Shamrock Marathon Race Recap (Post 1)

Shamrock Marathon Recap (Post 1 of 2) (Mar. 18th through Mar. 19th)

I am relieved, happy, and sad that the marathon is over and I am officially in recovery. Well, until the Cherry Blossom 10 miler in two weeks. I have spent the last 3-4 months training for this day and although I am thankful that it is over (1 and done for me!) and I am no longer committed to such long days of running, it is also a bittersweet feeling that it seems to be over before it even begins. This is my race recap from the BIG day/weekend. J

March 18th, 2016

Today was our travel day to Virginia Beach, VA. I took today off since I had worked long hours at work over the last two weeks and had some comp time to use. I woke up around 8am this morning and started putting our bags together. I wanted to get done quickly because I wanted to get my nails done (I was wanting green for Shamrock but ended up with Blue) before we left. I was done packing by 11am and made my way to the salon. I was done by 1230pm. I headed back to our neighborhood to load up Kim’s car with my stuff.

I was riding down with the Bond’s (Kim, Steve, Makayla, Gabby, and Maw Maw) because I had to fly out of Norfolk, VA on Monday morning for work and I didn’t want to leave a car there and have to fly back into Norfolk, VA. Natalee and Lilee drove down with Kevin on Friday since there was only one seat left in the Bond’s van. Not sure if I mentioned this before but Kevin (my ex) decided to run his first half marathon that day since it was such a significant day for the both of us. Our plan was to pick Gabby up at 130pm from her bus stop which happens to be Maw maws (Kim’s Mom) and she was going with us to run the 8k on Saturday! We pulled out of our neighborhood around 1pm and we were on the road by 2pm. Everyone was starving so after we got Maw Maw and Gabby we decided to stop at the Drive thru at Arby’s for a bite to eat in Leonardtown. I forgot how much I love Arby’s curly fries and Roast Beef! Or was it that I was so hungry that I would have eaten anything!? Lol Either way I scarfed down the food and we were on our way!

We weren’t but 20 minutes into the drive and someone had to pee! I would have guessed that it was going to be one of the kids but NO it was the biggest kid in the car. Steve! We got across the 301 bridge (Harry Nice Bridge) and stopped at the Sheetz to use the bathroom. While everyone went into the bathroom, I stayed in the car since I had just pulled out Kim’s laptop to write my blog post before the race. I hadn’t posted anything to my blog since March 7th and I knew I wanted to post one before the weekend began. I wrote it on a Microsoft Word document and it ended up being my race recap from Rock and Roll DC. I haven’t posted it yet. I didn’t get a chance to finish it over the weekend. I am hoping to post that one at the same time that I post this blog update. Anyways, the ride to the convention center was uneventful. We left around 2pm and arrived at the Race expo by 615pm. The FIRST thing I did was use the bathroom. Hehe. I should have went into the Sheetz and used the bathroom when everyone else did. We then made our way to the expo! Kevin texted me while we were walking into the expo and said that he was stuck in traffic (car accident) and wouldn’t make it to the expo. I had to pick up his Bib and Lilee’s Bib (She was running the 8k!).

After we got our race packets and T-shirts we headed into the expo to look around. I knew I wanted to get a 26.2 charm for my shoes, a 26.2 magnet for my car, and the First Marathon Plaque ordered from the same company that I got my first half marathon plaque. We were at the expo for about an hour and then the girls were getting really hungry. We ate at Arby’s but they had just eaten lunch and were starving. I wanted to look at the Sparkle Skirt’s and ended up buying one that looked like a mermaid tail and was green! It was perfect for the race.

We got to the car and decided that we were going to do Subs at Subway. We found a Subway near our hotels. The Subway didn’t have any parking next to it so we circled around to the next street and found what we “thought” was free public parking. I should have known that nothing in life is EVER free!!   Anyways, we parked and went into Subway. We were finishing up eating and Kevin and the girls ended up coming to Subway to eat too. They got there food and sat down to eat and we wanted to get to the hotel and get settled in but not before going to the grocery store to get our stuff for the morning. We walked back to the Van and this is where the excitement for the day happened!

