Tuesday, March 13, 2012

St. Patrick's 8k Race Report

Sunday morning came way to fast even though my alarm was set for 7:30am. I wanted to jump back in bed but I was exited to run in the St. Patrick's 8k and we were out the door by 8:10ish all dressed in green.

Oh course by the time we got to the metro there was a 15 minute wait until the next train, which meant I started to panic a bit over if we would make it to the race on time. We arrived at Freedom Plaza with 15 minutes to spare and were greeted by a sea of green! 

I rushed to find bag check: why did I were extra clothes anyhow, who knows? But we made it! And I was ready to run my little heart out :) 

We ran into Rachel before the race and I wished her and Jason good luck before heading up the faster pace groups. 

I lined myself in-between the 7 and 8 minute pace group. I have actually never really "raced" a shorter distance race. Usually I just run these for fun with my one and only. But this year I was interested in seeing how fast I could go? With that said I had the great idea of just going out fast and seeing how long I could hold that pace for? I know this is not how you are suppose to race, but what the heck, I wanted to try it anyhow.

Mile 1: 6:46
There was a lot of runners, around 8,000 I think. I started in the perfect spot though and really didn't have to run around anyone at the beginning of the race, everyone was fast! I was just going with the flow and when my watch beeped at mile 1 at a sub 7 pace, I thought oh how neat, there is no way in hell I will be able to run this fast for another 4 miles...

Mile 2: 7:04
Yep, see I knew I couldn't run a 6:50 pace for more than 1 mile. Plus good lord, there is so many turns and curves on the course. I already knew this from past years running this race, but kind of forgot just how bad they were. I really had to slow down at each orange cone and basically do a 180.

Mile 3: 7:21
I'm seeing the girl who I was trying to kept up with kept getting farther and farther away from me and I'm getting mad. But, I am slowing down with each step I take and I'm just running out of steam. I basically throw in the towel on the mini race I had going on in my head and stop worrying about that other girl and just go into survival mode since my stomach was starting to get upset.

Mile 4: 7:20
"Oh thank you that there is only two more miles left. 2 miles are easy. I can do this." My overall goal anyhow was to do this run as a nice tempo at a 7:30 pace or below and I was doing that. I was tempted to grab some water at the second water stop, but just kept on running. As I rounded the corner of 3rd onto Penn I know we only had about a mile left.

Mile 5: 7:11
I really wanted to try for a negative spilt here, but my stomach started playing nasty games with me. And I really did try to push myself to go faster, but my body just wasn't too happy with me. I saw this poor kid running his heart out towards the finish line and thought, oh you poor thing, you see there is a little street you have to run down and back before the finish that he didn't know about. I caught back up to him and passed him on the out and back. I really didn't try to kick it into high gear until I was back onto Penn. About 100 meters from the finish line I started to dry heave while running. I thought: "please, please not again!" I had thrown up all over myself at the Baltimore Half a few years back which made for some nasty finish line photos. I somehow managed to hold it back this time, but not for long ....

Finish: 35:47 ~ AG 13/809 
As soon as I crossed the finish line I looked for a trash can. There was none. I walked over to the side of the finishers chute, leaned over and threw up in-front of all the spectators. I thought I was done, stood up, walked a little, but then threw up again. NOT.PRETTY. 

The good thing about DC races is you run into lots of friends who also love to run :)

After I was finished, I made my way up closer to the finish line to watch for Jason to finish. There was a lot of people crossing the finish line, but somehow he spotted me before I saw him. He did great and finished with a 9:45 average pace. Then we made our way to the good part of the race: food!

I proceeded to stuff my face with not one but two bagels! Hey I was hungry. As we were eating our friend Amy, who also ran, joined us and we hung out for awhile just chit chatting about all kinds of stuff. While talking I guess they were interviewing the winner literally right next to us. I hope they didn't over hear us and put any of our nonsense into the interview :)

I'm pretty happy with my run. Like I said this is the first time I actually tried to run fast during a shorter distance race. And I know every one's fast is different, but this was fast for me. I actually wonder why I never tried to run fast when I was in my 20s. What a waste. And even though I am so happy with my time, I still want to do better and go faster. At any rate, I will continue to work on my speed work and see how I improve...

Happy Tues All :)


  1. Way to run your guts out! 809 people in your AG? That is crazy!

  2. Wow, AWESOME race! I hope you work out those stomach issues!

  3. Wow nice splits!! You are an awesome runner! You are also brave for doing a race when the time changes..

  4. Congrats on your race!!! It was perfect running weather!

    I'm sorry I missed you in my pictures, I think you were about the same time as another of our runners and I may have been snapping away at her. :(

  5. Great job on your race! And I think the stomach issues at the end are proof that you were really racing and running hard. Your splits were right on the money! Congrats!

  6. Great race - congrats! And I have asked myself the "why didn't I try to run faster in my 20's" question a million times over the past year. Totally agree - what a waste!

  7. Nice race, especially given the number of turns on that course!

  8. Wow, that is really fast! Definitely makes you think about what you're truly capable of and continuing to push the envelope!