2012 Shamrock Marathon Recap

$2,500 raised, 26.2 miles ran and 1 minute-PR’d.

Very cool email sent to us post-race.

You win some, ya lose some, right?

Okay, maybe that is not fair to say, because I am still SO proud of our team, the amazing event and just – yeah. This weekend was amazing. Yeah, I was thinking a 3:45 was in the bag – I mean, I did the training, I was very precise about my carbo-loading and nutrition and I was feeling it. So just let me get this out, real quick, so I can move on – I was disappointed in my time.

I can blame the weather (hotter than I thought it would be) the wind (blow me down, me hearties!) or my shoes, but it was hard to see an almost exact time from Richmond – after all, I didn’t make all of my runs that cycle, I didn’t even know what tempo or speedwork was…I mean I just ran a 1:47 half that felt easy! C’mon! Blah!

So, okay, I did mentally already subtract several minutes from my time since I saw the male elites finished in 2:22, but other than that, I have to just accept it and move on.


BRIEF RECAP of that rant: Awesome event, as long as we don’t talk about my time 😉

Anyway, back to the race recap! 

I woke up at 6 AM.  I headed across the street to the 7-11 as soon as I got my shoes on and purchased three items: a large bottle of water, a small coffee and a blueberry cake donut. Okay, I was planning on a plain bagel, but there were none in sight. I compromised…headed back to the room and got dressed, etc.

The race start time was 8:30 AM, and our team was set to meet in the downstairs hotel lobby at 7:30 AM to take some pre-race pictures and then walk to the start together (about 9 blocks). My adrenaline was pumping pretty good and the temps were great, around 50 degrees. I checked my swag bag in (threw a pair of flip flops in for post-race comfort – AKA the best idea I had all day) and then bid farewell to my teammates as I headed into Corral 1.

In hindsight, this was probably a very ambitious goal, but I lined up with the 3:35 pace group. I had my Richmond Marathon mylar blanket wrapped around my legs up until the wheelchair race started, then I tied it around the gate and headed off with the group.

The first few miles were great. The pace felt comfortable. I was falling in nicely with the group and with the exception of a guy with really annoyingly flailing arms, it was nice to run as a big blob. As my Garmin chirped mile splits, however, I was a little concerned…they were showing sub-8’s. I waved their warning away, though, as I recalled in Princess that they were telling me sub-8’s when in reality, they were right on the nose.

Around mile 8, however, first minor disaster: my bib was flapping around uncontrollably! The left top pin had ripped the material. I stepped to the side of the road quickly to reattach it. I could still see the pace sign, so I popped right back into formation without much trouble.

A little while later, I was falling further behind as we passed through a water station…but they were still in my sights!  I glanced down at my Garmin…and…WHAT!? The screen was totally fogged up. The numbers were unintelligible.  Fantastic!

Passing back across the one ‘hill’ (bridge) I saw my coach, Liz. She ran up to me and joined me for a while. She was worried when 3:35 had passed without me, and so she pep talked me until I was cruising again. The outsides of my feet were burning, but I pushed on, entering a long stretch on the South part of the Boardwalk.

When I approached the half mark, I silently wished I was doing the half! My toes were going numb….13.1 more to go? Really?!  Really? Really! I sitll felt pretty strong, as far as my endurance was going though, so I kept it moving.  Wait, did 3:45 pace group just pass me? Phew, no, it was just a girl that was wearing a 3:45 pace sign (foreshadowing)

Headed back up to the North loop (it was like a turnaround straightaway/loop/second part of turnaround) my feet were killing me. I was getting frustrated! But then, I saw the cavalcade – the elite male was zooming down the other end of the straightaway!  WOW!  That was exciting.  I kept on.

Around Mile 16…I was feeling it again. Burning feet. Burn. Burn. Burn  and then – OW! Those dreaded calf spasms!  I hadn’t felt those since Richmond…after MILE 21!  Why was this happening so soon?  NOOOO…I need to make it 10 more miles…10…not so bad right…?! We were on a forest-y road, and I had to keep pulling to the side to stretch out my calves….3:45 pace group passed…BUMMER.

Fortunately for me, I was wearing the TNT purple and was motivated EACH AND EVERY TIME I saw a coach on course! They were simply amazing. I tried my best to smile wide and remind myself why I was out there…push through my pain, since truly, I knew mine was only temporary. That is not to say that it didn’t still BURN BURN BURN!  

Push through that pain!

Pushing it back and around, I eased into the realization that this was not going to be THE race for me. I was certainly going to finish, but it wasn’t going to be the finish I had imagined for myself. That was OKAY. I kept moving. I ran into my coach, Liz, once again and she ran with me, reminded me that marathons are unpredictable and that was I was still looking strong!  She sent me on my way….I hobble-ran down to about 24…another coach ‘picked me up’ soon after that and he pushed my pace to the Boardwalk (“Can you see the finish line?” he asked – I stammered, “AHHHH it is SOOOO far away!!!!!!”)

He headed back right before we hit ’26’ and assured me I could do this!  I summoned all the strength I could muster…looked up at the timer, down at my bracelet and then just BOOKED it.




That marathon was MINE.

Headed down the chute, I was congratulated by a small army of amazing volunteers – got a bottle of water, my medal, finisher’s hat, hoodie and quickly spotted my hubby on the sidelines…and even saw Lisa!  AWESOME!  More than 3K marathoners and I see her right in front of me…so cool!

