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This Sunday I ran my second St. Patrick’s Day themed race, the Shamrock N’ Roll 10K. I will admit that I first decided to do this race for the medal… and also for the possibility of earning another medal if I complete three of the races put on by this company over the next year. But the more I train for the Nike Women’s Half Marathon, the more convinced I am becoming that a half marathon PR might be within my reach. But I wanted to see if I could hold goal pace over a long-ish distance. Since long runs should be run slower than goal pace and tempo efforts usually aren’t that long, I figured a race would be the perfect place to try it out.

The weather this past weekend couldn’t have been more different than the weather for the Corktown 5K. That weekend, it seemed spring was right around the corner. This weekend winter reminded us that it isn’t quite done with us yet.

Running in a tutu – Shamrock N’ Roll 10K

We were a tad late getting to the race start (but we remembered our bibs this time!) and just missed wave 1 taking off. It ended up working out well because we were able to squeeze in near the front of wave 2, right next to the 70 minute pacer. I knew I wanted to run a tad faster than that, but he was the only pacer I saw.

Pretty soon our wave was taking off! It was really COLD the first mile and I did some weaving, which normally happens, and tried to settle into my pace. Mile 1 was 10:15, a little fast, but not much. Mile two I just kept cruising. I was running even a faster than mile 1, but I decided not to worry about it too much. I think it was in this mile that we saw and overtook the 65 minute pacer. I thought about slowing down and running with them, but figured I wanted to see what I could do on my own. Also, the sun was starting to come out and I warmed up some. OK, I warmed up a lot. I was regretting my decision to wear a jacket.

Ron killing it.

I don’t remember a whole lot about mile 3 and 4 except running through a lot of neighborhoods.

Mile 5 things started to fall apart. I was quickly tiring and slowing down. Still above goal pace, but not pushing quite so hard. It was so cold I wanted nothing to do with any of the water stops on the course. At one stop around mile 5 there was ice forming on the road from people throwing down their water cups!

Early in mile 6 things were looking grim. I suddenly felt a tad nauseated and knew I was going to need to slow it down some. By the end of mile 6, I was able to rally and pick the pace back up, but I didn’t quite make it back to my goal pace. This was the only mile over my goal pace.

Splits from the Shamrock N’ Roll 10K

Finally we were rounding a corner and it was time to kick it into as high a gear as I could go. Ron has unfortunately learned that I do this at the end of races and apparently has a higher gear than I do because he routinely crosses the finish line first, unless he’s busy filming the finish.

Official time was 1:03:35 for an average per mile pace of 10:15. Since that is faster than goal HM pace, I’ll take it, but I really prefer my Garmin time above, which is even faster. (Note, I understand that I’ll usually run a course long because of turns and weaving and the like. I just like the faster average from my Garmin. And since I use it for all my training runs, its data is consistent).

Finished!  (ugh.  The shadows in this picture.  Please excuse).

Finished! (ugh. The shadows in this picture. Please excuse).

Turns out that coat was needed, I was FREEZING walking back to the car. Probably my only complaint about this race was the wait for the post race food and water. It was in a tent though, so that was nice, but I can’t tell you how much I was dying for some water after crossing the finish line.

Overall, I’m really happy with how this race turned out. It was the confidence boost I needed to finish this training cycle. There was no way I could run twice the distance at that pace… yesterday. But with 4 more weeks of training, a proper taper, and fuel before I run out of energy? It might just be possible.

The gold at the end of the rainbow – the Medal!