Shamrock Anthem Half Marathon Race Recap

Sorry I’m a day late! Where did I leave off? Race morning – I was wearing tights, a tank top, quarter zip long sleeve, a fleece, and a raincoat and I was nervous that I would overheat during the race, but since it was still raining pretty steadily at the start, I didn’t want to part with my raincoat.

So I left with Corral 4 – nothing special, just ran across the start line and told myself to just keep going and take breaks when I needed to. It was only a long training run. At this point the rain was still coming down, my shoes were soaked, and the wind was blowing straight into us. Throughout miles 1-3 I had some shin pains, which I have been having while training, but I just stopped every so often to stretch them out real quick and by mile 4 they were gone.

To be honest, most of the race is a blur to me. It seemed like it went by so fast! In the early miles there was a good amount of spectators and cheering and somewhere around mile 2 there was a guy giving out beer – love that, although I didn’t take any. My stomach is iffy enough while running. No need to introduce beer into the situation.

There was definitely a noticeable 1-2 mile incline around miles 3-5ish that I didn’t think was going to be there. The course map made it look very flat! It wasn’t terrible though and I continued to trudge on! It was around this point that I noticed a man running with a flag and I made it a point to stick with him throughout the race since he seemed to be running a similar pace. Once we got to mile 6/7, we entered the Fort Story base and while there weren’t many spectators, the rain at least stopped and I was able to take my glasses out of my pocket and put them back on. And then there were things to look at!

Throughout the entire course there wasn’t anything spectacular to be seen, but it did provide some nice change in scenery the entire time – boardwalk, woods, military base, town streets.

I hadn’t looked at my watch the entire time, although I had started it, since it was under a few layers and it had been raining. I decided that since I was just running the race as a training run, I would continue to not look at my watch and just run to get the miles in.

Around mile 9 we got back onto town streets and off the base and it was at this point that I started to feel ready to be done. My mantra became, “Training run, forward motion.” I just wanted to log the miles, and finish this training run. When we reached mile 12 there was a clock and it said 02:08 when I passed it, so I knew I could PR – huge! I checked my watch for the first time the whole race and my watch said 02:03, so of course I kept it moving! I was going to PR big time!

It really was the funniest thing, because before I knew it, we were turning onto the boardwalk and I could see the finish line! It was still 7-8 blocks away. I knew I couldn’t sprint the whole thing, so I just told myself, “Slow and steady. Bring it home.” With every breath in – “Slow” – and every breath out – “and steady.”

And I crossed the finish line! The clock said 02:19 – I had run a huge PR! I stopped my watch, but forgot to check its time, and I went through the finishing chute to get my water and goodies. I must say, the swag at this race was great – shirt, towel, medal, drawstring bag, and hat, in addition to the normal finish line snacks and beer!

Anthem half 7
I got to ring the PR bell! 2:14:47 finish, for an 8:36 minute PR!

I finally found Bradley and he hugged me and said, “You ran so fast!” Melted my heart that he was so happy for me ❤ He told me, since he got the text alerts, that my official finish time was 2:14:47 – 8:36 minutes faster than I had run at the end of October! 🙂

Anthem Half 6
Happy happy girl! I definitely earned that medal!

We took a few photos on the beach before walking the 10 blocks back to our hotel to warm up and put dry clothes on. After we were dry, warm, and checked out of our hotel, we walked back to the finish line to check out the party and have some beers. You get 4 beers with your bib – I shared mine with Bradley, as 2 beers was way more than enough for me on an empty stomach!

Anthem Half
Beer for breakfast!

After enjoying the music and our beers, we walked back to our hotel and headed home. We did stop for some treats on the way home and of course I wore my medal the entire time!

Anthem half 3
Bojangles for the second time in two days… Healthy? No. Happy? Yes.

Overall, I really liked this race weekend. The expo was good, with lots of affordable Shamrock specific merchandise. The course was flat, and the views were varied. The spectators and volunteers were amazing. And personally, I ran an awesome PR that didn’t feel super strenuous – a big confidence booster going into these last 2 months of marathon training!

Would I do this race again? Absolutely! But next time I want to attempt the Dolphin Challenge [8K + Half]!

