Henry Weinhardt's St. Paddy's Day Dash
65F / 18C
Total Time = 26m 51s
Overall Rank = 382/1328
Age Group = 35-39
Age Group Rank = 51/208
Had breakfast of FF cocoa and a breakfast cookie. Got to the race with plenty of time to spare and wandered around trying to figure out where to pick up our numbers. Grabbed some water, chuckled at the characters in silly costumes, and did a little Irish jig to bagpipe music (it appealed to my split nationalities). Finally found where to pick up our numbers and grabbed them, put on our shirts, and repositioned my number at least three times. Had to get it just right so the photographers could see it, after all! Checked our gear since it was a point to point race. Warmed up with a few stretches and danced a few more jigs. OH, almost forgot the most important part, donned the green "bling" (beads with a shamrock) and my Weinhardt's green warthog hat! A very important part of the race!
A Scottish bagpipe band was playing and the Irish Rovers were blaring from speakers. We seeded ourselves towards the end of the green wave because they said people who were running slower than 8 minute miles needed to move back. Roy and I chatted for a bit and did some stretching. Noticed someone with a doggone stroller ahead of us (they were supposed to be in the red (second) wave) and moved up past him, then again past the lady with the chihuahau. Wondered aloud if people had forgotton their brains or been hitting the green beer too soon. Who puts themselves in the fast lane with a dog 6 inches tall? Was she going to drag it behind her? Fly it like a kite?
Ths is such a fun race! There are about 12,000 people who participate; running, walking, strolling, singing...I even saw one dude smoking DURING the race. (Last year I started the race next to a guy smoking a cigar, so I was not surprised.) We learned last year to go into the first wave as the second wave is full of dogs, strollers, kids, saunterers...even with a walking wave, people mis-seed themselves. We even had some walkers in the green "fast runner" wave, which was EXTREMELY irritating. Why people can't use their noggins and go to the back, especially since it is announced to do just that if you're slow, is beyond me. But whatever...it's all about raising money for the Starlight Foundation and having a good time, although I held a secret desire to make a personal best. The air horn went off and we slowly made our way across the mat. I started my watch, called "see you at the finish line" to Roy, and took off like a rocket! We had decided that he wouldn't try to stay up with me and I wouldn't pace with him because he injured himself last week. We ran under the overpass and screeched and screamed, up and around Republican. Music was blaring at mile one and I looked at my watch, 8:03. That can't be right! We must not be at mile one. At mile two more music and this time I saw a sign, looked at my watch and whoa, "16:07"! No way! I am NOT running 8 minute miles! I took inventory and said to myself, "Can you keep up this pace for another 12-15 minutes?" I answered "Yes! In fact, I might be able to go a little faster." I started painting targets on the backs of the runners in front of me and picked them off one by one. Pushed it up the hill and passed a number of people. I almost bit it when a 20-something guy just stopped in front of me and said "I just can't do this any more." Dude! Don't stop in the middle of everything with people behind you! I swear they need a little "tips for first time racers". Seriously. I almost mowed down him, walkers who had seeded themselves in the very front and were walking shoulder to shoulder, and tripped over a lady with a dog who didn't have him on a short leash. Fortunately no one got hurt (not even the three people who ran and stepped on a hubcap and took an unscheduled "trip" back down the hill partway, until one man stopped and stood blocking people, then picked it up. Good guy. Someone could have really hurt themselves.) When we hit the straightaway I really put on the gas and came in strong with a clock time of 27:40 and a watch time of 26:54. Wow! I didn't think I could do it, but this was a TOTAL personal best! In fact, the best personal best yet...substantially faster than any of my previous 5ks.
What would you do differently?:
I wouldn't wear the long sleeved race shirt! I was HOT by the time I hit the finish line. NO breakfast cookies before the run. It was too heavy on my stomach. I didn't think it would bother me since it was just a three mile run, but it sure did. The last half block or so I thought I might see it again, but it turned out okay. New rule: Nothing but oatmeal for breakfast, regardless of the length of the race/run!
Got some water and hit the line for the goodies. Did some light stretching, but felt REALLY good so didn't feel like I needed to go nuts. Found Roy about 5 minutes later. I was surprised! The last time I "left" him in a 5k he was 11 minutes behind me, and today he was injured! He ran a 10 min mile average, which is pretty darn good for someone with a pulled calf muscle! We went around and picked up lots of goodies, danced a bit to an Irish band, found some people we knew and exchanged greetings, and then hit the pavement to head back to our car at the finish line. I talked a mile a minute, of course. I'm always so pumped after a race. Maybe that's my warm down routine...stop running, eat bagels, and talk my husband's ear off.
What limited your ability to perform faster:
I think I could have pushed it more at the beginning, but had to get out of the glut of the crowd first. Not a huge deal, though. Next time I'm moving up closer to the start since I'm no longer a "slower than 8 minute mile" girl! I was giddy with my time!
Excellent race and one I'd suggest to ANY first time runner/walker. It would make an awesome first 5k. People just plain have FUN with it. You see people half naked, painted green, men in kilts, Irish dancers, clowns, dogs, babies, kids. In fact, there was a little girl who was 8 years old ahead of me the entire race and I think the little blighter BEAT me! I want that kid's name. She'll be in the Olympics some day! She just had a blast and kept RIGHT up with Mom the entire time.
00:26:51 | 03.5 miles | 7m 40s min/mile
Age Group: 51/208
Course: Run from the Opera House near the Seattle Center to the Safeco Field. A few hills, but not too bad. Running on pavement the entire time, which might have been of concern since I ran ten miles yesterday. Fortunately it was not an issue!
Keeping cool Below average Drinking Just right
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5