Monday, March 16, 2009

St. Pat's Dash Race Report

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


Kath said...

I have no idea what any of this means. Jen was posting things about her race, too. I don't even know what's fast and what's slow. But MOST IMPORTANTLY, I believe I saw the words "Mike's girlfriend" thrown casually into the middle of a sentence. Do tell, someone. ;)

Kath said...

H says, "And she's FAST too!" : )

Michael said...

Thanks, Anne. :) I'm trying to figure out how many boyfriend points I lose for not introducing Amber on my blog first, although she tells me that instead I lost points for not pointing her at a new blog.

Unfortunately, I have to get ready for work now, but look for an introduction on my blog coming soon, assuming Amber is okay with that...

The Devil's Starchy Fingers said...

Kath - my pace is glacial by many people's standards; including my own. However, that is the beauty of running... the race is only with yourself. Most run faster but others run slower. You just do what you can do and try to improve your own time. What matters is that you get out there and do it. If I didn't run races I would always come up with excuses not to run even though I love it.

Now to the other, more important, subject. First, tell H to read her e-mails!! Geez woman! :-) Sorry to spill the beans Mike but it would have been awkward to not mention her since she was there and all. I held myself back because what I wanted to say was: she is really great. Good sense of humor, smart, nice and all that good stuff. Seems to be an all-around good egg. Didn't want to make things awkward for Mike but I succeeded in doing that anyway.

Mike - go and earn back your boyfriend points.

Kath said...

Funny, smart, nice AND a good egg? Sounds good to me. Nice to meet you, Amber!

aeep said...

Aw, and I was flattered at being referred to as "fast." Hopefully some of those other things are more true.

Your friend is a good egg himself.

It was fun racing with you Anne...Kirkland in May? Or does that depend on Eugene? Nice ability to pick it up for the last few miles! i only decelerate myself.

Nice meeting you all too.

Fisherchick said...

Welcome, Amber! The question, however, isn't why Mike wasn't the first to introduce you. The question we are wondering (but I'm the only one asking), is . . . "Is Amber Cocoochin worthy?"
Amber, we have stories for you. We have video (although Anne won't even let us show Kevin).