Sunday, March 17, 2013

Shamrock 'n' Walk

This isn't really going to be a race review.  It was too cold for me to take pictures, I was busy with other things (people!), and the rest of you will do a better one than me anyway.  This is just a recap of my day.

So.  Shamrock n Roll in Plymouth was today.  As of race morning I was sure I wasn't going to try to "race" the 10K, but was undecided whether I would walk/jog the 10K or downgrade to the 5K.  I got to packet pickup super early (I had actually finished picking up my packet before 7am, which was when they were officially supposed to start packet pickup!) I ran into Josh ( coming in as I was going out, but I was starving (had been up since 3:30am and hadn't eaten yet) and had other people to meet so I said a quick hello and ran off.  I moved my car from the middle school to the city deck roof, since it was closer and I had plenty of time.  It didn't occur to me to actually decide which race I was doing, but if I was going to switch it would have been at packet pickup, so my decision was made!  After I parked I headed to Panera for a egg & cheese on ciabatta (just 390 calories!  :P) and a coffee and to wait in the warmth for Katie and Irina to arrive.

I kind of overextended myself socially at this race.  I had picked up packets for Katie and Irina so I definitely had to make sure to find them before the race.  I wanted to make it to the fountain at 7:40 am for a runner/twitter/blogger photo.  There was a private 501 tent where I wanted to hang out with those peeps.  And A2 Runners Meetup had some people there (I was the organizer who listed the event), but we didn't discuss a meeting place (thank goodness) so I wasn't worried about that one.  Although sometimes people expect to be able to find us and are unhappy when we don't actually "meet up".  Oh well.

Of course everybody basically found me at the same time.  As I was directing Katie to where to park on the phone, Coach G from 501 ran into me and was trying to talk to me in person, then Irina started calling on the other line.  Eek!  Chaos!  Irina was *FREAKING OUT* because her dog was going crazy and she was lost.  LOL.

We all eventually managed to park and find each other.  It was SO COLD.  My toes were numb.  Irina went back and waited in her car because she had the dog, while Katie and I waited in Panera for a bit.

Finally 7:35 arrived and we decided to mosey over to the fountain for this epic blogger photo :).  At 7:43 we took the photo with those were there (not everybody, but it was too cold to wait any more, and it was already 3 minutes past!) Nobody wanted to hang out (including me) because we were freezing.

Great idea for the photo, whoever it was that came up with last night on Twitter.  :)  Great to meet everybody officially, if that 2 second interaction counts as meeting!  I don't know why that numbnuts in the front decided to kneel.  Some people are clueless.  :P  Thanks Jeff for the camera usage/photo share!    From left to right: Katie, Josh, Andrea, Kevin, me, Richard, Jeff.

We waited in the warming tent for the race to start.  I didn't end up making it over to check out the 501 tent.  I didn't warm up in the warming tent.  My toes were still numb.  When it was time to line up, I met Irina and Lucy (the beagle) at the way back, all the way against the road barricades.  I had warned Irina not to bring the dog, but she didn't listen.  She was sure she'd be good.  I was like how sure?  How many times has she been around 5,000 people running?  And other dogs? And she's a BEAGLE for pete's sake.

We intermittently walked and jogged, with Irina being drug by crazy little Lucy.  Any time we didn't run she would cry.   And any time a dog was in smelling range she would do the classic obnoxious beagle baying.  And occasionally weave side to side, making me paranoid that she was going to trip another runner.  I kind of wanted to run ahead just so I didn't have to be affiliated with the dog. :P  (Sorry Irina!)  Also, I told you so.  Here's a video (sorry I'm yelling so loud, turn down your volume).  This was when she was actually behaving sort of well.  I didn't get a video of any of the really vigorous lunging and baying.  Decided it was too cold to putz with my phone anymore.  And it was pain to get in an out of my RooSport pocket.

After a couple of jogging episodes we finally weren't freezing anymore.  It would have been great running weather today, but it was too cold for walking! After about a mile in, I started wishing I would have done the 5K.  Not because my knee was hurting that bad, but just because it wasn't that fun, and I was risking making my knee worse for a race I wasn't even going to get a good time in and wasn't even enjoying.  I wasn't miserable, but it wasn't as fun as I expected to just leisurely walk/jog and chat.  I blame Lucy.

