This year's Shamrock Run almost wasn't - but ended up being amazing!
Because of this stupid Achilles tendonitis, my mileage has been very low for the past five weeks. I've done a couple races, because they were already on my calendar and paid for, but hardly any additional miles. For five weeks! Ugh.
I almost bagged Shamrock but decided to go ahead and do it because I have no other races planned until May. Lots of time to rest my tendon.
The most preparation I did was picking out my outfit (which was awesome!) :) Up at 4:30 a.m. Sunday, prepped and ready to race!
It was warm but a bit windy. And it drizzled off and on, but nothing serious.
Notice the Morrison Bridge lit in green, white and orange?
Racing with my bestie:
We ditched our warmups and hit the portas one last time:
Sarah's excited! Or something.
Windy hair! (I'm a little disturbed that I look half asleep in all the pictures...)
So Sarah had announced that Joel wanted to run with me. He's new(ish) to running and still learning about pacing. He likes to go out fast (because he's really fast!) but is unpracticed in sustaining. I figured we'd go out for a little jaunt together, embracing the happiness that is the easy run. I figured so wrong.
Before I realized we were gunning for a big PR:
We got in the corrals at the last minute and ended up a long way from the front. It took a really long time to get across the start line, then we ran a half mile out Naito and had to stop for an Amtrak train. Oops.
Once the train cleared the course, we wove through heavy traffic again to get back up to speed. Then we turned south and worked our way through old town and then onto Broadway. Despite starting uphill, we were still making good time.
After the warmup came the real hill: Terwilliger Boulevard. We kept a decent pace, though I could tell Joel really wanted to go faster. I gave him permission to ditch me, but he chose to stick by my side, encouraging me the whole way.
If I had been alone, running the casual race I planned, I definitely would have joined the walkers trudging up the big hill. But I couldn't let Joel see my weakness, so I kept going. Chug, chug, chug!
* Side note: I just looked up "chug" and the dictionary says: a dull explosive sound made by or as if by a laboring engine. HA! That sounds about right ;)
We finally hit the top, I grabbed a swig of water, and I prayed my tired legs would hold up as we started down the hill.
I watched my Garmin as our pace started dropping. I gave Joel updates as we approached a 10-minute-mile average. Then we dropped below 10 and I was satisfied. But Joel didn't want me to rest on my laurels. Apparently he had a secret plan to try and kill me.
My legs were barely hanging on, but we pushed and pushed down that hill. Joel was awesome - taking over when I was all out of positive self talk. You know that saying, "Pain is temporary but pride is forever"? That was my mantra for those last couple miles.
I kicked as hard as I could at the end, and we crossed the finish line in 1:32 (according to my Garmin, which I paused when we stopped for the train and later for a line of cars)
Whoa! That was tough - but I did it - and I'm thrilled! I can honestly say that I left it all on the course.
Thank you, Joel! I absolutely wouldn't have done that without you.
PS - and great job to you! You killed it, too :)
Brad also had a good run, but got stopped by two MAX trains. He may not sign up for anymore downtown races!
Of course, Sarah nailed it, too. She's amazing!
Aren't they cute??
All of us measured the course long, and some of that could be from lots of weaving through the huge crowd. I finished 9.43 miles at a 9:46 average.
- Mile 1: 10:26
- Mile 2: 10:07
- Mile 3: 9:48
- Mile 4: 10:42
- Mile 5: 10:15
- Mile 6: 10:06
- Mile 7: 9:12
- Mile 8: 9:08
- Mile 9: 8:52
- Mile 9.43: 8:27
LOOK AT THOSE NEGATIVE SPLITS!!I am incredibly proud of this race! And I loved pacing Joel slow at the beginning and letting him pace me fast at the end. What a team :)