!

I had to run up to this guy, I saw him at RnR VA Beach too...he runs the whole was with this flag.

As we were heading back down Atlantic Ave there was much less wind so I was able to pick up a little bit of time but not much.  But then we made the turn onto the boardwalk.  The wind was so flipping strong that I actually got knocked back a couple of steps.  Now I am a big and tall girl so to get knocked back is something!!  I wanted to run since there were a bunch of spectators there cheering but I just couldn't.  I actually was walking bent down to get through the wind.  We then turned onto the board walk and the Neptune statute was ahead.  I knew that was the finish line but it took FOREVER to get there.

Notice the man with the flag was STILL in front of me!!
I was finally done, I didn't get under 2:45 but I was under 2:52 so I was OK with it.  I grabbed my towel, hat, medal and food.  I looked for Letty for a bit but it got so cold I had to head back to my hotel to shower and change to get back to cheer on my friends doing the full.

I did order pictures so I didn't "steal" these.

I showered, checked out of my hotel and got back to the race just as my friend Chris was supposed to be finishing with his anticipated BQ.  IT. WAS. SO. COLD!  I was getting worried as the 3:30 and 3:45 pacers passed me.  Danielle and I were texting back and forth as she was watching the finish on the computer.  Chris came along a bit after and finished.  That wind stole the BQ from him but he was Ok with it.  A sub 4:00 marathon is still something to be super proud of.  He and I went back to the course to watch for Darling.  He stayed with me for a while but he started getting so cold he had to go tot he beer tent to get warm.  I saw Darling coming and went to get a picture but the cold made my fingers unusable LOL  and I missed it.  I headed to the beer tent to congratulate everyone and then I headed to the airport.

The Norfolk airport is a quiet one so I found a gate that was empty.....even the chairs were gone and I ate and read for a bit while waiting for my flight.  One good thing about Business Select tickets is that I got on the planes first.

Do you like to travel for races?  Do you fly or drive?  I fly whenever possible!!!


  1. I love seeing your outfits! I am going to qualify for HF after my races next month and I'm so excited! I've never done a race far enough away to fly yet. I have plans to do the New Years Double in TX and we will be driving. Family vacay for my husband and kids. .. I doubt I will be up for much after that!

  2. Great job Gigi!! It was so nice to meet you last weekend! :)

  3. I would drink beer at 7:00 am.
    You are a running beast!

  4. I have never traveled for a race and have always wanted to. Looks like you had a blast.
    Awesome race!

    1. If you ever can do it!! And do it with a friend. It is a blast and seeing new places while running makes it much more fun :)

  5. Looks like a fun run. I am in love with your running outfit. Too cute!

  6. You looked fabulous as always! Cannot believe how empty that airport is, we don't get that in Jersey!