First of all, congrats to all who participated in the Shamrock Half and Full Marathon this morning in Va Beach!!! You guys rocked it
So I started my morning with a 5:45am wakeup call. Seriously, this hour should be illegal. I rolled over after not sleeping too well and thought, “Wow I must really be a good friend for doing this.” I also woke up RAVENOUS. I usually wake up hungry, but I am able to stave it off until after I’ve showered, etc. or satiate it with a small snack before a workout. But I was seriously about to eat my own arm during my shower. I hurriedly got dressed and made this breakfast, which I inhaled before running out the door at 6:20am.
Arnold sandwich thin with 1 tbsp chocolate soy nut butter; 1 banana.
I made it to the VB oceanfront and parked at my office, which was conveniently across the street from the race course. The parking lot was filling up and I warned a few people pulling in that they might get towed (I work there, so me parking was more legit, at least). I’m not sure if they heeded my warning, but it didn’t look like there ended up being a problem. Usually a local church uses that lot on Sundays, so I was worried about that.
My friend Kristen, who I’ve known since I was 6, was running the 1/2 along with her friend Katie! Kristen ran track at our high school and ran cross country in college so she’s a very accomplished runner. Katie is also a great runner, but this was actually her first 1/2! I didn’t get to see them before the race, but I was sending good vibes.
I met up with Kristen’s mom somewhere in the darkness and we made our way to the start line. Apparently there were parking issues because runners were literally RUNNING to get to the start line before the cut-off! I think a lot of people crossed it late and without their corral, but at least the time starts by the chip crossing the start line, not the gun. Kristen’s mom and my mom were co-leaders of our Girl Scout troop from the time we were 6 or 7, so it was fun to hang out with her. Once we saw the start, we tried to find a place to stand along the course. We found this on the way:
Sunrise over the boardwalk
This is the Atlantic, not the Chesapeake Bay (Va Beach touches both).
Then we found a spot on 37th and Atlantic, which was 6 blocks from the finish line! We waited around for a while until the first batch of elite runners went by. They were FAST. We had these really amazing Shamrock headbands so that Kristen and Katie could recognize us, and we definitely got some smiles from the runners.
Attractive, don't you think?
Eventually the runners came and we had an amazing time cheering. I figure I’m paying it forward to the running world, as people will cheer me on in my 10k next weekend. I’m definitely going to try to remember to thank the people cheering for me, I felt so appreciated when the 1/2 marathoners did today! The racing bibs had their names, so I really enjoyed shouting out people’s names and giving them extra encouragement (mainly to those sans iPods because I figured they’d actually hear). We were shouting out “6 blocks until the beer!” or just “6 blocks left, finish strong!” most of the time — Yuengling was a sponsor and there was free beer in the party tent.
My spin instructor, Janet, who was IN THE ZONE and didn't even hear me. She was probably was of the first 20 women we saw. So intense, what an athlete!
Here's Katie!! My camera was having issues so she had to turn around so I could get a picture!
(Blurry) Kristen! She ran by and exclaimed "I feel like death!" - poor girl was having stomach and ITB issues and wasn't feeling so hot.
We felt bad for Kristen, her mom says she’s usually annoyingly cheery during races, even this far in (we were at the 12.5 mile mark) but she was really not feeling well. She wasn’t running for a specific time and wasn’t too worried about the outcome, though. She still managed to go under 2 hours! And Katie came in 5 minutes ahead of Kristen, amazing for her first half!!
They found us because we were still going strong with the cheering. We should have gotten an award for most spirited because I am now hoarse and my hands are sore from clapping so much. The marathon started an hour after the half (weird) and we saw the winner at his halfway point (it looped next to the half mary course at that point) and as we were nearing the end of the runners for the 1/2, the guy sped by, finishing his full quicker than some people finished their half, and they had an hour start on him! He was insane! When he passed us, he had about .7 miles to go and was probably at 2:40. INSANE. I’d love to see his official time!
We went to lunch at Baker’s Crust, a restaurant that I was obsessed with in Richmond and I was so glad to find that they also have one here, right near my YMCA!
Half Veggie & Goat Cheese panini (squash, spinach, tomato, red peppers, and goat cheese) on wheat; mushroom and brie soup.
I was starved by the time we got there (I ate breakfast at 6:10am and it was quickly nearing 11:30am when we actually were served). A morning of jumping around and screaming for runners will make you hungry! I was also very tired so I had a cup of coffee (black with Splenda — sadly there was no raw sugar !)
We went our separate ways and now I’m getting really, really tired. I think I might veg out on the couch for a while. I woke up with a random pain in my hip so I’ve decided that I’ll take the day off. But WOW, those runners this morning were GREAT inspiration! I hope to do a half in the coming fall or winter, so I can’t wait to be in their shoes and being cheered on by crazy fans (like myself). I’m trying to bottle up some of my inspiration for next week, I’ll need it at my 10k on Saturday!