This is my second favorite yearly race which I did for the first time in 2010. The Wicked is my favorite. The Shamrock after party is always awesome. The volunteers for all of the J&A races are just so happy to be there and make you smile at times when you may be feeling exhausted and ready to quit. It really makes a big difference to every runner that passes by them. I will always muster up a smile and a thank you to each and every one of them.
This year was no different. I had been looking forward to the bands, drinks and friends all running and gabbing together during the party. Unfortunately my fate was sealed the day prior and I was not changing fate’s mind.
This is the first year that hubby has run a Shamrock and he decided to do the 8k. So we get up around 4:30 AM and head out the door an hour later. Luckily Saturday was very nice. Cool enough during the race then warmed up for the after party. It was very nice and odd for me to be a spectator. But I enjoyed cheering everyone on from beginning to end instead of just after I cross the line.
Once we get home, I have dinner cooked by 5:00PM and am in bed by 7:00PM. I have my alarm set for 3:00AM on Sunday to give myself an hour and a half to move around, eat a decent breakfast of toast with Nutella and a banana and drink some water.
We arrive and park and begin the walk to 42nd street. My feet and both knees start to ache already. This is a first. Not quite sure why but I mentally chopped it up to mind tricks. We hop in the corral and are off.
Before I even hit mile marker 1 my “first layer” of pants begin to fall to my hips. WTHeck? So I am running struggling not to look ridiculous trying to pull them up. Then not 10 seconds after I get that straight my nano starts to fall off it’s clip and I am yet again struggling to keep that fastened. All of this within the first mile. And it does not stop here mind you.
I decide to take a quick walk break after mile 5 because my training the last couple of months has suffered due to all of the snow and ice and my new goal was to just finish the race upright. After walking for 1 minute I slowly take back off only to find that I have trouble getting back in my groove.
Then my gut decides to put its two cents into the basket and around mile 7 inside of the base I stop at the porta potty. Up to this point I was in the group with the 2:15 pacer. I was doing an easy pace and not pushing at all, even with all that had happened up to this point. This was a long set back. 15 minutes it took to stand in line and get back out there. As soon as I step out, here comes the 2:30 pacer. I silently cursed and took off behind her.
Now after that long of a “cool down” I had to start all over with getting my breath under control and form back. Now for those who ran this race note I said I stopped at the potty line on the base. This was at the entrance. The next two miles the wind just kicked my butt. This must have lead to me running oddly because my left knee started to join the destructive party.
So between the gut and my knee it continued throughout the remaining miles. I had to take several walk breaks because the pain was just so intense. I tried to pay close attention to my form and just when I thought it must really be sucking I was tapped on the shoulder. I removed my ear plug so that I could hear the lady who had come up beside me. She stated “you have the best running form I have ever seen. I just wanted to tell you that”. Running angel? I can only imagine the look on my face as I gave her my thank you.
Not too long after we approached the clock around mile 11.50 and I noticed I could still hit a 2:30 if I just kept going like I was going, snail pace but forward. But that was the positive push I desperately needed to put me back in the race mentally.
About .75 miles from the finish I had to walk again. Blasted knee! So I walked for a minute then approached that last water stop and just kept going through it. Then I began to run again to finish out the boardwalk.
…even with all the trouble I had and the very very long pit stop. It could have totally been worse so I will accept that time with only a little grudge.
The most unfortunate part of this whole day? The after party with our group which I had been so looking forward to for months, I had to skip out on. Once I crossed that line the stomach decided it was not done with me and we left immediately. I slept the rest of the day through the night. I also did not get any picture for this race. My scrapbook page will be faceless (as well as this post).
Today I am giving all my attention to my long lost buddy, my foam roller. I find walking to be way too painful. Dern knee! After almost a year and half of no IT Band issues it decided to hit me all at once during this race. I guess it just did not like all the concrete and the sloped roads. I usually do all of my long runs on crush and run and never have an issue.
Now I will just look forward to next year and concentrate on getting this knee better before the Flying Pirate Challenge coming up in May.