shamrock run

3 Mar

Today was the Shamrock Run in Buffalo.  I am not going to lie–I was NOT excited about this race.  I was not too excited about going to Buffalo again (the 3rd time in 2 weeks).  I have not run any speed workouts in 2 or 3 months.  I have not had very many “good” runs recently (realistically, they’ve been fine, just not what I wanted them to be I guess).  It’s really cold.  Last night, I was feeling sick (I’m up to 3 pills a day and that equals frequent upset stomach).

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We found Joe, Lindsey, Kim and Joe’s stepmom before the race, but then went to get our stuff from the car.  Lindsey asked if I was racing and I said, “Don’t know.  We’ll see how it goes.”  I wasn’t trying to be elusive–I just genuinely didn’t know.  In my head, I figured I could run about an 8:30 pace, which would be a 42:30.  But I wasn’t sure how realistic that was.  I decided to play it by ear and see how I felt after 2 miles.

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We got into the port-a-potty line around 11:35.  By 11:50 (10 minutes til race time), we were still waiting on 8 people.  This was the SLOWEST line ever.  I finally said forget it.  We found some nice trees–there was HARDLY any cover for me.  I didn’t even care.  I’ve heard rumors of how the longer you run for, the less modesty you have about peeing.  I swore up and down that I would never pee anywhere that was even remotely questionable.  Today I broke that promise to myself.  I was mostly amused by the entire experience.  Eric was the distractor, and most people were already at the start line, so I was pretty safe, I guess.

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We got to the start with about 1 minute to spare.  I lined up far in the front, but not far enough.  The race started, but I couldn’t go anywhere.  I was stuck.  It took a good mile before the crowd broke up enough for me to get into a good rhythm.  I was annoyed by all of the walkers lining up in the front.  Alas.

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I didn’t remember most of the course from last year–I know last year’s course was changed because of the wind.  But still.  There were a LOT more hills than I’d remembered–nothing major, just going over bridges.  The second biggie was in mile 2.  I hit the top and suddenly felt the overwhelming urge to vomit.  I gave myself permission to do it–normally I fight that feeling, BUT I CAN’T FIGHT THIS FEELIN ANYMOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORE.  I didn’t puke.  I decided to just keep going–if I’m not puking, I should be running.

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By mile 3, things started to get a little bit uncomfortable.  I just told myself that I was over halfway there, I just had to hang on.  By mile 4, I was really feeling pukey.  I thought I knew where the course was going, so I turned it on too soon, then realized what I’d done and had to pull back a bit.  I kept rolling through.  I crossed the finish line, stopped to walk and was POSITIVE i was going to puke.  I jogged over to a field where there was a sewer grate.  But I didn’t puke.  I didn’t even dry heave.  This is the first time I haven’t in a race in forever.  Miraculous.

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Even more miraculous–I ran a 42:57.  My overall pace (I ran more than the 4.97 the course is advertised as–that always happens even though I do my best to run the tangents–trying to get around people at the start probably doesn’t help) was an 8:33/mile.  Last year, on a shorter course (by a mile) I ran an 8:39/mile.  I felt good, minus the pukey-ness.  I mean, looking back, there were points where I was cruising–not pushing–where I could’ve done more.  Especially in those first couple of miles, when I was trying to hold back a bit and dodge people.

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Eric and I jogged to the car while exchanging battle stories (he had a fabulous race himself).  We changed clothes, then hit the beer tent.  It was crazy packed.  We had a couple beers and went to a bar where Joe’s family goes every year.  We had a beer there, then went home.  I’m glad we ran this race.  Even though I hadn’t wanted to run it, it was a TON of fun, and I ran really well.  It gives me a better idea of where I am, and will help me to create a better marathon plan.  Yay.

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My legs are a little sore tonight.  But nothing major.  We’re meeting friends from Rochester who are coincidentally here in Buffalo and wanted to run at Chestnut Ridge Park.  So we’re going to rock at least 10 (that’s the hope anyway) tomorrow.  Ideally, it would be closer to 15 for me, but seeing as today was a race, I guess I’m down with a little bit shorter run.  This race may have been just the boost I needed to my running.  In a week, I start a new job with a better schedule.  The combination of that and the ever-improving weather (spring, hurry!) should bolster my running.  When this marathon is over, I don’t want to do another for a while.  I want to train SUPER hard for a fast 5k.  I think I can get to a 22 by late summer/early fall if I work hard enough.  I’m ready.  Game on.

I

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