Sunday, March 13, 2011

Shamrock Shuffle 2011 Race Report

Subtitled: After this I'm going to take a nap.  Or I would if it weren't already 4:15pm.

I was excited about doing this race because it's my first test of fitness after a long winter on the treadmill, ice skating around campus, and having long runs restricted to less than an hour and a half so I didn't die of exposure.  Also- despite the mega hill at the very beginning and end of the course - this race has been good to me.  You can read past race reports here and here.  

Daniel and I got up at 6 new time this morning because we had to be downtown to do set-up at church at 7am.  I came dressed in my running gear and had a good warm-up lugging things around, setting up folding chairs, stuffing bulletins, etc.  I snarfed down a bagel at 8am when the pastor showed up with them.  We're probably technically not supposed to eat until all the work is done, but I wanted to have as much time to digest as I could before the start of the race.  We finished with everything by 9am and I headed out to the race start while Daniel stayed for the service.

I met up with Jamie, Kerri, and Linda (who make me wish my first name started with an I or an M) where we took pictures (well, I didn't take any pictures but I hope to snag some from them).  We chatted, wished each other good luck, and headed for the starting line.  I got up pretty close to the front.  Not the very front, but I decided to be gutsy and let myself be in the position where I'm the one being passed, not the one dodging slow people for the first mile.  It was fairly cold in the wind, and I didn't regret wearing tights, three tops, a pair of gloves and a pair of mittens.

The race starts with a slight downhill, turns, and you hit the first big hill.  Up, up, up, then down, then up up again and a long down hill.  This is the easy way over the hill and I hit the first mile at 8:00.  Unfortunately this and the second mile are the only splits I know because I accidentally set my GPS to record only the time and not the distance or pace.  The second and third miles are flat and familiar territory for me.  I hit mile marker 2 at 15:17 and the 5k turn around at 23:54.  At that point I started looking for the other gals.  I missed Jamie, but I saw Linda and Kerri both going strong.  I was still feeling good and my goal was not to push too hard before hitting the hill again.  We crossed mile 5 and it was up up up again.  This is the hard, steep way.  You feel like you're only doing slightly better running than walking.  But then you get to come down down down the other side.  You turn another corner and there's the last .2 miles on a straight way.  This is the only part of the race I was disappointed with.  I really should have started my kick to the end as soon as I saw the finish line.  In the past I'd had problems starting my final kick too early and nearly blowing chunks up right before the finish line.  But I'm in better shape now, and I need to work on pushing harder from farther back and gutting it out to the finish line.

In the end my time was 48:07 (coulda woulda shoulda on those 8 seconds).  Even that wouldn't have been a PR, but I would have liked to see 47:XX again.  I think part of the problem was that I couldn't see a clock as I was coming down the last straight away.  Seeing it tick toward 48min might have inspired me to push it out a little harder.  In any case, it was a course PR by 1:23min from last year and- if my fatigue is a good indicator- a hard effort from me.  I have some longer distance runs on my schedule for the rest of the spring, but I'm feeling motivated to scope out more 10ks for the rest of the year.  It really is my favorite distance.

Have a great Sunday, all!