Monday, March 18, 2013

Run of the Irish

Fun Fact #1: Adidas' North American headquarters are located in Portland.

Fun Fact #2: Adidas is the major sponsor of the Shamrock Run, which is the largest running event in they city. (Yes, I'm just as shocked as you that it's not the Portland Marathon.)

Fun Fact #3: I ran the Shamrock 15K (there's also an 8K and a 5K).

The race started at 7:30, but because I'm a nut, I set my alarm for 5:15. Of course, I hit snooze a few times, and it dawned on me around 5:45 that I had to get up for this race. Despite my idiot move error, I still had time to eat my pre-race millet porridge and do my dynamic warmup.   

I arrived around 7:15, and my first thought was, "I paid money to give up sleeping in on a Sunday? #runnerprobs". It was freezing around the start (about 41, felt like 36), and the first time since last year's Shamrock Run that I opted to race in tights.
I saw my friend Jeff enter the starting corral, and chatted with him before the start. After the US and Irish national anthems (yes, they played the Irish national anthem), the race started. I had planned on shooting for an average pace of 6:40-6:45. Due to bottlenecking, etc., I hit the first mile at 6:53 (which I expected - the first mile is usually slower than goal). By mile 2, I felt a little more warmed up, and I ran that one was 6:40. Mile 3 brought this gradual uphill through downtown. I knew it was coming, but it still slowed me down (mile 3 = 6:52). At that point, I might've let my nerves/slightly stiff legs/slower pace get the best of me, because my mile 4 split was 7:28 (and the big hill didn't even come until the mile 4 marker). 

Miles 4-6 brought the Terwilliger hill, which I knew was going to be a bitch. 

During the 5th mile:
Jeff: *passes me on my right*
Me (upon seeing this): (to myself: Aw, hell no!) *surge ahead*
Him: I saw that.
Me: Don't think I didn't see you pass me.

He passed me again, then I passed him again, and we were neck-and-neck until the top of the hill, at which point I used that downhill to my advantage. From there on, I told myself that I just needed to beat my official 15K PR (1:04:54; my 15K split from the Chicago Marathon). After mile 7, I told myself, "Only 16 minutes," and after mile 8, "Only 10 minutes." That last mantra also made the nauseating bacon scent easier to deal with. (I kid you not, some guy dressed as the devil was handing out strips of bacon.) Eventually, I saw the finish line and went for it.
My hands were so cold/numb when I crossed the finish line that it took me a few seconds to stop my Garmin (#raynaudsprobs). Got my chip clipped off (yes, despite being such a large race, they still use plastic shoe chips), got my finisher medal, and turned around to see Jeff cross the finish line.
I had the time from my Garmin, but I still wanted the official results because that's what counts. After waiting roughly 6 hours, the official results were posted: 1:04:03 (6:53 min/mi). Overall, I gave it what I had, and this was an 8+ minute improvement over last year, which I'm quite happy about. Furthermore, it was a 53 second improvement from the first 15K of the Chicago Marathon (which was much flatter). Still, I feel a bit disappointed. Disappointed that I let my nerves take over during miles 3-5. Disappointed because based on the numbers, my splits from those miles are what killed me. But the more I think about it, I realize that these are just lessons for future races, and goals for future 15Ks.

1 comment:

  1. Sorry for the delayed response! I totally understand the disappointment stuff for sure, but like you said, a) this is still a great race and experience for you; b) you improved from last year (and under pretty different conditions- flat vs. hilly, super cold vs. decent, in the throes of marathon training vs. tapered for that exact event); and c) maybe most importantly, you've got some good lessons under your belt here that you can use in later races. You're awesome, man! Almost a month now! :)