Being about the only person who didn’t run St. Malachi, I opted for a flat 5k on Sunday morning. Over the past couple weeks I had thrown the idea around for a St. Patrick’s Day race, either the Lakewood Irish Jig & Jog 5k or the Shamrock 5k in Woodridge. Knowing that the Shamrock 5k would be all hills and I haven’t had a chance to tackle some in a while, I decided to keep it easy. Lucky for me, I spent the weekend up in Avon, so I wouldn’t need to drive far on race morning. The race was put on by Peace Racing, and it was the second year they’ve held the event. I had never run a race by them, but I was excited to see how it would go.
My pre race ritual wasn’t my along my normal plan. I spent Saturday night at a concert with my sister, had sloppy joes for dinner, and managed about 6 hours of sleep when I woke up Sunday morning. To follow that up, I had a gross protein bar the morning of, and still hadn’t decided if I was fully committed to running, or crawling back in bed. But knowing I had miles to get in, I figured it’d be easier with a couple hundred other people than just myself braving the cold.
Because I was on the fence all week about racing, I registered day of. This meant I wouldn’t be getting the long sleeve shirts, and unfortunately, the woman working my line didn’t let us know we needed timing chips. I found this out at the start of the race, with less than a minute to go an announcement was made to make sure your timing chip was on your shoe. I looked around, and luckily I wasn’t the only one who wasn’t told, about a third of the runners around me didn’t have a chip. I also learned that some day of registrants got shirts. I was obviously in the wrong sign up line.
We started the race and like always I went out way too quick. I was right around 8:15 pace and tried to slow myself down, but people kept passing me. For the next half mile I battled with slowing down and being pulled ahead with everyone else. I finally got my pace down and completed my first mile in 8:43, still too fast. The course was really flat, and a little boring. It started at Madison Park and went into two neighborhoods on either side. My office is right down the street, so I knew the area wouldn’t have any hills, and hopefully this meant I could go fast the entire time. The first mile was a loop around one neighborhood and then we passed Madison Park again to an out and back.
As we started the out and back, the first couple of runners were coming by and they were quick! I normally hate running an out and back, but it helped to boost my spirit and I started to pick up my pace. I hit the hairpin turn at the halfway point and I was around 13:xx, knew I was on pace to an awesome finish. On the way back I noticed that the cold and slight wind were starting to catch up with me, my breathing was getting heavier and at some points my legs felt like they were moving backwards. I kept with it, and hit the two mile mark at 17:xx.
Curious to where the last mile would lead, I began the loop that we ran for the first mile. By this time my body was slowing down and questioning why I went out so quick in the first mile. My pace dropped drastically and I struggled some to finish the last half mile. I also started getting a cramp right near my heart and I began to panic. This instantly made me slow down and I became over cautious as I was finishing the race. I did see Bill from Second Sole cheering me on at the finish, so I tried to sprint as much as I could to the line. It was nice to have one familiar face in the crowd. I crossed the line at 27:42 on a course that was at 3.02.
I had a mix of feelings after finishing the race. I was upset that I went out way too quick and ruined my pace for the rest of the race. I was also upset that the course was short by so much! I was glad I was done, but I didn’t feel that I got everything out of it that I paid for. However, I couldn’t be that upset with myself, I wasn’t mentally prepared for the race and my Saturday night didn’t help either. I was glad I got the miles in, but it definitely wasn’t my favorite race.