Sunday, March 16, 2008

Shamrockin' into 2008

The 2008 Season has begun! A what a way to kick it off - the Shamrock Sportsfest in Virginia Beach, VA.

Saturday morning was the annual 8k race. Last year this was my kick -oo. This year a ood friend of mine participated and rocked it! Go Katharine!

We all met up at the race expo getting ready for the full and half marathons the next day. We headed up off to a team dinner thanks to the organizing skills of TG Prissie. We filled our bellies with pasta and wine. As Saturday drew to a close the weather began turning like was predicting. As we got home from dinner the rain began to fall. Uh-oh! TG Jill had opened her inlaws beach house to 8 of us to pack in for the night as we prepared for Sunday's events. We pow-wowed talking about race nutrition and full and half iron distance races as out season is really gearing forward ready for White (Pink) Lake Half coming up before we know it. But as the clock strikes 10:00 we head to bed for a night's sleep.

I toss and turn all night and waking up at one point to the sounds of terrential rain and howling wind. I think to myself "If it sounds liek this in the morning, I will be staying right here in bed! It is only a 'B' race afterall" As 4:45 came the alarm clock buzzed. And I hit the snooze button. But of course I have Greg nudging me to get up and get ready for my big day. I make a last minute decision to ditch the race skirt and put on my capri tights that I luckily brought. We chow down on english muffins, bagels, peanut butter, and bananas. Sherpa Greg drove one of the caravans on over to the race. We met up with the rest of the pink gaggle and I hop into Corral 2 - all by myself =(. Greg takes some of our bags to the drop off for us (thank you) and comes back to pick up his coat that I wa wearing to stay somehwat warm as the wind was rolling by. You could hear the flapping of clothing with every gust. But then I found TG Megan (aka speedy smurf) and the national anthem played and BANG! we were off.

I ran one mile with Megan and then lost her int he crowd. Mile 1 came in at 9:13. Awesome. I thought if I could keep that pace up I would definitely hit my 'A' goal of breaking 2 hours. The first three miles as always were tough - getting wamred up and such. I had a pain/tightness in my right shin for the first three miles, I was afriad I somehow ended up with shin splints but after about 3 miles the pain went away. Cool. I was feeling good. Focusing on trying to forefoot strike, drive with my knees, keep my shoulders relaxed, elbows back...etc. Around mile 5 I overheard two ladies next to me say we were at an 8:00 pace. Uh-oh! I know if I kept that up I wouldn't be finishing the thing! Then there is this pain in my tummy. Hmm. This isn't good. But I want to break 2 hours so I will ignore it. Each mile marker comes. I stick to my plan of having a shot block every even mile marker. And taking water/gatorade only when needed since I can't run and drink (it ends up up my nose) so I have to walk through water stops. I wanted to keep the groove, but I also didn't want to dehydrate so I hit 3-4 water stops throughout. I passed a few banks of port-o-jons. Even though my tummy told me to stop, my heart said no - keep trucking and reach that goal. Around mile 10 I overheard 2 volunteers discussing how hungry they were. I thought to myself "yeah well at least you can eat - I have to run a 5k before I can go to the bathroom!" But there - like a light shining down from heaven - there it was - 2 port o jons. with no one around. I beelined! I now knew that although I felt better, I wasn't goign to hit my 'A' goal, so I would focus on my 'B' goal of breaking 2:05. I watched my watch and every time I would hit a mile marker would add 9 minutes and that was my goal for the next mile marker (I had been doig this throughout). Oh and side note - the sun was peeking through and the wind gusts were not as bad as predicted. I even took off my long sleeve top and ran the last 2 1/2 miles in my tank! Finally came the turn onto the boardwalk. I cold see the statue and knew the finish line was there. Less than a mile to go. I was definitely fading, but I want that 'B' goal. There were so many cheerleaders (yay!) that I couldn't find my Greg, but I knew he was in there somewhere. I crossed the finish line and got my medal. Oh yay - I need to look at my time...2:04!!!! Yay!!! I got my water, goody bag, etc and ehaded to the TG meeting spot. I first found TG Joan who rocked in at 1:58:00. Our spot began to fill with TG's and other friends. We shared a few stories and beers and talked about how amazing we all did. For suck a stinky beginning to the day witht he weather - we ALL did so good. And I would say 99% of us PR'd! It doesn't get much better than that. What a way to start the season. I love my TRIgirls! And we all granted Greg the Sherpa of the day Award!

Here's to a Shamrockin' Season!

ChipTime - 2:04:06
Pace - 9:29
Age Group - 204/713 - 28% :)


kathleen said...

congratulations on a great start to the season.

TriGirl Kate O said...

Like I told you earlier, a hearty congratulations and big hugs.

tryingtotri said...

Congrats! Badass!

katebott said...

Wow!!! Congrats on a shamrockin' time Melissa. You are turning into quite the speed demon!

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SusieQ said...

Great job, Favey-baby!


Renae said...

Congrats on the B-day Challenge win

TriGirl 40 said...

Wow - what an impressive half! Congrats!

Diane said...

Wow! You go, speedy!