Sunday, March 24, 2013

Race Report: 2013 TowneBank 8K

I probably won't look back at this race, the 2013 TowneBank 8K in Virginia Beach, as one of my best, but I'm thrilled with it nonetheless.  Last year, after taking January off to heal from my first bout of shinsplints, I annihilated this race, running a revenge-fueled 41:40.  But, last year, I was coming off a fall marathon and even during my month off I worked really hard to not lose my conditioning.

Then I stopped running in late September 2012 when my shins got too bad, felt sorry for myself and didn't do jack shit for a month and a half, and have been really inconsistent in my ability and will to run every since starting up again in December.  

In February, it seems like I'd turned a corner, and was I going to be able to run without pain again, but for most of March my shins and calves have just been awful.  I did make it through the Kelly St. Patrick's 5K in Baltimore the week before, but the next time I went out I wasn't even able to make it two miles before they flared up.

Basically, I didn't see any way that I was going to be able to run approximately 5 miles.  I was somehow in Corral 2, which I don't understand.  I moved to the back of the corral, which probably helped me pace myself as we set out southward.  "Nice and easy" was the word of the day.  I felt ok at the end of mile 1, and was surprised at how good I felt at mile 2, as we made the turn off of Atlantic Avenue onto the boardwalk.  

 The great thing about running on the boardwalk -- and the 8K course in general, really -- is that it's perfectly flat.  I continued to take it easy, and I kept feeling good at mile 3.  However, now how out of shape I am was starting to come into play and I was breathing heavily.  When I was still running at mile 4, though, I knew I would make it.  One. More. Mile.

Last year, I was very sentimental as I ran up the boardwalk past the Neptune statue.  I couldn't help but think of finishing the marathon two years prior.  This year, I was a combination of relieved -- I'd expected to have to walk the last two miles -- and pissed at myself.  Yes, I'm injured.  That's not my fault.  But it is my fault that I lost so much conditioning over the last six months.

I crossed the finish line in 52:00 even, and then watched for Chris.  When she crossed the line, we headed to the distinguishing feature of all the Shamrock races:  the kick-ass party tent.  

J&A racing does a GREAT job with these races, and making the whole weekend a fun experience.  Once again, I'm glad that I ran the 8K, because it allowed me to be a participant in the weekend even though I'd had to defer from the full or half.  

And the TowneBank 8K is especially fun:  It's totally flat, the t-shirt and medal are cool and the beer-per-mile ratio is the highest of any race I've ever run.  You get 4 beers at the finisher's tent (I only had 3...Chris had a half-marathon the next day, and I hadn't run 5 miles since September so brunch was sounded better than a fourth Yuengling).   You get the same four beers the next day for running the half or full marathons the following day.  Why would you run either one?

Seriously, let's do the math:

TowneBank 8K:  0.8 beers per mile

Anthem Half Marathon: 0.31 beers per mile

Yuengling Shamrock Marathon: 0.15 beers per mile

The numbers don't lie.  The 8K is BY FAR the most fun.

You also get a cookie!!  OMG!!!

You do not get a Chris.


  1. Perhaps you found the antidote to shinsplints....Yuengling Beer! If it works let me know, I may have to order a couple cases (I have never seen that brewer on the left coast).