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Monday, March 16, 2009

Shamrock 5k 2009

It's amazing that this was my fourth time running this race, especially because I believe I've said on multiple occasions that I would never run it again (also said for the Race for Our Kids, which I have run 3 times now).  This was probably the worst weather of the four times, as it was about 45 degrees or so, with either rain or drizzle for the whole day.  I noticed less spectators this time, which wasn't too surprising.  My own spectator (Todd) ended up staying home also.

I was supposed to meet Kristy and her sister under the Washington Monument at 12:30.  However, I was late getting ready and then I forgot my coupon for $5 parking, and then I was 5 minutes down the road and had to go back for my watch (which I didn't even end up using, but no matter).  So, at 12:30, I was still on 83 trying to get into town.  

I made it to the Pier V parking garage where I'd normally park (and where I had a coupon for), and the guy closed the lot immediately after I entered.  I thought that was a bad sign.  Sure enough, no spaces.  Still, I had to wind all the way to the top of the garage and back down again, waiting for idiots in the process.  At this point, I was thinking that I might not make the start of the race at all.  I went across President Street to another garage and grabbed up my parking ticket, cell phone, race number (not yet attached to me), and a $20 bill and headed out.  It was 12:50pm.  The race was supposed to start at 1:15 and I was no where near the starting line.

I got a good warm up walking to the starting line, sometimes I was even doing a little bit of running.  Plenty of other folks seemed to be late too.  I was nearly hit by a car, thinking that the roads were closed, and a cop was not happy with me.  Then, right at 1:15, I found Kristy and her sister.  The gun went off about a minute later.

The race itself was mostly the same as usual.  That first downhill is awesome, and allows us to go really fast when we're not being trampled or slowed down by other runners.  We ran the first mile in about 10:20, which is an excellent time for me.  I was expecting Kristy to leave me, but she never did, and we did haphazard intervals because she seemed unwilling to do the 45 and 30 second intervals I'd set up, and her own watch was set for the bizarre 2:2 interval time.  We kind of just ran whenever.  

I wasn't trying for a PR, but when we were on Pratt Street in mile 3, I knew it was a possibility.  I wasn't totally sure what our time was, but I knew we were close.  I told Kristy I wanted to run it in, and we did.  We crossed the finish line at the same time, but it wasn't until I got home that I really knew what our time was.

We hung out for a while, I had a couple of beers.  I don't normally do that after a race, but I was in a happy mood with my possible PR and it's always nice to hang with Kristy.  Finally, I headed home to see... a PR!  My previous time was 35:29, set last year at the Shamrock 5k.  This year's time?  An awesome 34:49, finally getting me under the 35 minute mark.

I think I can thank Sean O'Malley for this :)  Is it really any shocker that I'd do well in an Irish race, having a trainer with such an Irish name??  ...  Race Results

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