St. Patrick's Race Recap

>> Monday, March 11, 2013

Hello! I hope you're enjoying my return to running posts. It's been really motivating for me to share with you all what I'm doing and the progress I've been making. I had my first race in many months on Saturday, and I can't wait for you to read the recap.

First: Here's last week's at-a-glance from Daily Mile:

M: 7.6 mile long run (step-back week)
T: 3 treadmill miles, alternating 1/2 mile repeats 8:30/7:30 pace + kettlebells/squats
W: Totally off
T: 2.5 miles easy
F: Totally off
S: 4 mile RACE in 29:45 (7:26/mile)
S: 4 mile recovery run

In all, 21 miles -- which I'm happy with because I didn't think I'd break 20. It was both a step-back week for my long run and a small taper for Saturday's race. I took an extra day off from strength training, too. Now that I've had two relatively easy weeks, though, the pressure is on to make this next week count.


I didn't know what to expect during this race. I hadn't even run a race since the Runner's World Half Marathon way back in October. So, my goal was to break 30 minutes and to get back into the whole strategy aspect of running.

And to see my running friends. Hi, Dani!

This race draws a little over 600 runners each year. And I love it because it's through our neighborhood, so I run these streets almost every day. I don't love shorter races because they tend to stress me out, but I've been attempting to do some speedwork, so I was excited to see what these legs could do.

My fastest time on this course is 29:15, which I ran two years ago right before getting pregnant. Last year at 3 months postpartum, I managed a 30:49.

At the start I tried my best to position myself near the front. A lot of people do this race and only this race for their running each year -- so I usually think I'm lining up correctly, only to find myself desperately trying to pass people who start out too soon and then bonk a quarter mile in. I see my friend Kelly, so I situate myself near her.

A couple minutes into the race, I also see my running buddy Sue! I am hesitant to try and keep up with these two ladies because a.) I doubt my ability to keep up with them and b.) Trying to stay with people does a number on me mentally. I decide early on that THIS is the race I will at least try to do it. Surprisingly, I get a boost of confidence this way. Plus, it's more fun to run with friends, even if you aren't talking.

We make our way to the first mile. I hear a guy say 7:20, 7:22, 7:24. Not shabby.

After that, the course goes into a series of mini-hills -- inclines that aren't terribly steep, but deceivingly challenging because they are long. Sue offers some encouraging words, and we keep on. Before I know it, we're at 3 miles. Just one to go!

We had decided that at 3 miles, it would be a free for all. I felt surprisingly full of energy. My legs were moving faster with ease. I had a lot left in the tank, so I decided to go all out up the last mini-hill. I eventually found myself in the last couple tenths of the course near my friend Adam. We both finished strong.

The clock had 29:40, but my official time landed at 29:45 -- 7:26 pace overall. 10th out of 78 in the 20-29 female age group. I'll take it!

The weirdest part is that at the finish I felt tired, yes, but I wasn't really out of breath or sore. I immediately rebounded and felt like I could have run another good distance. I think all the strength training and intervals have been paying off majorly. I will definitely continue this practice.

My friends finished mere seconds after me and we shared a nice hug at the end. Thanks, ladies! I'm excited to get out there and race again this spring. I've sort of fallen out of love with racing, but I think when I do expend the energy and make the time, it's totally worth it.

Stephen had big goals for this race, too. Unfortunately, he's had a cold + allergies.

Still, he ran.

And he's even speedy while sick. While he didn't meet his goal, he finished 6th overall in 21:44 -- 5:26/mile. Not too bad, especially considering he developed a fever yesterday afternoon. He's under my strict orders to take it easy for the rest of the weekend.

I wonder what it's like to be in the front packs of races. Looks sort of lonely.


One of the best parts of this race is the after-party. So much food!!! I do feel I should share that I indulged in gluten -- a doughnut, piece of pizza, and a beer. I was hungry. The doughnuts were my absolute favorite kind and there was a gigantic box of them. I don't like bananas. And I am weak, what can I say? I am fully committed to keeping my gluten-free month going, though, so I hope you'll excuse the momentary indiscretion.

Anyway, while I didn't run my fastest time, I didn't run my slowest either. Here's to a great start to the spring racing season!

Anyone else run a race this weekend?

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