Saturday, March 14, 2009

St Pat's Day 5k Race Report

One of the most fun races in Colorado Springs is the 5k on St. Patrick's Day, which is really held on the Saturday before St. Patrick's Day. The course loops around downtown, which is relatively flat for Colorado standards. Total elevation gain/loss about 250ft according to my GPS. Everyone out there is wearing green (I was in my Jack Quinn's Running Club shirt) and there are a lot of green wigs, hats, etc. This year about 1500 runners were out on the course.

Got up a little before 6:30 for my morning ritual. We had a Team in Training run today as well, so I had to make sure I was ready for that.
Breakfast was a bowl of oatmeal (2 packets regular quaker instant oats) with a little bit of peanut butter and a banana. Then I hit the shower and got ready for the training.
It was a cold morning, temps in the 20s around 8am. But the sky was clear and the sun was shining - which made for a perfect day to run.
Down at Monument Valley Park I met the Team, we warmed up and went on a 50-60minute (I did about 50) endurance run with about 5 30-second pick-ups to put in some speed. I ran a bit slower this morning so that I wouldn't burn out the legs or the lungs before the race. Normally I would just take a water bottle with me for that time run, but today I used HEED to get in some calories. We saw the TNT run/walk team out on the trail today. It is always great to run into familiar faces out on a run! After the group run, I quickly put on a dry top, grabbed my backpack with recovery drink and such, and then walked about a mile to the starting line at Acacia Park.

Scheduled race start: 10am
I get there at 9:35 - plenty of time. I pre-registered so I already had my race number, which I carefully pinned to my shirt before I left the house this morning. Task #1 - find a port-o-potty. Line was pretty short so all was good. Task #2 - attach timing chip to shoe. This is critical, but maybe tast #1 was more critical!?! I'd never used a chip that tied to the shoe with the shoe laces before, but my method appeared to be solid. Task #3 - find a place to stash my bag. No bag check at this race, so the bag went under a bench near the finish line, also near the registration tent. All was OK.
9:45am - take a gel - today was a vanilla gu with a little caffiene. wash down with some water and head to the streets to keep the blood flowing in the legs and get to the starting line. While waiting I overheard a couple people talking about peanut butter jelly time.

anyway, then I saw Tim Barry, the former Process Engineering Manager at Atmel, so I chatted with him. He works in Longmont now so I don't get to see him much.
10:00am - People are still registering so the start will be delayed. So much for my 15minutes prior to race start gel consumption.
10:11:48 (GPS time) the gun goes off! The fist half mile is downhill - so the race start surge really surges! I checked my Garmin for my pace - a little too fast - my goal was to finish at about an 8:00min/mile pace, so I backed off to about 7:45, knowing after we turned the corner, we'd be going back uphill.
Mile 1: 7:13 (these are guestimate splits from my GPS, which doesn't put time and distance on the same graph!)
Mile 2: 14:50
Finish: 23:54
Overall: 39/777 women
Age Group: 11/149
There are a few turn-arounds between mile 2 and 3 which do slow you down a little.
Ok, so I did start a little fast, but overall the legs felt really good. I think the oxygen uptake issue was what slowed me down, not my legs, though I will admit they were heavy at the end. At one point I did reach an almost "gasping" stage, but backed off a tad and was good. Have felt that in other races- especially at the end of a run in a triathlon.
My goal was to go sub-25 (last year I ran something like 25:07) so I was really excited when I came around the last corner and saw the clock read 23:45....just had to make it to the mats before the 24:00 mark! and I did!

After the race I ran into Tim again and his wife Karen, then one of my TNT members. A couple of them did the race, but I didn't see the other. Hard to find people at times in big crowds like that. As I was about to head back to the car, I ran into Stacey and Shannon. They did a brick workout today (crazy riding at 7:30am in the 20 degree weather!). They were parked back at the same place I was so we walked back together. It's always fun to see them.

Now I'm just hanging out, trying to relax and recover, as tomorrow is a big endurance (not speed!) day. Pushing that hard really does take a bit out of you. I took a nap after I got home and will try to keep my feet up as much as possible for the rest of the day.


Jess said...

You going to make proper Irish stew tuesday?! :) And I am reading/typing this with NO GLASSES! Go LASIK!

Nicole said...

woohoo- go lasik! not sure about the stew, but I suppose I could make some. i think i still have the recipe from the one we made last year for tim's meeting. if i do , i might make some bread too.

Terry Odell said...

Better you're doing that running stuff and not me. Glad you had a positive result.

Jess said... do all the running. Too bad it won't burn off my calories. Off exercise for a week...hard to burn off the St. Patty's day beers.

Nicole said...

yeah, I think I probably do enough exercise for all of us. :-)
happy st. pat's day!