Happy St Patrick’s Day! Or Paddy’s Day. Never St Patty’s Day. Official Irish person rule.
I started my day with a 4.58 mile recovery run – at about 9.14 min/mile pace. After my race on Saturday and skiing yesterday my quads were not super happy. Looks like I’ll be spending this evening with my foam roller.
March total: 60.24 miles/96.9 KM
So my first race recap! I wanted to sign up for a race before my half marathon to get an idea of where I’m at. I have been injured on and off from August thru December 2013 and am currently nursing a mild case of runner’s knee. I have been able to follow the mileage portion of my half marathon training plan but until the last week or so have not been doing any kind of speed work so had no real idea of what my race paces might be.
This was only my 3rd ever 10 K. My first one was back when I lived in Scotland in 2007. J was training for his first marathon and wanted to run the Great Edinburgh 10 K to get some race experience. On a whim – and with no real training beyond 2 five mile runs – I decided I would run too. Now, if you’ve ever visited Edinburgh you will know that it is a pretty hilly city and the 10 K race covered the hilly sections around Holyrood and up into the old town to finish. Somehow I finished in 61.xx minutes and ran the whole way. But I distinctly remembered not being able to walk for about 2 days afterwards.
Last summer I did a local 10 K trail race and had a completely opposite experience. Pushed myself but really enjoyed it and set a new PR of 49.28, taking a whopping 12 minutes of my time.
This race was a road race so I was confident I could set a new PR until looked more closely at the race course and saw that there was about 500 ft elevation gain in the first half. Luckily, it was an out and back so I was hoping that I could make up time in the second half.
My plan was to stick to 8 min/mile for the first two miles and then hope I could stay close to 8.30 min/mile for mile 3. After that it would all be downhill and I wanted to get as close to 7.00 min/miles as possible.
I woke up at 6 AM to fuel up. Half a white bagel with some Trader Joe’s cookie butter spread and a lemon and lime Nuun.
My friend “I” was also running and picked me up a little after 7.30 AM. The race was meant to start at 8.30 AM so we spent 45 mins chatting in her warm car before heading up to the pretty windy and chilly (42F) start area.
The race was pretty small and the start was designated by the blue chip mats. At 8.30 AM we were off. I had snuck up towards the start and off we went. Miles 1 and 2 went pretty much to plan. Mile 3 is where it got hard. Lots of elevation. I knew that the turnaround was a little after 3 miles so I was waiting to see the leaders start to come down the canyon and at least know that I wouldn’t have to run uphill forever. At the turnaround I counted 3 women ahead of me. But I knew that there was not much chance of me catching any of them.
Now the downhill fun began! In my 2014 goals section I mentioned that I wanted to break a 7 min/mile this year. Last year the closest I got was 7.07. I nearly did a mini jump when I saw mile 4 was 6.56 min. Holy hell! I had never run that fast before. Sure I was being helped by a steady downhill gradient but still. I was even more shocked when miles 5 and 6 were both 6.36 min. PR for sure.
It was also nice coming down the canyon and seeing all of the runners heading up. I saw my friend “I” who confirmed I was in 4th place. I also had a couple of people cheer me on which was really nice and made me smile.
The only downside of the race came in the last mile. There was also a 5K race on and we shared the last mile so it was pretty congested and I had to weave around a lot of walkers, kids and people walking 3,4, and 5 abreast. It wasn’t too bad and I didn’t knock anyone over but it wasn’t ideal. I crossed the line with an official time of 46.39 mins.
I had run the last 3 miles with two guys – one of whom I accidentally left hanging on a high five after the finish line. Oops! Sorry! I saw and congratulated the other guy a little later.
Once I finished I added 2 slow miles as a cool down to get my total for the day to 8.17 miles. I even got some more congratulations from some army dudes out for their weekly run!
I waited for “I” to finish and got a receipt printout of my time and position. 20th overall and first in my age group (31-40). Great days racing! And has made me pretty confident that I can get a good time in my half marathon. Plus absolutely no knee issues for the entire race.
Finally, a reminder that Ireland isn’t all Guinness and leprechauns but is an amazingly beautiful and special place.