She BQ'd at this beast of a race! AMAZING!

(photo courtesy Lisa’s hubby)

After several hugs, we bid farewell and I went to find my bag…swapped out my shoes for flippy-floppies (AMAZING) and you better believe I was the first in line for the DQ walkup window.  Oreo cheesequake blizzard?  Natch.


Surprisingly at this point, I was not hobbling! I felt pretty good.  This was a marked difference than post-Richmond!  We made it back to the hotel, where I pulled off my singlet and sparkles and ‘ice-bathed’ in the indoor pool!  I did some pool-walking for about 10 minutes and felt great!

So, moral of the story is – RACES CAN BE GREAT, even if they don’t turn out the way you planned! I am thankful for my health, my opportunity to run for cancer and the amazing friendships and connections that would have never been possible if it had not been for running. Thank you, everyone, from the bottom of my heart. This race was OURS.


  1. Well, I don’t think your time is shabby, but I know it goes with time goals and everything when you prep for it in your training. It seems like it’s just one of those star alignments gone wrong (the flappy bib, etc.), but your training did seem to help with the “after” feeling. My lack of training has definitely made this recovery longer than usual, hah! A reminder for me!

    • Thanks, Julie! I do agree, I think this training cycle/race has proved to me that although I may not have seen the difference in my training in the chip time, I do feel like a stronger runner, which will help me more in the long run 🙂

  2. We all have our bad races…I had a race like this last october and got so down on myself. I always just try to remind myself that what is done, is done. And I cannot change the outcome. But I can run better in the future and learn from this race about what I did wrong.

    Keep your head up! And start preparing for the next race where you kick some 26.2 ass!!!


    • Thanks, Ali. I appreciate your feedback and SO TRUE, imperfect races help us and also make the great races even better 😀

  3. You are a ROCK STAR!!! I am proud of you and so happy to have met you through our training with TNT. Keep on running!

    • You are my fellow ROCK STAR teammate, Eileen!! 😀 So glad TNT brought us together too. I am so proud of you and our team!!!

  4. Congrats on the PR! A PR is still a PR. But I understand. I was hoping to get a big PR (and BQ) at last year’s Chicago Marathon. I PRed by a couple minutes but didn’t get the big PR or BQ I had hoped for. You learn and you move on.

    I found you through Skinny Runner’s blog last week and I ran Shamrock too. I thought it was an all-around quality event. Were you in Corral 1? I started diagonally to the left of the 3:35 pace group. Loved the emailed finishers certificate and all the info on it!! That was a nice touch. There were a lot of nice touches, actually. Hope you have a smooth recovery!

    • Thanks, karen!

      I DID see you at the beginning! I was to the right of the 3:35 pace group at the beginning and yeah…you saw how that went 😉 There will be more races 😀

      I am so happy that my training did help me in recovery TONS. I am not sore at all! I think the poolwalking and compression shorts post race helped 🙂

      Have fun @ Gansett! That’s so awesome!!!!!

    • Thanks, Lynda! Great perspective. No one at work believed me that I ran the marathon this weekend because I was walking normally!

  5. I was in the 3:35 pace group, and I know exactly who you were talking about with the flailing arms LMFAO!!!!

    • Hahahahah I am so glad that we can share that….do you know if he made it on pace? I saw that you did (I think) on FB, so congrats!!!!!! 😀

  6. That is an amazing time for your 2nd marathon. I would love to say that my first 2 marathons were sub-4’s, but they were FAR from that! You did amazing and I am so happy for you. You will get your 3:35, I know it.

    • Thanks, Robin – for believing in me, and for encouraging me. It’s great to have a dream to chase and I am thankful that I have the support of friends like you!!!!!

  7. Well, that time is fantastic! I understand the disappointment though. Great run. Question…..how did you get the images of your pics on here. Did you purchase the digitals or what? I’m new to this thing. Thanks!

    • Thanks, Lynette!

      I actually have purchased my disc, but am still waiting on it to arrive in my email (I did the email option).

      I took screen caps of the previews for my recap.

      • Cool, thanks! I need to learn how to do the print screen option in apps and then crop. It took me forever to do one thing once. Now, I can’t remember how I did it now. LOL I’m not tech-y! Again, great run!

  8. I’m tempted to sign up again–it’s such a fun race! Congrats on the PR–you’ll knock it out of the ballpark on your next marathon! 🙂

  9. Congrats, Krissy!!! Be proud of your insanely awesome time and all the money you raised! Thanks for talking about your experiences with TNT. Here’s to more running. Tell Brad to find a job up here so we can be running buddies weee!

    • Thanks for the kind words! I am always glad to find new fun blogs, too 🙂 Great pics 😀

  10. Great recap Krissy! Thx for sharing. Question for you… did the full course feel lonely (spectators, runners…) since the Half-Marathoners start so much earlier? With the majority of runners long gone before I finish 26.2, I wonder a bit about the finish line… anyone there after lunch? Any food left? My goal is to finish around 4:10.

    • Hey Jess! The course always had plenty of people – great for spectators due to its figure-8 course shape and I never was lonely on course. The only parts that didn’t have spectators were on the military bases, but they had tons of military folks out to cheer which was really neat.

      There are a lot of slower run/walk half marathoners as well, so it was a little ego boost to beat halfer’s 😉 There is SOOO much food and drink – some of my teammates that finished at 5 hours and + commented there was still a lot left for them.

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