race recap: shamrock shuffle 10k

This race was a great learning experience. I did know a lot of them before, but ignored them rather than realize I was setting myself up for failure (or a half assed race).

When I first signed up for this race in December, I was thinking that March was going to be a cold month, so a race starting at 10am would be no big deal. Especially since it was in Madison (over an hour away), and that way we could easily drive there in the morning and not spend the money on a hotel room. About a month ago, it was still cold and Sister and I were in Target and saw some St. Patty’s Day t-shirts. They were lightweight cotton longsleeved shirts. I figured I would end up being cold wearing it, but that would just make me run faster, right?

It ended up being almost 80′.

I still wore the shirt.

Stupid.

The race started out fantastically. I felt good, I felt fast (I even knew I was keeping a good pace due to my Garmin – love this thing). There was a hill early on that took a lot out of me – I walked up some of it but still averaged that mile in a really good time. Most likely too good of time for how my training has been going. My watch ticked mile 2 in a similar, but not quite as fast of time. That’s when I saw Sister. Standing off to the side looking for me and then was just shaking her head. I couldn’t hear what she was saying at first due to my headphones, so I came out of my running zone to find out what was wrong. She was having a really bad side cramp and I tried to motivate her to keep running, making her at least make it to the half way point so she wouldn’t quit out on the race. We ran/walked that next mile and got to a water station and the halfway point. I could tell at that point that I wasn’t going to get my PR in the 10k today anymore, so I gave up. I passed the halfway point in 31:38. Sister said I could go on ahead without her, but she wasn’t looking too good and I couldn’t in good mind leave her on the course that wasn’t too supported. Plus, I was hot, sweaty and not sure if I would have even been able to keep up the pace and would have just been angry that I didn’t set a PR.

I shouldn’t have given up, but things were against me (weather, clothing, lack of water, motivation) and I wasn’t prepared. I also realized that I hate the 10k distance. In my mind it is “only” 6 miles, but that is a long time to keep up a good pace. Will I do this race again next year? Absolutely. But I will only do the 5k. I could have totally sprinted the 5k to make it in under 30 minutes and felt a hell of a lot more accomplished than I do now.

So what happened after the halfway point? We walked back. Yup, walked. 3.1 miles. Crossing that damn finish l line in 1:14:14. My new PR for the slowest 10k race I’ve done. At least I made Sister sprint the last .1ish of a mile to cross the finish line super speedy, passing three people who had been struggling around us. That .1 of a mile I’m kind of amazed about – we ran that in 6:45 pace and it felt great haha.

Even with only running two to three miles, I felt wiped after the race – I think more mentally exhausting than anything else ;). Yes, I was disappointed by not being stronger during the race, but it just wasn’t my day. And now looking back one week later? I’ll be back next year running a kick ass 5k if all goes as planned!