Shamrock Anthem Half Marathon Race Recap

Shamrock Anthem Half Marathon Expo/Race Morning Recap

This past Sunday I ran the Anthem Half Marathon, which is a part of the Shamrock Marathon Weekend in Virginia Beach. It was my first time running it, and despite the weather, I really want to go back next year – that’s how much I enjoyed the race (this may be slightly influenced by the fact that I scored a huge PR)!

We left Saturday morning and arrived at the Convention Center for the Expo around 2. It was super easy to park and get my bib/shirt. They had a lot of Shamrock specific merchandise, which was cool. I got a pint glass and then we walked around checking out the vendors for a little. Not as big as an RnR expo, but there were a good deal of booths.

From the Convention Center, we went to check into our hotel (the Sundial Inn – which wasn’t the best place we’ve ever stayed, but it was cheap and did the trick) and chill for a little while. We eventually ventured out into the rain and wind for dinner. We went to Home Republic and got some drinks and fried mac and cheese. It was good, but we decided to go in search of what else Virginia Beach had to offer.

Since the rain had let up, we decided to walk the block up to the boardwalk to see what the finish line area looked like. It was EXTREMELY windy! In fact Bradley had to chase his hat a little bit!

Anthem Half 8
Me trying to reason with Neptune to stop all the wind and rain… Really it was just “Why Neptune?? Whyyy?!?”
Anthem Half 5
A nice picture with the sand sculpture on the beach in case all the wind and rain blew it away over night (spoiler: that thing didn’t go anywhere).

After some pictures, we ended up at Buffalo Wild Wings for some beers and wings before making our way back to our hotel for a reasonable bed time.

I slept terribly the entire night, as I always do the night before a race, constantly looking at my phone in fears that I missed my alarm and missed the race. I finally got out of bed at 5am to use the bathroom and start getting ready. When I got up at 5, it wasn’t raining. When we left the hotel at 6am, it was pouring and very windy! The race started at 7am, so we walked the 20 blocks to the starting area and found a hotel to stand by to block some of the wind.

Around 6:50, we headed to the start, I said goodbye to Bradley and went to find corral 8. It was still raining, the wind was still blowing, and my thighs were already popsicles. To get back to corral 8, you had to walk away from the start, just to walk back to the start as your corral moved up… so I started with corral 4. Why walk more than necessary before 13.1 miles?

I wore a rain coat in the morning, which I had planned on taking off before the race since I had a long sleeve and a fleece on under it, but given the rain, I decided to keep my raincoat on for the race. I had no goals for the race, given my recent training (I’ve been doing intervals and walking a 1/4 mile of every 1/1.25 mile) and the weather. I was just treating this race as a long fun training run with thousands of other people and a medal at the end.

Sorry I’m so wordy! Tune in tomorrow for the recap of the race itself!

Shamrock Anthem Half Marathon Expo/Race Morning Recap

2016 Mileage Goals

In 2015 I used an Excel spreadsheet to track my workouts and miles walked/ran. This year I am continuing to use my Excel spreadsheet, but only for tracking miles walked/ran. I am primarily using the Believe Training journal to track my workouts, training, mileage, and any other random things I feel pertain to my training.

Love Run 2015! This was the first half marathon that I actually trained for, and I finished in a speedy 2:24:46.

I finally went through my spreadsheet and added up some totals from 2015. I really only started running in the fall of 2014, so I am really proud of these totals!

2015 Stats
Total Miles: 840
Of those miles, Total Running: 547
Total Walking: 293
Months with Mileage above 50: 11 (January was 30 miles)
Races Run: 13 (3 Halfs, 1 10K, 9 5Ks)

My first ever sub 30 5K! This was the Sol Lipton 5K, about 2 months after the Harrisburg Half and 1 week into my training for the Philadelphia RnR Half

Adding up all these numbers and seeing what I accomplished in one short year has motivated me to set some running goals for myself for 2016! As I had no running related goals for myself in 2015 (besides running a sub 2:30 half), I will use these numbers as a baseline and build off of them.

Harrisburg Half – last weekend in June. It was hot hot hot that day and I had a nasty side stitch from mile 5 on! Despite the heat, I finished in 2:29 – only 5 minutes slower than 3 months before at the Love Run!

