I was primed and ready for a festive day of shenanigans ....but this could have been a whole mess of yuck.
But, let's start at the beginning. This was the fourth annual Leprechaun Chase, and it was my third time donning o'the green for the festivities (2015 recap HERE & 2014 recap HERE).
|Lasses on the left, Lads on the right....|
|With the hubby and my friend, Barb...waiting for the start|
Well, a short ways on the road, I realized I had forgotten my Ipod (with all of my favorite running tunes). Even though I had all my other race day essentials, the Ipod had been charging overnight, so it wasn't in its usual place...thus, it didn't get grabbed (along with my sun glasses). Not really a crisis, but certainly not my favorite race day scenario (especially for running 6.2 miles).
Another thing that had "red flag" written all over it was that I went out much too fast at the start. This race has an extra level of that start-line-rush because all of us Lasses don't want the Lads to catch us (at least, we don't want them to catch us any sooner than necessary). Even without my trusty tunes, I had a substantial surge of mojo at the start line. And, my body foolishly went outta the gate with all the fast(er) Lasses in front of me.
At the one mile mark, my watch showed a pace of 8:13, which is kind of danger-zone-fast, especially for a first mile. If this was "just" a 5K, it wouldn't be a concern. With an additional 5.2 miles yet to be run, though, it's a different story. Even though I felt great, I knew I would not be able to maintain that 8:13 pace to the finish line. At the second mile mark, my pace had eased up to 8:41, which is more in the ball park for me. I was a bit worried the damage may have already been done, though....
And, I was over-dressed. Seriously, I have been running for almost 11 years, and I have run in all kinds of weather. Some days, somehow, I still have a difficult time nailing the appropriate clothing strategy.
|Fashion before function...not always the best strategy|
So, onward I ran, feeling out-of-sorts without my music and slightly warm (and damp) from the clothing. By the third mile mark, I was starting to feel fatigued (I'd also forgotten my PlowOn energy gum), and with no music to distract me it was a bit of a struggle to not focus on my current (less-than-desirable) scenario.
The fourth and fifth miles were tough. I was feeling the effects of that fast start, I was thirsty (did I mention that I was warm from wearing too many layers?), and I was really missing my music. Thankfully, there were numerous fellow racers to keep me entertained in their colorful garb and fancy attire. I just kept going. I could tell my pace had slowed, but I knew I'd regret walking. Besides, a 10K really isn't a big deal in terms of distance.
|Yep. This pretty accurately depicts how I was feeling right around the 4.5 mile mark #grittingitout|
The final mile was a bit of a challenge because there was a major bon fire happening somewhere near the course, and the smoke was very powerful. You couldn't really see the smoke, but you could definitely smell it.
How did I feel at the finish? Pretty wiped out! I did have enough in the tank for that final finish line push, but that was it. For me, that was a great sign of a race well run. More often than not, I let myself ease up for fear of burning out. This race was the first race (in a very, very long time) that I was able to keep going and still kick it in for the finish. I felt like I truly gave it all I had. And, the day after had me feeling achy, sore, and stiff...which indicates my muscles had a thorough working-over.
|Eric, the hubby, Barb, myself, and Dave|
|Celebrating another fun Chase|
My pace splits were 8:13, 8:41, 8:49, 9:02, 9:25, and 8:44....for an overall pace of 8:49. I raced this 10K 1:07 faster than my 10K from a week ago (and that course was much flatter, and I had my music with me for that one). The published results showed that I finished 8th in my age group (out of 62), I was the 121st woman to cross the finish line (out of 763), and I came in 349th out of the 1171 total runners. For a middle-of-the-packer, I'm good with all of this.
So, where to from here? I have some half marathons coming up, so I am ready to start upping the mileage...both during the week and my "long runs" will be getting longer on the weekends as well. I was blessed with another painless excursion in my running shoes, so I'm confident my body is ready for more action. Although it felt strange at times, scaling back my off-season mileage was well worth it. Sometimes, you have to give up that which you love in order to enjoy it more....and so it is with running.
Have you ever done a St. Patrick's themed race? Have you ever started out too fast, but were able to scale it back and still manage a strong finish?
I'm linking up with Deb at Deb Runs for the Wednesday Word link-up.....and the featured word in Shenanigans, a perfect word for an Irish-themed excursion! Do head over and check out all the great blogs being featured!!