We got to the parking lot and saw two tow trucks in the parking lot and there was some guys standing outside. We walked to the Van and they asked us if either one of the cars next to the Van was ours. Immediately we said no and wanted to get the heck out of there in case they were trying to tow our car. I was in the driver’s seat, Kim was in the Passenger’s seat and we were all making fun of them towing the silver car which was two car’s over from us. We were saying that the car was getting reposed and it sucks to be that guy! They pushed the car out into an area where they could pull it up on the tow truck. As they were pushing it out and I was watching them it dawned on me that might be Kevin’s car. Kevin has always driven a truck and I was still not used to this Sedan that he has only had for a few months. Steve is telling me to go get out and look to see if the sticker is on the back of the car. I fly out of the driver’s seat and run to check and it was his car!! I immediately went into fight mode. My patience is pretty small these days. I went right up to them and started asking why they were towing his car and where they were taking it? I didn’t even realize that I was standing in between the tow truck and Kevin’s car at this point. They had the machine down on the ground ready to put it under his car to pull it up on the tow truck. The “boss” didn’t answer me right away and was asking me to step away from the car. I honestly didn’t even realize that I was blocking them from towing the car but as soon as I realized he was trying to get me to move so that he could continue to tow it, I didn’t move an inch! My voice apparently got louder and probably because he wouldn’t answer me when I was asking him why he was towing the car and where he was taking it. As soon as Kim heard my voice get louder she came flying out of the car saying “Show me the sign!, Show me the sign!”. I had my girl backing me up and let me tell you I felt some relief with her by my side. She was talking to the “Boss” man, while Steve was calling Kevin to come move his car IMMEDIATELY and I was busy playing chicken with the tow truck driver. The A-hole that was in the tow truck kept moving the crane of the tow closer towards me trying to make me move. At one point it hit my toe and I screamed at him and told him to knock it off! I am not going anywhere. Kim was still trying to talk to the “Boss” and I didn’t know what was going on except I was pleading my case to the other young man that was standing next to the tow truck but he wasn’t saying or helping the matter much. The only thing he said was “He is the boss. Whatever he says goes!” Thankfully they come walking back at that point and I am yelling “Is he going to Tow it? Is he going to Tow it?” and the boss said No. He let Kevin’s car go. THANK GOODNESS!! I was so worked up at that point. I went from zero to pissed in 2 seconds when I saw they were about to tow Kevin’s car. He had just gotten into town and had the girls with him. The last thing he needed to deal with was getting his car towed which would have been the next day since it was going on 8pm and I am sure the office was closed. Crisis diverted! Shew! We still had to go to the grocery store to get bananas, yogurts, poptarts and water for the 8k race in the morning. We were talking and laughing about it the entire way to the store and to the hotel. Kim and I went from Flipping little dolphins (Steve has been calling us this from a movie) to Pissed off dolphins in a matter of seconds! Love that my bestie has my back! J Don’t mess with us crazy women!

They dropped me off at my Hotel and as soon as we got there Kevin pulled up with the rest of my stuff and the girls. I don’t think we got settled into the Hotel until close to 9pm. The 8k was scheduled for a start time of 745 the next morning. I knew I had to get to bed at a decent hour to be up to do the race with the Lilster. She was so excited about doing it! I was excited for her!

March 19th, 2016

Shamrock 8k was today! I was planning on running the 8k to complete the Whale Challenge (8k and Full Marathon) so that I got three medals. :0) The races are all about the medals, right? When I was talking to Natalee and Lilee about participating in the 8k race, Lilee showed a lot of interest but Natalee didn’t. Lilee had only walked a 5k at Hospice in the last two years and I was unsure if she would physically be able to do it. I knew it was going to be hard for her little legs to walk 5 miles but she was determined that she was going to do it with me. I decided I was going to walk/run it with her and Kevin so that if I needed help carrying her that we could alternate.

Lilee stayed with Kevin the night before so he had to get her ready for the race in the Download 4morning. I gave them everything that they needed the night before. I should have given her more layers since it was a cold 40 degrees and winds up to 20 mph which made it feel closer to 32 degrees. I got up that morning around 615. I got ready and headed down to the lobby to get a cup of coffee to walk to the start line. It always helps me warm up. I was walking towards the start on the boardwalk and I ran into Kim, Gabby, and Maw Maw. They were checking there bags and heading to the start. I told them I would meet up with them later. I had to find Lilee and Kevin to give them the safety pins to secure there bibs on there shirts. I finally found them and pinned Lilee’s bib to her sweatshirt. She needed to use the potty before we started and there were some public restrooms close to us. The women’s line was SO long but the men’s was short and we only had 15 minutes until the race started. I tried getting her to go into the boy’s restroom with Kevin but she wanted nothing to do with it. I honestly don’t blame her. Boys bathrooms are disgusting! We heard some other racers talking about some port-o-johns right around the corner. While we were walking Lilee asked me why they were called Port-o-Johns? Is it because someone named John made them? She says the funniest things. I honestly have no idea why they call them Port-o-Johns. Portable makes sense and I guess John is a slang word for toilet.