I had worn my new IT band strap, and I do actually think it helped.  I was skeptical, but gave it a shot.  Last time I tried to walk my dogs (about a week ago), I was limping after 1.5 miles, so I was really concerned about walking 6.2 today.  But it was mostly fine.  There were a couple times where I felt a little something, but tightening the strap and altering my gait so I didn't bend my knee too much helped. I think I will go to Rock CF after all.  It's only twice as far, and even if I just walk/jog it again, it will still count for my 13 x 13.1 in '13.  Plus I already paid for it.

My knee hurt more on the drive to and from the race from being bent while driving than it did during the "race".  And I don't think it hurt any more on the way home than it did on the way back, so hopefully I didn't undo any healing; it doesn't seem like I did.

My time was...I don't even know.  I think like 1:30.  I was concerned that I wouldn't get a medal, like that maybe the medals only went to the first xxx finishers, but they were still handing them out when we came through.  I actually traded mine in, because they were handing out some with plain green lanyards and some with nice "Shamrock n Roll" lanyards, and I wanted the nice one.

Shoddy photo of a nice medal for a 10K! 

I liked their shirts a lot better than last year's.  In fact, the previous years' Shamrock n Roll and Solstice Run shirts are some of my least favorite race shirts.  Personally, I would love to see them offer Men's and Women's shirt sizing, rather than just unisex.  For the high cost of these races and their image as more of a "luxury" race (medals and pacers for a 10K for Pete's sake!) I don't think it's a completely unreasonable request.  Here are a couple shots of the shirt:

After the race, the line for getting food in the warming tent was really long so we didn't bother waiting. This has been the case at all the Kona runs I've done in the past year, except Solstice in June.  It's cool that they do the individually wrapped bagels from Panera, but not cool that you have to wait in line so long to get them.  It would be nice if they could change the course or something so post-race food could be spread out in more rows in the middle school or something.  Solstice (now called the Kona run) is my favorite of the Kona races.  The finish area there is awesome.  You don't have to wait at all to get any of the post-race goodies.

Lucifer (That must be what Lucy is short for, right Irina???), Irina, and me.
That's about it.  Today was an okay day.  If it weren't for the Kona Triple Crown, I probably wouldn't have registered for a race at all today, even if I was uninjured.  If it weren't for the 10K medal, I would have done the 5K.  I don't love this race.  It's a little too big for the venue in my opinion.  I recommend it for people who are into the "big race spectacle".  It's like a big city event type of feel, like the Rock & Roll Series of marathons, for example.  I do like the pacers and the medals for a 10K, but it's just not my favorite race.  Nothing wrong with it, just not so much my cup of tea.   As far as the Kona races go, I think my ranking will be as follows (somewhat speculative since the Chocolate run hasn't happened yet!) : #1-Kona, #2 Chocolate, #3 Wicked Halloween, #4 Shamrock.  Wicked Halloween is identical to Shamrock, but it gets ranked higher because the long-sleeved shirts fit a lot better and look a lot nicer.  I'm assuming the chocolate one will be #2 because it involves Chocolate.  Duh.  And Kona/Solstice is #1 because it has a great 10 mile course and the finish is awesome.  The start and parking are good too.  All of them are big enough to support the volumes!

FYI, Lucifer, I still love you.  I just hope you don't come to any more races so I can go out to brunch with your mom next time!


  1. Great Post!

    Love the "Epic Blogger pic"! :) I squatted down a little because you were kneeling, and I didn't want my bouncing shamrocks(which fell off in mile 1, BTW) to block anyone's face, but then no one can see our awesome socks! :( Oh well! Hope to meet you again soon, in better weather ;)

  2. The "epic" blogger meetup was my idea. I disagree that this feels like a big race. Run Crim and you will see. This one feels like a hometown race to me. Yes, it's crowded but not crazy(IMHO). What would you suggest for the shirts? You are the second one to mention you don't really like them. It is the race theme? Kona's shirt looks cool but I like all of them. I can understand wanting the woman's sizing though.


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