I set some 2016 goals for myself at the beginning of the year – both running related and not, but tallying up these numbers really got me thinking about what I am capable of. One of the goals I set for myself at the beginning of January was to run happy miles. I feel like sometimes last year I would get caught up in running x number of miles on any given day just because that’s what the calendar said. Sometimes I didn’t even fully enjoy the run – I just got through it. So this year I am trying to focus on running happy, but I think I’d like to set a few time/distance goals as well.

Running happily on Yuengling!

2016 Time & Distance Goals
– Run/walk 1000 miles
– Log at least 50 miles a month
– 2:22:xx half marathon
– Run another 29:xx 5K

Runner’s World Five and Dime in Bethlehem – was my last “long run” before the Philly RnR

I am already off to a good start with more than 50 miles logged in January and marathon training starting this week! I feel like the distance goals will be easier for me to achieve than the time goals, as all I have to do is log the miles, not run speedy, but I look forward to pushing myself and seeing what I can do this year!

What are some of your 2016 goals?


2016 Mileage Goals

Things I’m Crushing On

Happy Friday! The weekend is almost here! We made it another week! This week seemed to fly by for me. I feel like I was just getting in to work Monday morning and here we are on Friday morning. What a wonderful feeling! And I feel so rested this week. I really made an effort to get to bed by 10pm every night this week (if not earlier), and I can really feel it in my body and my mood. I feel rested, recharged, and happy 🙂

Since I’ve been so happy I’ve been noticing all the good things in life and I wanted to share with you the things that I’ve been crushing on this week.

1. Cofffeeeee

This Starbucks Unsweetened Iced Coffee is my favorite! Buy a bottle (or 3 like I do) and then whenever you want coffee, just throw some ice in a glass, pour your coffee, stir in some creamer, and you’re ready to go! And of course, The Black Tie from Peet’s! I have decided Black Tie Friday is  going to be a regular thing for a while.

2. While we’re talking about drinks, Nuun Kona Kola has been my go to drink after working out lately! It’s the perfect drink for re-hydrating or for pairing with pizza. And stock up – it’s getting discontinued and is currently on sale for $4 a tube until it sells out!

Kona Kola

3. My Believe Training Journal. Last year I tracked my workout and miles in an Excel spreadsheet, and while I will continue to do that this year, I also purchased a journal to keep track of my workouts and my first marathon training cycle! I’ve only been using it for 2 weeks so far, but I’m really enjoying taking a few minutes each night to write down the day’s workout(s). I feel like it’s been holding me more accountable (especially for ab work – if I write it down before I do it, I have to do it! No scratch outs!) and I think it will be awesome to look back at the end of the year and see all of my hard work and be able to pick out trends in my training.

Believe Journal

4. My new Sperrys! I got them for Christmas and love them already! Today is the first day I have worn them and they already feel worn in. All of my Sperrys have been super comfortable right out of the box and my classic brown pair has lasted 4 years so far and is still going strong. I highly recommend Sperrys and I think this pattern is just the cutest 🙂


Those are a few of my favorite things this week. I hope your week was filled with lots of things that made you smile!

Things I’m Crushing On

Cold Runs & Hot Runs

Last night I went for an amazing run after work! It was one of those runs where it didn’t feel hard and I loved every minute of it. It totally renewed my confidence in running!

It was freezing out (my car said 18° after I was done), but I found it to be refreshing and wonderful. There’s something about freezing weather that makes the world feel silent and my mind feel clear.

I’ve been doing more walking than running since the half I ran at the end of October. Don’t get me wrong – I’ve been getting my exercise in – walking, running, elliptical-ing, yoga-ing, but I’ve definitely been logging more miles walking than I have been running. I haven’t ran a mile straight since probably the middle of December, but last night changed that. I ran a mile straight – TWICE! It totally renewed my confidence. I ended up doing 5.5 miles, only 1.75 of that walking!

Then I got to thinking about it on my lunch time run today, and I find it quite comical that I’m here celebrating running a mile, when in less than 5 months I will be running 26.2 haha! It’s all about those little victories!

