“Birds of a feather, Flock together”
Last weekend I had the wonderful pleasure to spend some time with some wonderful people. Oiselle had planned the East Coast Meet-Up at the Virginia Beach Shamrock Marathon & 13.1. I didn’t talk/write much about this race. I was excited for it, meeting my teammates, but also pretty nervous as I’ve been focusing on IMLP and haven’t been running as much. I had been feeling relatively out of shape and not really like myself but was excited about sharing the weekend with my Mom and again, meeting everyone.
Mom and I left friday AM to make the trek down to VA beach. It was a long trip, we took a bunch of breaks and even found this wonderful cafe in Delaware (which now I can add to the State list- woot). After lunch we continued on our way. Finally, we arrived in Va beach around 6:30PM. We unpacked and I was off to do my shakeout as the sun was setting. Surprisingly I felt REALLY good for being in the car and traveling over 10+ hours. After we ventured to the expo, had dinner at our hotel and then it was off to bed early as I was meeting Kristin (our team manager) and a bunch of the birds for a shakeout and some cheering Shamrock 8k.
Meeting Kristin was so fun, as was meeting my other teammates! It’s amazing how a company can pick a bunch of people who automatically get along upon meeting for the first time. It really blows my mind, but yet another reason why I love Oiselle! The shakeout didn’t really happen as before we knew it the 8k was starting! So we ran around, cheered and continued to get to know each other. It was quite fun despite the chilly, windy morning. After the 8k, I was so cold that I had to go get more clothes – not to mention I was a little anxious about not following my normal ‘pre-race’ routine. So I headed back to the hotel to run for another 20 minutes. I felt terrible, which is also exactly what’s supposed to happen 🙂
After my run, Mom and I got ready, grabbed some breakfast, talked about VA beach and went on a search for some cute Ithaca-Like shops. That’s when I realized how much I really love Ithaca and all it’s cuteness. We did find some cute shops as well as some wonderful bakeries AND coffee. Before we knew it, 2 o’clock rolled around and I wanted to go back and relax before our Team Dinner Meet-Up.
Dinner was wonderful, Mollie and Stephanie (sisters & teammates) planned a wonderful dinner at BRAVO!. We took up a large part of the restaurant, but it was fun to meet and chat! I wish we had more time, there was so many of us! I was starting to get excited and looking forward to the race as several of my teammates were around the same time as myself. After this realization, I was just excited to race with my teammates. Finally after a good meal, I was ready to head back and really relax.
The alarm went off at 4:00am and I laid in bed for a little. I contemplated why I sign up for these things.. (re: races).. then finally remembered that I love half marathons and it was ready to put on my Oiselle Duds and race with my teammates. It was a chilly 40 degrees with some wind as we finally arrived at the start of the race. Warming up I felt alright, finally I stripped down (contemplating actually taking my clothes off– I was cold), and did some strides all while looking for my teammates. Alison, Ellen and Hollie all showed up just before the gun and I finally felt relaxed despite bathroom nerves.
Before I knew it the gun was off and some guy actually pushed me out of the way. I wanted to tell him there was 13 miles- no need to rush but I brushed it off. Alison and I were shooting to run together. We ran the first miles really relaxed, after all I had to warm up again 😉 Around mile 5 I think Alison dropped back a little and I was solo heading into the fort. Running on base was cool, it made me think of my dad (Vietnam Vet) but was also super windy. I still had to go to the bathroom, thus not nerves and just continued to look for each mile flag. I had really some random thoughts during this race, for example I almost jumped out of my skin at the bugle call on the base. I thought about what my mom was doing. I thought about the poor marathoners. I thought about how the heck I am going to finish an Ironman. Ultimately, this half marathon flew by in terms of my thoughts/zoning out. I couldn’t believe how fast the miles crept up.
Around mile 7 another women caught me and we started to move together. I am SO grateful for her- SO THANK YOU! She got me out of my little 10 second pity party and really helped me the rest of the race, which is another thing I LOVE about races. People help each other 🙂 Alison caught up and had a killer second half of the race. My new nameless friend and I were still running stride for stride, which helped me run my last 4 miles sub 6:30. This is also the fastest I’ve closed in any half marathons. I still had to go to the bathroom, at mile 9 I thought I was just going to go, and for the first time in my life- I wished I was on my bike (triathletes know what I mean). At mile 10, I saw a Cardinal (which almost made me cry..) and that was my cue that I would be ok and to push through. With about a half mile to go, I saw all my Oiselle teammates. They gave me the extra strength to get through the board walk and finish this silly 13.1. It was a looooooong straightway into the wind. It sucked. I was tired. I just kept putting one foot in front of the other. Finally I was done. 28th Female, 3rd Age Group, 1:26:28 and I was stoked.
Most of my teammates pr-ed and I was so happy for them. After the race, I immediately got my clothes on and slogged through a mile CD. I caught some of my other teammates and checked in with them. I was so cold, I grabbed a bite to eat, some coffee, and needed to head back to the hotel to get really warm! Unfortunately, that was the last I saw of my teammates for the weekend. Ultimately, I had a wonderful weekend of meeting teammates, spending time with my family and a VERY good progression run/race. A big thank you to Oiselle and our team manager Kristin for flying from Seattle just for the weekend!
This week I’m ready to say that I feel better about training and am really looking forward to getting after it swimming, biking and running. The next weeks are going to be hard but I’m looking forward to it (someone remind me of that, ok?).