Thursday, April 11, 2019

Shamrock'n Half Marathon Race Recap 3/17/19

Shamrock'n Half Marathon Race Recap 3/17/19
I ran the Shamrock'n Half Marathon in Sacramento on St. Patrick's Day this year. It was my first time racing it and it went great! I did run the race last year with a friend for fun, you can read last year's recap here. For this one, I wanted to race it and my goal was to get under 1:50 (my previous PR was 1:50:24). 

PACKET PICKUP: Packet pickup was at the Fleet Feet in Sacramento. It starts the Wednesday before the race during store hours through Saturday. There is also pickup on race day at Raley Field. This year I had my bib and shirt transferred over to the Fleet Feet Davis store (perk of working at Fleet Feet). Here is the design of the shirt this year. Not bad. I kinda wish it were long sleeve like last years, but it is a nice clean design. 
Shamrock'n Half 2019 shirt

RACE DAY: I got up early to eat breakfast, (toast w/ peanut butter and a banana) and I had to be ready by 6ish when my friend Maria would pick me up (her husband was also running the half). We got to Raley field, where the start and finish of the race was, around 6:30am, so we had a lot of time before the race actually started.
It was a perfect morning to run 13.1. It wasn't too cold and I was happy it wasn't raining. It looked like it was going to be a great day.
Morning view at Raley Field
With about an hour before the race starting (7:30 was race time) it was fun to hang out in the VIP section with the Fleet Feet training groups along with some of the Fleet Feet gang. VIP is nice because it's inside, there is water, and nice bathrooms. I didn't even have to wait when I went. Here' s a fun pre-race shot with some of the gang.
A half hour before the race, I took my UCAN and then headed outside to the start line. However, I realized I needed to go to the bathroom one more time, so I waited in the porta potty line. I was planning on starting out with Maria's husband, Brian, but I lost him when I stopped to wait in the porta potty line.
With my goal being under 1:50, I decided to start out with the 1:50 pacer.  At the start, I was a little nervous but also excited. The race ended up starting 15 minutes late, which kinda sucked but oh well. I'm sure there was good reason.
Start line Shamrock'n Half and by the 1:50 pacer
I was happy when the gun went off and we were finally off. The weather was perfect as we started, 45 degrees according to my Garmin. Here's a shot before I ran on the Tower Bridge.
Shamrock'n Half Tower Bridge shot
My plan was stick with the 1:50 pacer but he seemed to start out pretty fast. I was hoping he would start conservative but that wasn't the case so I stayed behind him for a while. My first mile still came in at 8:14 and I was behind him. However, I was feeling good and kept up my pace.
Shamrock'n Half marathon
The route is beautiful. After crossing Tower Bridge and running through Old Sacramento, we run along the bike trail that is right along the Sacramento River. I can't remember when I passed the 1:50 pacer, but I eventually did and was so glad he never crept up behind me.
Shamrock'n Half marathon
We run down Marina View and that's where you can see the faster runners pass by as you do a U-Turn a bit down the way. It's fun to see the runners and cheer them on, especially if you see your faster friends. After the U-turn, we get back on the bike trail that is along the Sacramento River. I was still feeling pretty good and running strong.
A perk of this race, are free race pics! Always cool when a race offers free pictures!
I ran strong and felt ok up until the last 2 miles or so. I was starting to fade and my legs just couldn't seem to run fast. Another part could be mental as we were heading back into the city at this point and towards the Tower Bridge which you think is close to the finish but before you cross the bridge there is still 2 more miles to go. I knew it was coming since I ran the race last year, but it is still hard to think you are so close but the finish line is still a ways to go.
Those last 2 miles were the hardest for me. It's not fun to run right by the stadium, up the street do a little loop, and the go back down to the stadium. However, the best part is when you make the turn into the stadium and run onto the field. I remember sprinting as as fast as I could once I got inside. I also knew I would be under my goal time so I was very happy as I crossed the finish line. It was also neat to hear my name on the loud speaker after I had crossed.
Shamrock'n finish line shot
My official time was 1:48:29! So happy I PR'd! I need to work on running the tangents since my Garmin says I ran 13.21 miles. 
Here's a shot after I finished with Brian. He had a course PR.
At the finish they handed us our medals and water. We were also offered a burrito and beer! They also handed out little goodie bags with snacks and of course Blue Diamond almonds as they were one of the sponsors.
Me with my huge medal and simple hydration bottle.
Me with my medal and simple hydration bottle
Overall, a great race! Fast and flat (I don't recall any hills that I remember). The race is well put on with enough aid stations and the free photos are always a nice touch. I do want to thank my coach, Coach Dawn, because if it weren't for her training plan and schedule, I wouldn't be improving and getting faster. She keeps me accountable and it's so easy to just follow her plans. Thanks so much Dawn for helping me with this PR! I think the 5K training helped a lot with this. Also big thanks to Hubby who is always supportive in my running endeavors. 

This is one of the races I can see myself doing yearly. Hope to see you next year! :)
Shamrock'n Half Marathon medal 2019
Happy running!

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