Shamrock and Roll Race Recap
This is the third time that I’ve run this race. Since I’ve only been running for two and a half years, it is the only race I’ve ever run three times. I hadn’t signed up until just two days ago, not sure that my schedule would be open today or not. When it looked like this weekend was clear, I bit the bullet and signed up.
I posted about it on Facebook, and a friend that I’ve recently met through running offered to go with me. I was super excited because this is a fun race, the kind of race you want to share with a friend or a group. Each time I’ve run it, I’ve run it alone, always thinking how great it would be to have a friend there. She and I made plans to meet up and drive in together (it’s a big race so parking is tough) this morning.
I honestly wasn’t sure how it was going to go, riding in with my new friend. I don’t know her well, although every time we’ve spent any time together, we’ve gotten along really well. And sure enough, we clicked right from the start of our time together. We both love the energy of a race and try to do them as often as we can. She’s faster than me but not crazy fast, so it didn’t feel like I was hanging out with someone terribly out of my league.
We got there early enough to find a good parking spot, grab our race bibs and shirts, and have plenty of time to chat in the warmth of the car before heading out. We got pretty lucky with the weather; the predictions are for a big storm to hit this area tonight, and has been very, very cold lately. But this morning it was dry and hovering around freezing, which in my book is practically perfect running temperature.
The race is huge, so we walked out to the starting line about ten minutes before start time. We both agreed on a meeting place for after, since we knew she’d be faster than me. The gun went off and we shuffled towards the starting line in the crowd.
I have been sick lately and injured my knees two weeks ago, so I wasn’t sure how it was going to go. I haven’t even run outside at all in the last week at all! But the course is mostly flat and runs through beautiful neighborhoods around Yale University, so I told myself to just find a comfortable pace and enjoy the run. The first mile felt a little tough, because we hadn’t warmed up at all. So it was really just trying to loosen up and get warm.
Once I found my pace I really enjoyed the run. I felt like I was right at the edge of my comfort zone, but not too far over it. I watched people start to slow down and walk as I got close to mile 2, and while I felt a little tired, I wasn’t too discouraged by it. By mile 2.5 I knew I was getting closer to the end, and I knew I wouldn’t PR. I would have loved to do that, but I knew it was a longshot considering how little I’ve run lately. I was OK with it. I just kept working my pace and made the last few turns towards the end.
Finally, we turned the corner back to the bar where we’d started the race. I was able to really push myself for the last .1 and crossed the line strong. My net time was 36:37, not a PR by a long shot. But I never slowed to walk, and I hit negative splits at each mile, which is something I have never pulled off. The race felt good the whole time, and I was happy with it.
My friend met me at the finish, and we went inside the bar to enjoy the cover band and the free beer they give you after you finish. We had such a great time chatting and drinking that all of a sudden we looked around and realized that the party was over! There were hardly any food items left and no water! I grabbed us some apples and we walked back to my car, munching and chatting and marveling at what a fun time we had together.
Cheers to us!