Shamrock ‘n Roll

I know I haven’t posted in a bit, but (phew!) my training for my half marathon is finally complete. I have the tendency to get myself involved in about 10 things at the same time, and well, getting ready for a half marathon was one of them.

You may be thinking, “Really? Does anyone actually like running?” Well, for me… it depends on the day :), but no, I really do enjoy it. There’s something about race day when your surrounded by other people who share the same passion as you, and the anxiety/excitement that comes when waiting for the countdown to start. It’s a stress reliever, a passion, and most definitely (now) a habit. My race this past weekend took place in the beautiful Virginia Beach: Anthem/Yuengling Shamrock Half Marathon. Being Irish, I couldn’t WAIT to sign up for this bad boy.

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RACE DAY RECAP

It’s a flat course, they said. It’ll be beautiful, they said. There’s nothing like the crowd, they said. Well….This past weekend I woke up the morning of race day around 4:45 AM to start fueling for the race. It was calling for rain, but at this point-nothing yet. My husband and I planned to take a shuttle to the starting line around 6:00/6:30 AM-nothing as we got down to the hotel lobby. Well, as we reached the area near the starting line, my husband said goodbye to me (wishing my luck of course) while I stood with my fellow half marathoners, in the pouring down rain. Oh yeah, and the 20 mph winds added a certain chill factor to the air, that instantly had you losing feeling in your fingers. It rained for the first 2 miles, but as we headed out away from the beach, miles 3-6 were a breeze. Now after 6 miles, that’s when the pain from my previously tensed-up (from the cold) muscles were beginning to ache. Back, neck, shoulders- everything.

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I could tell I wasn’t the only one hurting, but pushing through the pain and occasional gusts of wind helped me see that everything “they” said, was right. The course was flat, NOT ONE hill (WOO!). It was beautiful, running past the most gorgeous beach houses, through winding paths of trees, through a military base, past a lighthouse, and bringing it back to finish on the boardwalk- it was stunning. And as far as the crowd, the rain & wind didn’t stop locals, college students, elderly individuals, little kids, etc. from standing outside waving signs and cheering everyone on. Calling out the names on our bibs to tell us to “keep going” or that we were doing great. People who blared music from their SUV speakers to help keep the mood high even when several bands that were planned to play at certain mile markers didn’t due to the weather. And to the men in kilts playing the bagpipes-you both were so awesome. It was raining, and you two were KILLING it with your Irish spirit.

And to top it all off, the only thing better than crossing the finish line and having it all be over, was finally pulling out my phone to see a text message from my husband (2 actually). A pre-race text wishing me good luck and that I will be amazing, but even better “I saw you cross (the finish line)”. He’s such an amazing supporter of me running antics & everything else I decide to partake it. I guess now, I’ll have to find another race to train for :). Please comment below with some of your favorite races you’ve done- I’d love to check them out! Also check out some of the photos (my own, as well as some from the race-day photographers) from our trip to Virginia Beach!

 

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xoxo KMF Photography

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