Years ago, I ran the Shamrock 10k in Asheville. It was my first 10k race and it was part of an 18-mile training run I was doing in preparation for my first marathon. The race was tough. So hilly and cold. My iPod had stopped playing because of the cold. And most of our team (for Team in Training) ended up injured from the race and the weather conditions. The race also took place during a time I didn’t do race reports each and every time I ran one. (Shame on me.)
I went on to run that race at least one other time, but haven’t in several years. This year, Suzanne and I decided to run it. I was interested in seeing how my time was after two months of incorporating weights into my routine and less running overall.
The 5k started 15 minutes before the 10k. It starts on a downhill, but almost immediately leads into a very steep incline. I felt strong climbing that first hill, but my lungs got the best of me by the top of it. Suzanne was just a little ahead of me, and I had no desire to try and catch her. (We had agreed we’d both do our own races.)
At the half mile mark, my phone let me know my pace and time. 5 minutes for a half mile. So I was running a 10-minute/mile pace. Not too bad considering I have been training at at 10:30-11:30 paces.
There was a decent amount of flatness and downhills and before I hit the mile marker, the rain started. Not too hard, but it was annoying. I realized when I reached the mile marker, my gps hadn’t notified me. (It lets me know my distance every 5 minutes.) So I was running under a 10 minute mile.
More hills. One really tough uphill – the rose garden – and I passed someone right at the top of the hill, as we were about to turn and go downhill. (This is where I also have to insert a complaint. There was a water station at the bottom of the rose garden, which was great timing. However, I wanted water and the kid holding the tray of water kept walking away from me. I had to chase him down until I told him to stop moving away from me! End rant.)
My second mile overall was slower than the first one, to be expected when you look at the inclines.
We turned right, just past the rose garden….and were greeted with another stupid uphill. A little more flat land and one more giant uphill before we were finally running down. At one point I thought I could beat 30 minutes for my overall time. At around 2.5 miles, I knew that might not be totally possible.
The finish of the race is another short, yet steep, incline. I’ve mentioned this before – most races in Asheville end on an incline. I don’t understand why they do that to us.
My finish time was 31:41. My GPS said I ran 3.19 miles.
I finished second place in my age group. This has never happened to me.
My overall pace was 9:57 per mile and I could NOT be any happier with that. Considering how sick I’ve been this past month, which led to less training, I wasn’t expecting this to be a PR race. I ran way faster than my training runs and the conditions weren’t the most superb.
The volunteers for this race were excellent. The course was well marked (even the 10k, which ran most of the 5k route.) They had smoothies at the finish! And your standard fruit and bagels. Oh and beer because it was a Shamrock run. I tend to like my races with cookies, but this one was just fine and I’m hoping I get to do it again!