Race Recap: Shamrock 8K

Instead of a weekly sweat report this week, I’m sharing my Shamrock 8K race report. My weekly workouts were completed (still having trouble finding motivation to get to the pool), nothing eventful except yesterday I did a “dress rehearsal” for the Smithfield Tri next weekend and it went very well.  I’ll be back next Sunday with my regular sweat report.

At the end of December, I said my theme of the 2016 was live fearlessly. While I meant it in all aspects of my life, the one thing I really wanted to go about with fearlessness was running. I feel like the fear of a recurring IT band injury held me back last year. Anytime I felt a twinge or tightness in my left IT band during a run, I would either slow to a run/walk or just walk the rest of my workout. I didn’t push hard for fear of injury. I completed PT, did my home exercise program prescribed by PT and I continue to work on hip/glute/core strength. So why was I holding myself back? I signed up for a marathon relay with some gals at work, and after running a pain free 7.96 miles, I knew it was time to push it at the Shamrock 8K to see what I could do.


Race morning sunrise over the Atlantic.

Fast forward one week to Saturday at the Shamrock 8K. The temperature in Virginia Beach at the start was perfect, around 55 degrees, but very windy (gusts between 20-30mph that day). My bib had corral two as my assignment, but I dropped back to the front of corral three because the night before I checked the corral time estimates and my plan was to run a 45 minute time and that fell right in with corral three. I’m glad I started at the front of the corral–minimal weaving through people at the start and I was able to just run! At the start line I decided I was ready to see what I could do and to go out aiming for all sub-9 minute miles.


The start horn sounded and I took off! It so felt good to go fast! Looking down at my watch I knew I wouldn’t be able to keep the pace up (I saw 7:xx at one point!) so I slowed it down a bit. For the first two miles there was a little tailwind that gave me a little boost which was very welcome. Then we turned left to go onto the boardwalk aka headwind hell. If you look at my pace chart below, you where the headwinds started. I fought hard for miles three and four, not only physically but mentally. Going from a sub 8:30 pace to seeing a 9 minute mile pace on my watch really messed with my head, espeically since my legs still felt strong and wanted to go! I kept pushing through and pushing through and kept telling myself as soon as we got off the boardwalk there would be some relief from the wind.

Turning back onto the road I felt like I got a little boost by getting out of the wind and I picked my pace back up. I started thinking about my current 8K PR of 44:21 and thought wait a second, if I can go at it a little harder I might be able to break 44 minutes! I kept going and eventually made the turn back onto the boardwalk toward the finish line. I kept my pace where it was because that final stretch on the boardwalk is deceptivly long. As soon as I saw the finish line though, I picked it up and KNEW I was getting a new 8K PR!

I crossed the finish line in 43 minutes, 15 seconds (per my garmin-5.02 miles total) with a huge smile on my face and tears in my eyes!


I was in a little bit of a shock as I went through the finisher chute it was kind of a blur.

Download (3)

All I can remember is that I wanted some water and I wanted to go ring that damn PR bell! And I did!


My official results: 43 minutes, 15 seconds

My Garmin splits:Screen Shot 2016-03-27 at 1.14.13 PM

Now that triathlon season starts in just six days, I’m so pumped for the season, it’s like the fire has been ignited. I want to train hard, go fast and be proud of my performances. 

Today I’m linking up with MissSippiPiddlin and HoHo Runs for the Weekly Wrap link up!


How were your workouts last week? 


27 thoughts on “Race Recap: Shamrock 8K

  1. Congrats on the new PR! My workouts were pretty low key last week. I raced a 5K on Saturday & wanted to be “fresh”. So I only did a few runs & strength training workouts. I guess it paid off? But I’m ready to get back to the full grind.


    1. Thank you!!! I’m hoping to get a hang of this swimming thing, luckily Smithfield is only 300 meters and I know I can do that distance, but the olympic distance swim scares me!


  2. How awesome to get a PR in winds! Congrats!

    We’re having a day like that today (only colder). It’s supposed to be a run day. In fact, it’s supposed to be a hill repeats day. Kind of dreading it. But I have a race Sunday, so I need an easy run before the race, and that leaves either today or tomorrow for the hill repeats. Tomorrow will be a lot better, but I’m thinking I’m going to brave it today anyway — you never know what race day will give you — I had a very windy half in the fall!


      1. Oh, I’ll have an easy run in between today and the race. But just an easy run. At least the sun is peeking out a bit — but I’m not running for a few hours yet, gotta eat some lunch & walk Lola.


  3. Congrats on your 8K PR, and in all that wind – you rock! I had a few friends run the Shamrock Marathon and they said the headwind was awful on the boardwalk. i can’t believe that I never ran that race during all of my years of running marathons.


    1. Thank you!! I do feel lucky that I missed out on the rain that came along with joined the wind on Sunday for the half/full 🙂 Definitely a race worth checking out!


  4. Great job! They would have to force me to stop ringing that PR bell! Your splits are incredible and you should be so proud! After a lengthy injury, I’m working on trying to get some speed back. It’s very difficult. But, you give me hope and inspiration! Thanks for linking with us Stacey.


  5. Congratulations on the PR and an awesome race! I love the Shamrock races and J & A Racing puts on such great events. It’s neat to run on the boardwalk except for two things: it can be very tough on a windy day and when you’re approaching the finish you can see the finish arch for a long time!


  6. What an awesome race for you and you got to ring the PR Bell too! I have only seen these bells in a couple of races but I think they are so cool!!! I can’t wait to ring my own! I know what you mean about any twinge you feel thinking of ITBS issues. They are from the devil and are always in the back of my mind! So very glad you linking up with us again this week!


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