Thursday, March 18, 2010

St. Patrick's Day Dash Race Report

Happy Race-iversary to me!  Sunday marked my seventh St. Pat's Dash and the anniversary of my very first road race as an adult; I don't count the one when I was in sixth grade.  This is the race that got me hooked on running back in 2004.  I didn't start running other races until the next year, but I still count the 2004 race as the catalyst for my love of running and (no hyperbole at all) changing my life.  Needless to say this is race is a happy event for me and for approximately 14, 999 other people too.
Stretched back as far as the eye can see.
Race day was gorgeous, unlike last year's snow/sleet/rain misery.  The sun was shining, the mountain was out, blue skies abounded, just a beautiful morning.  Since all of my usual running friends were either unable or unwilling to run the race I was on my own this year.  Kevin, being the darling boyfriend he is, decided to get up with me and come to the race for encouragement and race photography.  Not necessary but very appreciated.

I had no big expectations for the race this year.  I truly was out to have fun and enjoy the un-O'fficial start of the "running season".  I haven't seen huge increases in my speed with my training so I was merely hoping I could beat last year's time and that would be enough to make me happy.  With that in mind I crossed the start line for an easy fun run. 

The first mile was a breeze.  Bouyed along by the energy of the crowd and the beautiful morning I ran faster than I would have if I had been thinking.  But it felt easy, so I didn't worry about what pace I was doing.

The second mile is where the long, slow, subtle hill begins and continues for over the next mile.  My pace slowed on the uphill but I still felt great and knew that an uphill on one side of this course means a beautiful, blissful downhill after the turn-around at the Aurora Bridge. 

Third mile felt like flying.  I felt stronger then I had in a really long time.  That, coupled with the previously mentioned downhill (o' how I love thee) made me realize I was on track to break a 10:00 minute mile pace.  Sweet!  That would make me happy because out of 35 races I have done I have only hit single first digits for pace a handful of times.  Kind of embarassing really.  Really, really embarassing. 

The last .88 (per Garmin) were more of the last mile with the exception of the off-ramp uphill towards the finish line by EMP.  I knew I was close but I was spent and seriously thought I might have to walk that close to the finish line.  I had to push myself hard to keep myself moving up that off-ramp.

Coming up to the finish line.  The uphill is done.
Here are the totals:

Mile 1        9:48 pace
Mile 2      10:20 pace
Mile 3        9:26 pace
Mile .88     9:13 pace

Total time:  37:45
O'fficial pace:  9:54
Pace per Garmin:  9:43

Since we were in a later wave last year and they posted results based on the first wave gun time I don't have anything but my Garmin stats from last year to truly compare to.  Based on Garmin I finished 2:38 faster and shaved 40 seconds off my per mile pace from last year.  Whee!  Huh, I guess training actually works.  Who knew? 

I could not have been happier with my time.  I really didn't think I had that in me and to have it happen was a huge boost knowing that my training is paying off.

Happy, happy, happy even with dorky running hair.
By the way, my Garmin pace for the race would have netted me a shiny new PR if the race were a 5K instead of the nebulous "approximately 3.7 miles" they claim the race is.  This means, knock wood, that I should have my 5K PR in the bag for this year.


aeep said...

You go girl! (I actually peeked at the results earlier this week, just to make sure you made it to the race OK since there wa sno report) and was MUY impressed. This is going to be your season.

Congrats on a great race-iversary, wish I could've been there

Kath said...

Yay, Anne! You do look incredibly happy in that last picture. : )

Fishergirl said...