We started making our way to corral 16. We wanted to be close to the back with the walkers because we knew we were going to walk majority of the 5 miles. As we were making our way back to corral 16 we ran into Kim and Gabby in Corral 8. We wished them luck, took a few pictures and made our way to our Corral. It probably took us about 10 minutes to cross the start line. The race has begun! Our original plan was to run .25 miles and then walk .5 miles. That lasted the first .25 miles and then that was it. Lilee was tired, cold, hungry, and didn’t want to take one more step. We were almost to mile 1 and I got the notification that Kim and Gabby were at the mile 2 marker. They were doing GREAT!! Kevin carried Lilee for a while between mile 1 and 2 on his shoulders. She was laughing hysterically at him trying to play bite her fingers as she was holding onto his face. We got to mile two which was our turning point onto the boardwalk and there was a DJ playing music. As soon as we turned the corner the headwind was AWFUL!!! Lilee was so cold and I felt so bad that I gave up my gloves and vest to keep her warm. Kevin gave her his headband to keep her hoodie wrapped around her head. She would alternate walking and being carried along the boardwalk. During mile 2 through 4 the only things that she would say is “Why did I say I wanted to do this?”. I laughed and then told her I ask myself that during every race that I participate in. She was officially feeling the joy and pain of being a runner.

Around mile 3 I decided to turn on some music to try and distract her from the cold and exhaustion. It started working because I heard her singing to the songs. As soon as we turned to go back on the street and hit mile 4 (Only 1 more mile left) she was starting to get excited again. The ending was in sight. It was so awesome seeing her go through the same transitions that I do during my races. She still wanted one of us to hold her so I took my turn at this point and carried her for a little while. She told me that she didn’t want to be carried across the finish line. She wanted to run. We turned another corner which took us back onto the boardwalk and we were right around mile 4.5. I told her that we can walk to 4.75 and then start running. Lilee had my watch the whole race so as soon as it hit 4.75 she took off. She was getting it! I told her that she needed to slow down because I wasn’t able to keep up. I think at one point she was running a 9 minute mile. That is fast for those short little legs! She lasted for about a .10 of a mile and then started walking again. I told her that we should walk to 4.90 and then run the rest. That is exactly what we did. We took off and she was running fast! She started to unzip the vest that she was wearing of mine and when she got it completely unzipped she threw it at me to carry across the finish line! Yay!! Lilee finished her very first 8k race. She was amazing! I was so proud of her and how she pushed through even the toughest part of the races. At one point she wanted to take a “short cut” to not have to go the full distance. I explained to her that would be cheating and she wouldn’t earn that medal at the end. She wanted that medal and pushed through!

Race Recap to be continued……

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14 days until the BIG day….

Has it really been since 15 February that I posted my last blog update?  Where does the time go?  A lot has happened in those 2 plus weeks!! 

Here are a few pictures to catch you up on all the happenings in my life since my last blog post….

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I am still training for my first full marathon and it is only 14 days away!! Eeek!  I am getting nervous, excited, scared, anxious, and VERY happy (for it to finally be OVER! lol).  You name the emotion and I am having it right now.  I have noticed that the people that aren’t in the racing community don’t realize the time commitment that goes into the training for each of these races and is a big reason for all the various emotions.  I can’t fault them for it, because I was one of those people before I started running a year ago.  You put a lot of time, sweat, tears, sleepless nights, and time away from home in order to compete in this big day.  It is probably one of the most rewarding personal goals that I have accomplished thus far in my life and that commitment is well worth it in the end. 

I have modified my training schedule successfully over the last two weeks and I haven’t taken as much time away from the girls and we manage to sit down most every night at the dinner table together.  Something so simple can be so important in life.  When we all sit down at the table for dinner it is our one moment in our busy day to catch up on the happenings in each other’s lives.  We call it “Family Business Time”.  The girls love it and so do I.  We go around the table and just tell each other something that happened in our day.  That usually strikes up a good conversation and you can get more than just one thing out of the girls. 

Lilee is still playing Piano once a week and enjoying it immensely.  She was contemplating on quitting a few weeks ago and I asked her what she wanted to do and she said she wanted to wait to quit until she got to Staff (I have no clue what that means.  Lol).  She got to staff this past week!  After practice she immediately told me that she didn’t want to quit and wanted to keep going.  I was so excited and proud!  She really enjoys playing the Piano and the teacher told us that she is excelling and ready to move up to the next level.  I wonder if she will be the first musician in the family!!?? 😉 

Lilee has also started to go to CCD classes for her first communion which should be in May timeframe.  She is learning her prayers.  A few of the prayers are Act of contrition, Hail Mary, Glory Be, and a few others that the names slip my mind right now.  She has perfected most all of them except one (Act of contrition).  The teacher told us that she is a very eager learner and always wants to be the first one to answer questions and the first one to learn the prayers.  She gets that competitive nature from her momma. ;0) Lol.  Lilee seems to really enjoy going to CCD and has now recently gotten us back into saying our prayers before we eat dinner.

