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A Weekeend At Virginia Beach


This past weekend we traveled down to Virginia Beach for our annual Shamrock Marathon weekend. This was my fourth year participating and the family’s third and we always have such a great time!

We cut out of work a little early on Thursday so we could do all of our driving that evening and have the whole day to spend at the beach on Friday. The trip down was uneventful and baby D did pretty well for his first trip. (We have discovered, however, that the young lad does not prefer to be stuck in his car seat if the car isn’t moving, thankyouverymuch.) After a nice peaceful evening in the hotel room (by the way, have you guys discovered Google Chrome?? I’m still new to using it, but once I figure out how to get it talking to the iPad and them both talking to the tv, it is awesome!), we took some Baby’s First Beach Trip pictures and headed over to meet the family.

Now we have a wide array of fitness levels and fitness interests in our family, which is one of the things that makes this event so much fun. Everyone participates in the 8k on Saturday. Some years we all go at our own paces and some years, like this year, we all walk it together. We’ve got a cousin who designs and provides “Team Dougherty” shirts each year and we tend to dress up more and more each year too (we’re talking kilts, tutus, tights, beards and the like this year).

Another fun thing about this event is that our family participation in the Sunday events keeps growing too. The past two years, I was the only one who did a second run (the full marathon both years), but this year two of us did the half marathon and two others did the full (it was the first full for both of them)! Needless to say, we represented very well in the Whale and Dolphin Challenges this year (running the 8k and the marathon or the half marathon, respectively).

So, let me just suggest, though, that if you have a race to run, you make sure your alarm is turned on and your phone isn’t on silent (#doh!). Nothing like being awakened at 6:30 a.m. for a 7:00 a.m. race when you are 25+ minutes away! But hey, we made it and, though I am convinced that I was one of the last ten registered runners to cross the starting line, we both finished and that gave me the opportunity to pass a few people along the way. I finished the half in 3:17 – slower than I expected, but I really needed to adjust my expectations considering how undertrained (or really un-trained) I was.

My half marathon and Dolphin Challenge medals 🙂

The drive home was slightly more eventful as we got caught in the winter weather around Richmond resulting in a drive which should have taken 4 hours becoming a 6.5+ hour drive. What’s up with all of this winter weather these days?? Doesn’t mother nature know that it is March?

If you have not run Shamrock, let me just give you some of the highlights: Shamrock brings together some of the most fun runners/walkers that I’ve come across (we like to start in the last corral – the corral for those who like to party), the get-ups are fantastic and the spectators not only cheer, but some provide beer too (I may or may not have had three nice swallows of beer before 8 a.m. on Sunday)! Oh, and the after party (#bringontheyuengling!). There’s music, stew from Murphy’s Irish Pub, and Yuengling, lots of Yuengling.

What good are strollers if they aren’t used for carrying swag, medals, empty glasses & other goodies?

One Hoolie Mama