Jennie and I ran the Irish Jig this morning. I have done this race quite a few times over the years, but this is the first time Jennie has accompanied me. Lot’s of people dress up for the race and I even dressed up as a leprechaun one year (sorry, no pictorial evidence exists). This is one of the biggest 5k’s in the area and they had a record breaking 3,887 total runners. Because of the size, they have separate men’s and women’s events staggered by 35 minutes. This is nice because we can watch each other’s race and photograph each other.
My race was up first at 9:00. The race start was only a mile away so we bundled up and biked it. It is a good thing we biked because had we chosen to drive, we would have only made it about a 1/2 mile before we would have had to park – not worth it. Jennie had done packet pickup on her way home from work last night so we locked up the bikes and headed to the start.
Weather-wise, it was near perfect for a March race. It was a bit chilly for my race, but noticeably warmer by the time Jennie started. We got lucky with clear, sunny skies and no wind. In past years, the weather has had a tendency of being miserable, so today was wonderful.
I moved as far to the front of the pack as I could. I ended up finding a group of former college XC runners I know and lined up with them. They are all much faster than I, but it gives me a good motivation at the start.
Having done this race before, I knew that first mile was mainly downhill. So, the goal was to not go out too hard. Right after the gun went off, I knew this race was going to be a struggle. I didn’t do my normal prerace strides or really any warm up at all. Couple that with the fact that I did a 50 mile bike ride yesterday afternoon and my legs were not at all ready (or happy) to be moving.
Pace: 6:05 – Whoops, that was a bit too fast.
Also known as the hilly mile. It is pretty much all up hill. My legs burned the entire way. I did my best to hang on to my pace by picking out runners in front of me to catch up to.
Pace: 6:38 – Did I mention the hill?
Finally done with the hills, all down hill from here. It was time to kick it back into gear and make up some of the time I lost during mile 2. At this point, I didn’t even want to look at my watch because I felt my chances of a sub-20 died with mile 2. However, at about 2.5 miles, two of the college XC guys caught up to me. What?!? These guys usually smoke me. Well, one of them is recovering from a back injury so he was “taking it easy”. I figured that “taking it easy” for him was still pretty fast so my hopes for a good time were renewed. I gunned it in the rest of the way.
Pace: 6:21 Final .1 Pace: 5:33
I ended up crossing the finish line in 19:39, 1 second off of my PR. Woohoo! I’ll take that any day. I couldn’t be happier with my time as I haven’t really done any speed work in months.
My toe held up extraordinarily well. I wore my Kinvara’s instead of my DYADs which I have been favoring because they have more cushioning. I still feel my toe occasionally but I wouldn’t call it “pain”; more awareness. I’m more worried about re-stubbing it now than I am about damaging it further by running on it.
We forgot to take our pre-race picture so we snapped a quick one in between our races before Jennie hustled over to her start.
Ok, welcome back. (Assuming you came back, I don’t blame you if you didn’t)
Finally, I’ll leave you with a picture of why this race is so good – the goody bag. This is an assortment of the post-race refreshments and goodies Jennie and I walked off with. And, no, we did not fill our pockets with everything we could grab. They were handing out pre-packaged bags with all of this stuff in them to each runner. This stuff is going to great to stuff in my jersey pockets for long bike rides.
Thanks for reading!
|Age Group Place:||25/184|
|Run Pace:||6:20 min/mile|