As with any event involving a car pool with Kelly, we got to the race early enough we easily found a parking spot, there were no lines at the registration table and no lines for the bathrooms.  She and I took a couple of laps around the block for a quick 1 mile warm up (around an 8:30 pace) and headed to the starting line.

My goals for the race were to PR (anything under 26:5X), 26:25 (what the equivalency calculator said I should be able to do considering my half time last weekend), and sub 26.  The last one was my never-gonna-happen-but-might-as-well-try goal.

The race results were gun time start/chip time finish.  Add to that the social nature of the race, and we decided to push up close to the front to start.  We spotted Daily Mile Joe for a brief chat, then the siren sounded and we were off.

The race started on an uphill, but thankfully we got the benefit of the downhill side before making a right turn.  I knew I was going fast when I saw DMJ still in my sites after 2 turns and a half mile under our belt.  All in all, we had 3 turns in the first mile, and many more to come.

Mile 1: 7:50

The beginning of the next mile greeted us with more inclines.  I hesitate to call them hills given what I ran this past weekend (and the climbs in the Knoxville Marathon).  My strategy had been to go out fast, and I had achieved that but was a bit worried when I started struggling in mile two.

I knew my pace was slipping, and even saw the Garmin in the 9s at one point.  I meant to run this race watchless, but I just couldn’t part with it.  Of course promising not to look didn’t last very long.

Mile 2: 8:41

At this point I got a little worried about my over all time.  I couldn’t continue to slow down and still have a good result.  Thankfully the last mile had downhills (or declines) and I felt much better.  Still wheezing, still pushing, but I felt faster on this section.  I stopped looking at pace and started looking at time/distance.  I knew what I had to beat and I worked hard at it.  Good thing I didn’t, or I would have been super discouraged.

Mile 3: 8:53

The last bit was flat, and I was able to give a bit of a kick.  One last right turn slowed me down a hair, as did the girl stopping me to get my timing chip just as the garmin was rolling over from 3.09 to 3.1

0.1: {8:03} pace

A new PR by over 40 seconds!  This race was hard, and the conditions sucked, but I rocked it! Definitely excited to see what will happen this summer when I shift gears from cold/dry air running to warm/humid running.  My asthma makes the changing of the seasons a struggle for me, but I showed that bitch who’s boss today!  (Giving the assist to Dr. Miller for the lovely asthma medication.)

Then it was time to head inside Barley’s for the pizza buffet and free beers promised with our race bib.  Instead of the crappy cheap beer usually found at races, we got our choice.  My first was Killian’s red and my second was the lovely Irish Smithwick’s – the beer I first consumed on Irish soil during a buddy’s wedding.

I loved most every aspect of this race and hope it becomes a St. Paddy’s tradition.

6/15 – age group
77/452 – over all