It snowed. It freakin' snowed.
On Sunday I ran my sixth St. Patrick's Day Dash. This was, hands down, the worst weather I have ever raced in. Cold, wet and miserable. I'm talking golf ball sized snowflakes people. Once it got done snowing it turned to rain for the entire race and then a downpour by the time we were done. But even with the lousy weather and getting up at 6:00 a.m. I still had a good time. Race days are always so exciting.
This was also the inaugural race for my friends Mike and Eric. Congratulations to them on running their first race! I also got to meet Mike's girlfriend and she is way faster than I will ever be.
The organizers changed the course this year so we no longer get to run along the top of the viaduct down to the stadiums. I missed the old course. You got to see the beautiful Olympic mountains, the downtown skyline, the exposed rebar on the Viaduct... Good times. This year we started at the same spot on Mercer but instead ran north on Aurora to Canlis and then turned around and ran back to finish next to EMP. My Garmin measured the distance at 3.89 miles and since the organizers don't give you an exact distance (which totally messes with my obsessive need to quantify) I am using my Garmin for the official distance.
This race highlighted why I will never lead a pace group. Here are my splits:
Mile 1 - 10:29 pace
Mile 2 - 11:13 pace
Mile 3 - 9:55 pace
Mile .89 - 9:51 pace
Overall Pace per Garmin - 10:23
I clearly got into my comfortable long-run pace for the second mile. There were also a ton of people in my way and I had to bob and weave through them but I can't blame most of that pace on anyone other than myself. Once I got to the turnaround I checked my pace, saw it was at 10:54, said "Uh-uh! Oh, hell no!" and decided I had to speed up. That last 1.89 miles felt pretty good at a sub-10:00 pace. I probably should have pushed harder the first two miles. Right near the finish line there was some place cooking something greasy, friend and sweet that would normally classify as one of the top smells ever. However, after running for almost four miles it really just made me want to vomit.
This was my second worst Dash pace ever. The only time I was slower was the first year I started running. It is frustrating to look at my race log and see pace regression. I just have to keep reminding myself that I took a huge break from running last fall and that I am focusing on getting my distance up for Eugene in six weeks. My next race time will be faster. Guaranteed.*
* offer not valid on half-marathons