The Shamrock Marathon DNF Race Report

I have been super swamped at work, so I have had no time to write new race reports or blog posts.  But here it goes. :)

We had planned on running Shamrock to get Virginia for my husband in his quest for more states.  I had heard this race is very flat (it is) and that it has great weather (doubtful), so I signed up for the full and planned on at least racing it at a good effort.

As the time got near, the weather had turned to rainy and windy.  When we arrived to Virginia Beach on Friday night, the rain had not started but as we woke up on Sunday, the wind and the rain were there to stay.  We were staying in front of the start for the marathon and we could see the finish line for the 8K that morning falling down from the wind.  The wind was brutal, indeed.  I was already worrying about my lungs but thought the rain might calm the wind a bit.  It didn't.

We spent the day before the race shopping, eating, and just enjoying the area.  There was not much to do outdoors since the winds were brutal.  That night, we wanted to walk around and find a good restaurant but the wind was so bad we went back to the room and ordered a pizza.  Before going to bed, as I was preparing my outfit (undecided as to whether to wear a LS or a short sleeve, a skirt, or capris), my husband decided to not start his race if it was raining hard.  The winds were expected to be in the 30s and they didn't disappoint.  I was undecided as to whether to even start with that forecast, but thought I needed the miles anyway and, rather than hop on the TM at the hotel, might as well try to run and see how the winds felt.

The morning of the race, we woke up and hubby decided to DNS.  The rain was bad during the start of the HM and I heard it rained for half of it.  I don't blame him.  It was cold, rainy, and super windy.  I wouldn't have done it.  But, I prepared myself to start, ate my usual pre-marathon breakfast of Krispy Kreme donuts and a Mountain Dew, and headed downstairs to meet a friend, Meghan.  We took a picture together and this was the only picture taken of me during the race (and it was before the race!).  Meghan had also decided to DNS and with us being in the lobby of my hotel, I was still debating.  But I had decided to start the race and run the first 12 miles of the race, which would bring me back to my hotel.  At that time, I would decide if continuing was worth it.  I didn't care for the rain, I don't mind running in it, but the wind was another story.  My lungs cannot take it and I didn't want to screw my asthma too bad.

I went to the start line and the rain had stopped (thankfully).  It was 47F feels like 38F and the winds were in the 20s (allegedly because they felt worse).  I had a throwaway shirt from one of my husband's races but I took it off before the start.  I had my tech tube in case I needed to breathe and a light LS from the Misfit Runners FB group to protect me from the wind.  I might have been a bit overdressed for anything but the wind, but I felt OK in it.

We were off! The first 5 miles were with the wind to our back, so the first 5 miles felt nice and easy and I took them nice and easy.  But as soon as we turned back, the wind hit me in the face.  Although at that point, the wind was not too bad where we were, I started slowing down from all the running towards the wind.  I was fine...until Mile 9 where we went straight to the shore and there was no harbor from the wind.  I put my techtube up hoping it would diminish the effects on my lungs, but for the life of me I couldn't move.  It felt like I was running in pace without making much ground.  I think my paces here dropped into the 11s and then the 12s.  As we got out of the shore and back on the street, we headed towards my hotel.  It was Mile 11 and I had already made my decision to stop at the hotel and DNF.  I couldn't run anything faster than 12mm with the 30mph gusts hitting me in the face and the rain had started.  That I could've finished?  Probably.  But who wants to run in this shit, really.  I passed by the hotel and stopped.  I got to my room and my husband said Told you so.  LOL.

Although I am sad I did not finish this race because it is a fun race notwithstanding the weather, I was so glad not to be out there for 3+ more hours in the brutal weather.  But at least I got to meet friends and had a good time.  Maybe one year I'll go back there.


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