Saturday, March 17, 2012

St. Paddy's Day 5k Race Report

Last year at the St. Paddy's Day 5k race, it was cold and windy.  This year, sunny and incredibly hot for March.  When I checked the weather at 7 AM, it was already 60*. 

Last year, I wore:

Running tights, shorts, long sleeve shirt and a running zip-up

This year...

Shorts and a tank top
I really don't like these running shorts, but they are the only green pair of shorts that I own.  Since it is St. Patrick's Day and I am Irish, I thought I should wear them despite my dislike for them.  They fit very awkwardly, which is weird because all of my other Nike shorts fit okay.

Have you ever woken up on race day and just not wanted to get out of bed and race?  That was my feeling.  My did not taper at all for this race.  As a matter of fact, this week I will most likely be logging my most mileage of the year - over 50 miles this week.  It probably doesn't help that I ran 10 miles on Thursday, and major diabetes issues this week, and something major happen in my personal life.  So, I decided to sleep.  I knew I could wake up at 7 AM and still make it to the 8 o'clock start on time. 

I always eat breakfast, but decided  to just eat a granola bar today.  I wasn't hungry.  Before I realized it, I had to go.  I live about 1.5 miles from the start of the race, so it is the perfect warm-up distance.  I got running, and arrived at the start line 15 minutes early.

This year the race sold out, and I could tell.  It was a lot more crowded than last year, which was the inaugural year for the race.  One thing I love about this race is that they have mile pace times held up before the race so people know where to stand.  Of course this does not work for everyone. 

Case in point: The first time they had was "elite."  The next was 7:00/mile.  I am not elite by any means, but am faster than 7:00/mile in a 5k race.  I positioned myself at the back of the elite crowd.  Next to me were three girls texting their friends.  One said, "I don't know if I'll be able to run the entire race.  I've never run this far before."  Girl two says, "It is just like in gym class."  (really?  I never ran more than 1 mile in gym.  I think, girl 2, you are sadly mistaken.). 

The race started on time.  I knew my legs were going to have a hard time, but I tried to muster up all of the positive reinforcement i could give them.  One of the lines I often repeat in 5k races is "you only have to run hard for 20 minutes."  True to the quote, that is what I did.  But I finished a little after 20 minutes.  Overall, I was happy with how I did given the circumstances.  Not all races can be PRs.

My official stats were:

Official Time: 21:03
Pace: 6:47/mile
Overall Place: 96/2,010
Female Place: 12/1,220
Age Group Place: 2/181*

*The first place female in my age group was 3rd overall, so she wasn't counted in the age group awards.

How was your St. Patrick's Day?  Did you race?  Do you celebrate?  I am 12% Irish, and very proud.  My Grandma is 100% Irish and celebrates this holiday more than Christmas.  May the luck of the Irish be with you this year.

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