Today’s lunch time run was so hot (relatively)! I had 3 miles on the calendar for today so I decided to get out at lunch and run them so I could go to yoga after work. I only packed my running jacket, instead of a lighter layer since it was so cold last night – I figured I’d need it.

Warm Weather

Turns out the sun really does come out tomorrow! I was wearing a tank top and my jacket and was sweating like it was summer! Despite all the sweat, it was nice to spend 3 miles in the sun before returning to my office.

Here’s to hoping I start watching the weather!

Cold Runs & Hot Runs

Five Good Things Friday

I have been in such a mood this week. It’s like there is no right side of my bed to wake up on. I’m currently blaming it on the below freezing temps and that I started running on a plan again this week – everything on my body hurts, ugh.

I don’t like feeling like a grumpalump though, so I’ve been trying to focus on the good things. Here are five good things from the past week:

1. We went to the Poconos with some friends for New Years and this was the view from the kitchen:

Poconos Trip

How beautiful is that? I think I could wake up to that every morning and die happy. Already thinking about mountain plans for the fall. Who needs the beach?

2. I started seriously running again this week! My marathon training plan doesn’t officially start until the beginning of February, but I’ve run maybe 10 times in the past month and definitely no more than 4 miles at a time, so I wanted to work on getting my endurance and mileage back up before my training plan starts! I have been constantly exhausted and achy and starving this week, but it does feel good to log some miles! Looking forward to a long run tomorrow morning!


The one thing I could do without while running? The bitter cold, but what are you going to do? That just means that it’s time for all the layers.

3. I have been reading Born to Run by Christopher McDougall and I love it! One of my 2016 goals is to read more and so far I can’t put this one down! I really like this quote from the book:

Born to Run Quote

“They were expected to accomplish nothing, so they could try anything.”

I’m not quite sure how it applies to my life just yet, but something about it inspires me.

4. Pro Compression socks! Need I say more? I took advantage of the Buy 2 Get 3 Free promo code (3FREE) a few months ago and this is my first time wearing my purple pair! Feels so good after 3 straight days of running.

Purple Pro Compression

5. Since today is casual Friday at work, I took full advantage and wore jeans, but I still dressed up with The Black Tie from Peet’s Coffee. Tastes smooth and delicious like coffee ice cream. Quite the Friday treat 🙂

Peets Black Tie

TGIF! Looking forward to a cozy weekend in!

Five Good Things Friday

Quotes & Anecdotes

Happy Friday! The weekend is here, there’s a breeze in the air, and there’s wine in the fridge!

One of my favorite things to peruse on Pinterest is quotes. Quotes about fitness, quotes about travel. About life, and love, and adventure. I will take pretty much all the quotes please. So I figured I would share some of my recent finds with you!

This one rang true for me, especially with my soon to be move and new job. Not everyone was immediately completely supportive, and I understand that they only had my best interests at heart. There was the, “Are you sure this is the right move for you?” and “Is this a job that you think you’ll like?” questions. But I am so excited about this new opportunity that it wouldn’t even matter if everyone wasn’t completely behind me, because I am excited about it and I think that it is the right move for me.

DecisionsI once read a quote in a book and it said “The grass is greenest where it’s watered”. This continues to be one of my favorite quotes and this one below reminded me of it.


A guy I used to date always told me to live with no regrets. And that’s what I’ve tried to do ever since. Everything that is a part of your past has helped to shape you into who you are today.


I have a bad habit of buying something – whether it be clothing, or wine, or jewelry – pretty much anything, and saying, “This would be great for a time when _______”… and then I end up saving it forever and never using it even though I like it a lot. I was recently reminded that I have this problem, as I’ve been packing up all my clothes to move and in the process of packing, I’ve also been cleaning out my closet. I found a ton of clothes that I bought because I really liked them, and then I never wore them because I never felt like it was the right occasion. Well, now they’re too big and I can’t wear them anyways. So this is me, saying that going forward I am going to use the things I love! Life is a special occasion!


And this one because I have had a major case of the wanderlust lately and I would like to be anywhere but work please and thank you.


I hope you all have lovely weekends and get out to enjoy the weather! What are some of your favorite quotes?

Quotes & Anecdotes