Tuesday, April 10, 2012

St. Paddy's Day Run Tacoma 10k

Lizzie Lee, Pedro Infante and I before the race trying to stay warm
**Snow**.  You have got to be kidding me.  Should I really be shocked that it might snow in March in the Northwest?  YES! When I have a race on the schedule, the weather had better show up in it's Sunday best.  Grr.  

After milling around trying to figure out what to wear, I threw on Underarmor, my Brooks PR Invitational shirt, shorts and lime green compression socks, and of course gloves.  I circled the race start area for a parking spot but the lots were pricey and street parking had a 2 hour limit.  I found a free spot and said a little prayer that my SUV would still be there intact when I arrived.   10 minute walk to the start and stood in a huge line for packet pickup.  Green everywhere I looked and despite the cold, freezing weather, everyone seemed in good spirits.  

I reluctantly took my extra layers off at the drop bag station and had the chance to see Kristi Houk who would be running the 5k.  After shivering my way to the start and visiting my running friends, we started the race a few minutes late.  10kers started first with 5k runners heading out 15 minutes after us.

My hands and feet were freezing the first couple of miles and I didn't do any sort of warm-up run. We started in front of Paddy Coyne's bar on Pacific Avenue with a nice downhill and was mostly flat with a couple of rolling hills and the final uphill in the last mile.  Scott Gaines and Pedro Infante passed me in the first mile but I felt good about my pace.  The last 10k race I averaged 7:09 per mile and beating that was my first goal.  

As the front-runners came back toward me at the turnaround, I counted 2 women before I rounded the orange cone and faced oncoming runners.  My body felt great and my pacing was consistently about a 7 minute average.  Some runners yelled that I was 3rd female and soon, we passed the 5k turnaround, merging with slower runners in that race.  I was able to get through the crowd of runners but some groups didn't appear to realize or care that the 10k runners were trying to get by them (insert Kumbuyah chorus here).  

Onto the last mile and I buckled down to get up the hill with about half a mile to go, trying to keep the effort up and not look at my Garmin.  I won't lie and say it was easy.  My heart rate soared and I finally crested the top and could see the finish line up ahead.  My pace slipped to 7:30 but I managed to squeak in under 44 minutes.  I received a finisher's drinking glass that I love!

Immediately I went to the bag check and threw on my extra layer of clothing as my internal temperature was dropping fast.  I made my way into Paddy Coyne's but soon squeezed myself back out to the street as it was too crowded. After standing around under various awnings, trying to stay dry, I realized there was a race results tent. I found that I placed first in my age group but couldn't tell where I placed overall so I waited for the awards.  Most runners either left or were hiding in the tavern or under awnings.  My body was starting to shake so I continued to move around and finally settled in near where the awards would be presented. I got to talk to the second place male finisher of the 10k while we waited.  Finally I found out I was 3rd master and 5th woman overall.  I quickly retrieved my $25 award from Kristi Houk along with a nice stein.  

After spending half an hour in my SUV changing and then defrosting myself, I drove to my daughter's soccer game.  The next day, I reluctantly contacted the race director, Tony Phillipi, and mentioned that I thought I was 3rd overall and could he please confirm if perhaps I was hallucinating.  Turns out that 2 of the masters in front of me actually ran the 5k so I was 3rd overall and first master!  

Avg Pace

Me, Lizzie Lee and Bob Martin after the race freezing but happy