Sunday, March 21, 2010

St Pattys Day 10k

Hello all, Hope you have had a nice weekend! Sunday has turned out to be pretty good here, but what you all care about is my St. Patty's Day Race Recap. I warn you, this is a long one, but at least there are photos.

I also want to give a huge shoutout to Penny who ran her 2nd half marathon today and Smoked her previous PR. Head over to her Blog to check it out!!!

This morning my alarm did not come any earlier than it would on a weekday, which is a big change for a race morning, normally we are up and out the door at some rediculous hour. The alarm went off at 6am which gave me plenty of time to eat and get ready.

I opted for the green shorts, the weather was supposed to be great today, but with a serious chance of rain, and I knew the shorts would still be light and easy even if they got drenched. I ditched my pullover long before the start, and with temps in the low 60s I didn't really need it anyways.

We left the house at 7am, snagged some breakfast for my photographer and then headed down to the ghetto for the race. Today's race took place at the Evergreen Cemetary which is the Springfield area of Jacksonville. While they are working very hard to improve the Springfield area, this is certainly not a place I have ever visited before, nor would I return for any other reason than a race where they lock you in.

I am still working on getting used to the whole daylight savings time thing, as it was still dark-ish when we arrived at 7:30am.

We did manage to make it up there pretty quickly, this left me plenty of time to get my timing chip on my shoe and hop in the line for the bathrooms. By then the sun was coming up, and it was looking to be a very pleasant race day. The idea of running through a cemetary didn't really bother me, and to be honest I really didn't give it much thought. The whole route was paved and almost all of it had a nice canopy of trees that kept us shaded and made for a nice quiet and scenic run.

And as always, there must be plenty of time left for unflattering candid pictures to be taken. John is not a huge fan of posed pictures, which is why I am always talking.

I left John to go line up, and then it finally hit me how mentally unprepared I was for this race. My last race, the half-marathon, I was beyond prepared. I had spent days making sure I was hydrated, properly fueled and rested, and spent even more time thinking about pacing strategies and times. I went into today's race after a night of staying up late, having a beer and not giving much thought as to how I wanted to pace myself.

I decided since my less than 59 minute goal was non-negotiable, and in my head I really wanted to break 57 minutes that I needed to do 9:30 in the first mile and then drop to about a 9:15 pace for the next 4 and then have a 9 minute pace of better for the last mile. It was early and I was groggy, but the math seemed to add up right that I could finish in 59 minutes.

The gun went off and I tried to move, but was bombarded by slow people, kids, and strollers. I knew that there were no mats at the start so I needed to get moving and keep my pace. I ended up on the grassy hill that lined the sidewalk for the first hundred yards until I cleared the cluster of kiddies in my way.

After we made it around the first curve I found myself a nice little spot and people going at the right pace.

We had not been even a half mile yet when I felt it start to rain. I knew that this was a possibility, but it really said it wasn't supposed to start raining until 9am, which is when I would be finishing. It wasn't heavy and actually felt pretty good, so no complaints on that front. The rain managed to stop at about mile 1 and then it got humid, which was gross, but thankfully there was no sun to speak of, so that was one less concern.

As I was turning at the loop right after mile 1 I saw all the 10k front runners heading towards me, they were already looping back, crazy fast! Everyone ran together until about mile 2.9 and then the 5k and 10k split. We veared left to go back and repeat the same loop we had just done, and as I turned a corner just past mile 3 I saw a friendly face...

I had not expected to see John until the end, so it was nice to have a little pick me up. I was still feeling good at this point, and just kept going.

It wasn't until after I left John and turned a corner up a small hill that I started to feel tired, but I had found myself an awesome pacer back at mile 1 and was determined to stay with him the entire way.

In the background here you can see the man I named Stroller Dad. Stroller dad and I never spoke 1 word throughout the race, but I think we were both aware of each others continued presence. When stroller dad first found be just after mile 1, I smiled at the cute girl he was pushing and how nicely she thanked the volunteers at the 2 mile water station. At that point,  I noticed stroller dad's shirt was from yesterday's MS Mud Run here in town which is a 10k run with military obstacles all throughout, oh yeah, and all through the mud!!! He was rocking this race not 24 hours after finishing that full body challenge, and oh yeah, he was pushing a 30 pound kid in a 30 pound stroller.

I told myself if this middle aged man could do all that, I could certainly keep up with him for the remainder of the race, and I had better beat him by at least 1 second. I hung with Stroller Dad through the end, and started to pull ahead in the last half mile or so.

I turned down the home stretch spotting John's bright blue shirt ahead, but was quickly distracted by this guy right in front of me who was already finished who was screaming something. It turns out one of his track teammates was coming up quick behind me and he was chearing him on. Well that 16 year old kid blew past me and kind of took me by surprise.

You can see speedy gonzalez passing me on the left, and at that moment I got pissed. Oh no way I just let some kid pass me after all of that.

So I kicked it into high gear and was hell bent on passing at least 1 person between there and the finish line. Check out stroller dad hanging right in the background!

I blew past this woman who I had seen in the bathroom line earlier that morning, but it felt great to pass a very experienced runner right before the finish.

I managed to pick off 1 more unsuspecting lady too before actually crossing the finish line. This made me smile :)

Pretty much as soon as my legs stopped I was spent, I had given it everything I had at the time and I was pleased to know I came in well under my 2 goals.

This was my whiney pouty face when I realized I had not managed to stop Garmie as I crossed the finish line, I can be such a baby!

Even with the 10 second lapse in judgment I still managed to come in under my goal. 56:49 by my watch and an official time of 56:39! YAY!!!!!!!!! PR, under goal, AND a 9:08 average pace- my best race pace EVER!!!!!!!! Pretty good for a race I felt mentally unprepared for :)

56:39, 6.2 miles, Avg HR 183
Mile 1- 9:10
Mile 2- 9:18
Mile 3- 9:13
Mile 4- 9:03
Mile 5- 9:16
Mile 6- 8:57
last .2- 1:40 (8:42)

All smiles at the end, I wish there had been a medal, but then again, this story isn't over!

About 2 minutes after I finished, I grabbed a cup of gatorade, a banana, and got John a cookie, then it started to rain- 9am, just as expected. As much as I wanted to wait around and see the official results, I was not wanting to hang in the rain, so we high-tailed it home.

Well, here is some very valuable advice I can offer to all new runners. If you think you did well, stay and see the official results put up....

Because you might just have WON MY AGE GROUP!!!!!! I had a thought in the back of my mind all week that I could place in my age group, maybe 2nd or 3rd just because I knew there wouldn't be that many people racing, but I NEVER imagined to win, I screamed in the car when the results finally published online!!

After unknowingly winning, I can home, showered, and made my self an omlet and sweet potato hashbrowns, a fantastic post race meal- I wish I had time to eat this every day!

After a few hours of a bit of everything, I headed out for my reward...Frozen Yogurt! Last night I found out that we already have a self-serve frozen yogurt establishment in Jacksonville, and I had to try it.

I went to Mochi at the Town Center and piled my cup high with original yogurt, rasberries, mango, strawberries, blueberries and kiwi. This was essentially my lunch and worth every bite!!! I am in love!!!

So that is what I have for you today folks, a PR, an age group win, and the best yogurt yet! I have some interesting posts coming your way this week, so don't stray too far!!!

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations! Those are some pretty hard core pictures of you near the finish. :)