Race: Shamrock Run 5K, 8K, 15K
Distance Ran: 8K
Splits: Mile 1: 10:06; Mile 2: 9:29; Mile 3: 9:27; Mile 4: 9:34; Mile 5: 9:34; Last bit; 1:12 (Garmin said the distance was 5.14 miles)
Age/Gender Group Ranking: 199/558
As was the case with the Heartbreaker 5K I ran in February, I went into the Shamrock 8K (roughly 5 miles) with barely any training. Yes, I’ve been going to the gym 5-6 times per week, but I’ve been focusing on strength training and the rowing machine instead of running. Also, I hadn’t run anything longer than 4 miles since October due to my knee injury. With all of this in mind, I didn’t set any real goals for this race other than to beat last year’s time and have fun.
The 6:30 alarm seemed brutally early, coming on the heels of being out late two nights in a row. However, the prospect of running in one of the most fun events of the year provided the necessary motivation for me to leave my warm cozy bed and get dressed in my running gear, which as always I had laid out the night before.
It was a happy surprise that my husband was up and willing to drive me into downtown Portland at 7:30 in the morning. It saved me the hassle of looking for parking and having to stash car keys in my running jacket. At about 7:45 he dropped me off a few blocks from the event and I headed towards Waterfront Park to meet up with my friend Marina, who I have known since the 7th grade.
After a few texts I found Marina and her group (including her speedy older sister) and we waited around for the 8K to start. Although it was cold, it was dry and we all knew that we’d be grateful for the cold temperatures once our bodies heated up from running.
Several minutes past the scheduled start of the 8K the countdown finally started. However, since we were in the 9-10 minute mile group, it took us a few minutes to even get to the starting line. After what seemed like ages we crossed the timing mats and we were off!
The first mile was pretty slow and consisted of a lot of darting around slower runners. But eventually the crowd thinned out a bit and we were able to settle into a comfortably hard pace. We had agreed prior to the start that we would run our own races, but as it turned out we were both feeling that same pace and stayed together the whole race. This was nice because we chatted the whole way and it really made the five miles fly by – even that last mile going uphill on Broadway. We racked up quite a few “road kills” on that stretch as many runners had stopped to walk up the hill.
As we made the left turn off Broadway and headed downhill towards the finish, I realized that we were on track for a sub 50 minute finish! We gunned it as much as we could as we approached the finish line, but I wasn’t able to go as fast as I wanted to just due to the sheer volume of other runners surrounding me. There was also the issue of a huge wall of people stopped just past the timing mat, so if I got going too fast I would have slammed right into them. As a result I missed a little bit of that “out of body” feeling when I run as fast as I possibly can, but I was still super jazzed to have have finished with my friend beside me.
We dropped off our timing chips and soon met up with the rest of the group. A few minutes later I found Michael and we headed off to find espresso. Fortunately, in Portland that is extremely easy to do. As I refueled with an energy bar and a massive Americano, I reflected on what I had just accomplished and immediately began to think about what race I might do next. Perhaps Run For The Roses 5K? We shall see …