Wow, it is hard to believe this was the eighth year running this race! Time flies when you are having fun. This year will go down as my second fastest.
This race has grown over the years as lots of people come out to kick off the St. Patty's Day celebrations early with a run and then a big post race party. The last several years a few other traditions have started of our own.
1. A few of my friends and I have worked to use this race as spring board to get our old highschool friends running.
2. Cleveland Triathlon Club has gotten involved to use the big crowds to promote the club so it is super fun that there is always a huge group there!!!
So needless to say, I always look forward to this race. This year I was having some difficulty in gauging what sort of time goal I was shooting for. I have been following the Lydiard training principles for the last 2 months or so and while my running mileage has been increasing, I have not really done any real speedwork as I prepare for Nashville marathon on April 30th.
In late months of 2010, I was doing some speedwork and it seemed to be making me faster. However I was growing very concerned when the tenderness in my tibia seemed to increase and it made sense to me to follow the coaches plan of this higher mileage, slower running plan. Yet, wow does it seem hard to go from running 8:30 pace all the time to sub 7s.
In my head, my A goal was to break 32 and run a 6:23 pace. I thought given I had ran a 19:18 at Reindeer Run 5K back in December, that it was an ambitious yet possible goal. But Saturday was not my day.
The weather was pretty darn nice for running with a wind out of the southwest of probably 15-20 mph so definitely was noticeable throughout the course. After getting to warm up with LP and EM, I learned they were both similar in their pace goals so I thought this would be fun to have them near and see what I could do.
This year the course was very different from years past and I was not super excited about the changes but figured everyone would be dealing with the same course so let's just roll with it. I lined up towards the front of the 3000 + racing field and with the count down, I tore off down the hill getting swept up in the fast downhill start. I made one hard right at the bottom of the hill and then another quick hard right heading right back up a pretty decent sized hill. I was thinking I felt so good but why am I so near SI, who is a waaay faster female. Guess I should've known then that I already started too fast! As we climbed the hill LP went around me and I knew I needed to reel in the heart rate. I hit mile one at 6:14 which seemed on target or perhaps a little fast given the big climb. EM was now ahead and another girl passed and while I was trying to stick with them, I was already fading and losing ground fast. I currently was sitting in 5th place for females. As we headed into mile 2, I was trying to take advantage of the big downhill by W3rd to calm down. I heard 12:13 at mile 2 and was wishing badly it was a 5k but I am not even halfway done and suffering badly.
Once I turned the corner at Browns stadium I was missing the downhill assistance and headed up the incline into the wind up toward the Great Lakes Science Center. I knew these roads and had run them a million times and all I could think it that climb up W3rd is so going to stink feeling so bad already. As we made the turn out to Voinivich park I was trying to be careful of my footing as it was icy and then made the U turn at the turnaround. I was not too far back from a lot of the lead women but I knew this second half, I was likely to really struggle. I hurt. I wanted to stop and just run it in with my sister. I was trying to self talk myself into continuing and put my head down. I heard so many friends cheering my name but I was in such a miserable fog, I had no idea who most of the people were cheering.
The climb back up hurt. I felt like I was not moving and was frustrated and lost another place as we made our way down W9th street. I had nothing left. To crest the uphill grade on the Superior bridge also seemed to take forever. I tried to pick it up once we got the downhill grade and then I got totally stuck in the traffic jam of walking 2 milers coming into the finish with the 5 milers. I got stopped dead in my tracks, sidestepped left aways, while a bunch of other 5 miler guys closed in on me hard. In trying to get around the walkers, I got tripped up by the guys who were angrily yelling at the walking 2 milers jamming the whole finish. Bad planning here but finally I made my way to the finish line with a time of 33:48 and supposedly a pace of 6:46. I got a pace of 6:51 with the course being 4.91 on my garmin. Ended 7th overall female and 5th in my AG (They only did top overall female and wouldn't ya know every other girl except LP, who just aged up, was in my ag!)
My friend Kara said she saw me finish and I did not look happy. While I was not pleased, it was more a look of being miserable. I could not catch my breathe even though I had hit the inhaler before the race. I think my stupid cold was not helping as I have struggled a lot lately with this cold to feel like I could just get in as much oxygen in. I walked for a long time when I was done to catch my breathe.
That 33:48 was no where close to the sub 32 I had hoped for. But, it gives me a look at where I was at on that given day and now I will work from there. I must say I think the old course is easier. If I look at the elevation changes this course makes you climb more and on the old course while you have a big climb, you get the recovery back right away which helps. Overall, I am a little disappointed but I am not training to run fast short course runs right now. The goal is to arrive at Nashville mary healthy to run that B race and then be in great shape to do TTT in May which is the A goal. I feel like I am building a pretty good base right now and it will come.
On the plus side, after the race, I had an absolutely awesome day getting to hang out with many other racers and friends. I enjoyed the entire day rolling into the evening just celebrating and I awoke Sunday feeling like an exhausted piece of crap. I SOOO wanted to lay on the couch all day and do nothing. Thank goodness for sis though as she really wanted to run so I went with her for a 16 mile jog to Middlefield. I actually felt pretty good despite my calves feeling like tight lillte baseballs and sweating out all the toxins from the prior day!
Avg Pace: 6:51
Elevation Gain: 506
Elevation Loss: 443
Avg HR: 184--I think this is the highest average i have seen in race, no wonder why I hurt!
Max HR: 189