Shamrocking Weekend Recap!

In order to keep moving forward on the blog (remember, my next half is on April 4th)… I’m going to keep this recap just to one post!

Here is my top 10 memories/moments of the Shamrock Weekend!

1—Traveling to Virginia Beach

Kathryn picked me up from Reagan airport on Friday morning.  My flight was a little delayed (mechanical issues) but I still got in only 30 minutes behind schedule.  Before we headed back to her house to wait for her husband to come home, we made a quick stop to Subway to eat something before our trip to Virginia Beach.  I’m so glad we did because it took us almost 5 hours to get to Virginia Beach!

2—Expo

Once we got to Virginia Beach, we headed straight to the expo.  We needed to get our bibs for the 8k the next morning.  We also got our shirts and bags as well.  For the half, we got a short sleeve tech shirt and for the 8k we got a long sleeve cotton tee. They also gave us a great drawstring bag for both races as well.

The official merchandise was less to be desired.  There was one dolphin challenge shirt and the sizes were already very picked over.  I picked up a dolphin challenge magnet and a pint glass—which they gave me a reusable shopping bag!

After checking out the other vendors… it wasn’t too big but not too small (honestly, I’ve been to so many expos, it’s all kind of the same to me)… we made our way to the J&A booth to see Jenny.  She is so sweet!  I hope we both get into Chicago Marathon so I can see her again.

I also purchased a 26.2 magnet for my car (finally!  But I also need a 48.6 one J) and 2 state magnets (IL for me and MO for Lauren).

3—Food!

On Friday evening, we ate at one of Kathryn and Preston’s favorite places (well, they’ve only been there once beforehand but they knew the place) called Hot Tuna.

Here is what I ate!  It was good, but far too big… sadly I never ate the leftovers either.

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Saturday after the 8k, we ate at a local place called Waterman’s where I had a burger with crab on it.  It was delicious!

On Saturday night, we discovered that our hotel was doing a pasta dinner for $13.95.  Rather than going back into town, we decided to take advantage of this.  I’d say it was well worth it!  They had pasta, breadsticks, desserts, meatballs, sausage and more!

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After the half marathon on Sunday, we ate at Chilis where I had a great burger and before I left DC, I ate at Ben’s Chili Bowl at the airport.

All in all, I gained weight for the weekend… oh well, it was worth it!

4—Shamrock 8k!

The plan was to take the 8k on Saturday pretty slow.  Kathryn and I decided to do the race together and do a 1:1 interval.  The minute run went by so quick every time!  I really enjoyed the whole route as the first half was in the streets of Virginia Beach checking out all the hotels and shopping J.  And then the second half was along the boardwalk!  It was absolutely great!  I felt fine during the race and we completed it in about 58 minutes.  It’s crazy to think that 2 years ago, my first 8k was around the same time and I was really struggling.  What a difference a few years makes!!

The weather was a little chilly, but nothing too horrible!

5—Meeting up with Friends!

I was so excited about this race.  Usually I’m traveling to my half marathons alone and I don’t know anyone there.  This race was so different!  First off, Kathryn, my high school friend, and her husband were great travel companions!  They included me in on everything and we had such a great time!  I also was able to see my college friend Brandon and his wife Mitra.  Brandon came out to see me run the 8k (what a great friend) and then I checked in with him after the half marathon where he had a huge PR at 1:44!  I’m hoping that we can both run the Chicago Marathon in October where he is going to totally smash his sub four goal!  I also saw Jenny, Sarah and Mandy whom I all follow on Twitter/met Sarah and Mandy in Disney in January.  What a great world the running community is.

6–   Shamrock Half Marathon

This race was my big goal race of 2015.  I wasn’t shy about it when making my goals for 2015.  I wanted to go sub 2:15.  As I stated on Monday, I was nervous.  But I didn’t have anything to worry about!  I totally crushed my goal!  The course was beyond flat (elevation gain was 36 ft… barely anything at all!), not windy at all, and the weather was pretty perfect (mid forties).  It wasn’t too crowded at all so not too much weaving at all.  I stayed focused the entire race and when I realized I could go sub 2:10… I knew I had to get it!  My final time was 2:09:34!  It’s a 7 minute PR for me.  I’m not sure what the 2016 goal will be… if I will have a time goal even at all…  but I’m so happy to have this new PR.

7—Post Race Parties!

After the 8k and Half, there was a huge tent right on the beach with beer and music.  It was really fun!  I’m not a huge beer drinker at all (I tried it at least!) so I wish they would have had maybe green vodka… but I still had a good time!

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8—Freebies

Wow, this race gave out so much!!  For the 8k, I got a medal, a cozie, and a lot of snacks (4 beers if I wanted, banana, pretzels, granola bar and a shamrock cookie).  For the half marathon, I got a medal, a hat, a full sized beach towel, and the same snacks as the 8k.  It was awesome!  In addition, since I did the 8k and half, I also got a dolphin challenge medal as well!

9—The Bling!

Speaks for itself… BEAUTIFUL!

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10—J&A Events

It’s no lie that I really wanted to run in the race that Lauren is doing on Saturday.  When I found out that I couldn’t… I needed to find something else to help heal the wound.  This race was that race!  I was so impressed by everything the whole weekend and I had a great time!

I now would like to run more races put on by J&A events like the Crawling Crab in October.  I definitely will not be doing that this October, but sometime in the future as well!

Thanks for reading this recap!  I’ll be back next week looking forward to my next race.

Kathleen 

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4 thoughts on “Shamrocking Weekend Recap!

  1. WTG! The bling really IS awesome, and I love a race where you get lots of freebies! Sounds like you had a fabulous race — I LOVE that feeling when you realize that a distance/pace/finish time that used to make you struggle now feels “comfortable.” Congrats!

  2. Congrats on the PR! This sounds like such a fun weekend between the friends, food, post race parties and the free stuff 🙂

  3. I loved how you wrote this recap. It was a fun weekend and glad to have met you. Hope to see you in Chicago!

  4. Shamrock was such a fun weekend, and I’m glad that I got to experience it all with you! Hopefully we’ll be able to enjoy another race weekend together in the not too distant future.

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