Natalee has been a busy girl herself over the last two weeks.  She had her formal Snowball dance and she looked absolutely stunning in her dress.  She ended up going with one of her girlfriends and almost lost her voice from all the singing that she was doing that night.  I’m not sure if I have mentioned this before but Natalee got into the Global International Studies (GIS) at her high school this past year and she has her work cut out for her in this program.  High school alone is a big transition from middle school but then you add in an advanced program and she has got her plate REALLY full.  She has been steadily working very hard to juggle schoolwork/housework/social life.  I am very proud of her and how she has handled all of this over the last few months.  It hasn’t been easy but she is barreling through those road blocks as they come her way!

Now that I have bragged a little about my two wonderful children, I will have to fill you in on the progress of my full marathon training.  In the last two weeks I have ran 2 – 18 milers, 2 – 6 milers, and 2 – 5 milers.  I will be honest and tell you that I should have ran two more extra runs but they just didn’t happen for various reasons and I don’t feel bad about it at all.  Life gets in the way sometimes and that is OK!  The one week I was on Travel and it was difficult to fit it in and then this past week I was HURTING from the 18 mile run on Sunday and I decided to give my legs, knees, and back a break on the Tuesday run and I was hanging in the Kitchen with Lilee while she played with her playdoh and that seemed like a lot more fun than running 5 miles on the treadmill! 

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I have gotten into the mindset that it is ok if I miss a run here or there.  It isn’t going to make or break my race day.  My advice, anyone that is in the middle of training for any type of race, they should always listen to your body.  The miles that you are putting on your body during training is A LOT and sometimes your body needs that break to recover so that you can push that much harder the follow weeks.  In the end this will make race day much better and it reduces the chance of injuring yourself.  There isn’t anything worse than getting an injury as a runner and then you are not only out for one run but for MANY runs! 

My last 18-mile run was this past Sunday and it was a tough one.  Thank goodness I was able to run the first 8 miles with some amazing ladies!!  Although I needed them more in my last 8 miles.  It is great motivation and a good distraction when you run with someone.  Kim, Crystal, Ashlee and myself decided to meet up Sunday morning around 0830 to run with each other.  We went to one of our usual spots and ran a 6-mile loop and then 1 mile down and back to get to the 8 miles that they needed.  After Ashlee, Crystal and Kim had reached their mileage for the day, they headed home and I kept going.  11 more miles to go!!

I road in Kim’s car that morning and I told her that I would just run back home.  My house was approximately 5 miles from where we met up with Ashlee and Crystal.  This was a strategic plan for me.  Right around mile 14 (about 4 miles from home) is where the real struggle begins for me.  This way I didn’t have any other choice but to run home and get the full 18 miles in.  I did the 6-mile loop one more time and then headed home. 

Here are my splits for the 18 miler……

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The overall average was the same as last week at 10:52 min/mile.

16315When I got home, Kimbo must have saw my MMR notification and she came out of her house and was congratulating me on finishing another 18 miles.  As I was coming home, Steve was heading out for his 18 mile run and was talking about how he is getting excited about the marathon.  He was only planning on doing 15-16 miles that day but I knew as soon as I told him that I did 18 he was going to do 18!!!  I can’t ever beat him in ANYTHING!  Steve is so competitive (probably as bad as me) that when I saw him at the gym last night he told me that he was going to run a slow 3 miles on the treadmill and not push it.  I told him that I did 5 miles and in a 9:41 min/mile.  Guess what Steve did?  5 miles in a 9:25 min/mile.  That little booger!  Lol I love me some good competition though.  0303161901a

Two weeks left and 6 more training runs until the big day and I have slightly modified my training plan for the next two weeks.  I was planning on running a 21 miler this upcoming Sunday (March 6th) but because the two 18 mile runs in a row affected my body in such a negative way, I have decided to start tapering back and letting my body recover before the big day.  I am planning on running between 10 to 13 miles this weekend (I ran a 5k/10k double in DC with Kim and Daniel. My post for today’s race will be coming soon!) and next weekend I am contemplating on running RNRDC on March 12th with Ashlee!  This was my first half marathon last year and I didn’t have a good experience because of the weather (Cold and rainy!).  It would be nice to run this race again and I have a better experience with the Rock and Roll company.  There races are supposed to be spectacular!   I wasn’t going to fully commit until I knew what the weather was going to be this weekend.  It is looking promising!  They are calling for 70 degrees and Sun!