Monday, March 14, 2011

Worthy of a Guinness (St. Paddy's 10K Recap)

After taking in all your feedback to my dilemma last week, I still waffled back and forth with my decision. Ultimately I decided it was easier for me to slip out of the house by myself, then it was to wake up a soundly sleeping kiddo and lug all our gear to the race. The Blondies will need to be up and on the road by 5:15 for next Sunday’s race anyway. One Chinese fire drill in a week is enough.
The race grew by almost 1,000 runners from last year. With the 5 & 10k’s combined, the start was pretty congested with all 3,000 runners taking off at once. There were quite a few people who took a tumble, so they may want re-think that for next year. After about a ½ mile the crowd thinned out and I was able to settle into a rhythm. I was annoyed with myself for forgetting my watch/Garmin. It was probably a good thing after all to pace myself exclusively on PRE. Looking down and seeing 6:XX/mi pace would have freaked me out, and I probably would have slowed down.
The 10k course was 2 loops of the 5k course. The good thing about a looping course: you know what is coming next. The bad thing about a looping course: you know what is coming next. It’s rather demoralizing knowing you still have another trip around the same circle of hell you just completed.
The course was a nice mix of hills and flats. Not bad for an Atlanta race, and the last .2 was downhill. Gotta love when that happens.
However the last mile was just a sea of humanity with the 10K runners lapping hundreds of 5k'ers still on the course. I knew I was towards the front of the pack, but really had no idea where I stood in the rankings. I was in my own world of hurt crossing the finish line and failed to catch my time. I knew I had to be somewhere under 45 minutes, so I was pleased with that.
I stood around for a good hour afterwards waiting for the results to be posted. They never did post the results, and told people to check online later. As I was walking towards the parking lot they finally got the awards ceremony underway, so I went back to listen. Since they had so many age-group medals go uncollected in previous years, the race directors decided to do only top finisher awards for these categories: overall male/female, masters, stroller, Jr. League Member, and Kilt runner (it was a St. Paddy’s day race after all).
The 10k overall female winner finished in 36:24. Wowza! No wonder I never saw her ahead of me. There was no way I could have beat that smoking time, so I was happy just to leave with my PR.

Even though it had been a long wait, I thought it was odd the winner didn’t stick around to collect her prize considering a running store gift card was involved.
I stalked to website all day to see what my actual time was. Around 7 pm the results went up, and imagine my surprise when I saw my name listed as overall female winner.
It turns out the “winner” had registered for the 10K, but then decided not to do the second loop. She ran the 5k instead and finished in 36:24. That’s what caused the mix-up in the results.
I finished in 42:46, which is over a 3 minute PR for me. After years of stagnating times, it’s exciting to see some real progress in the past few months.

The race director said she’d mail me the prize....Woohoo! Momma needs a new pair of shoes. Actually with this found money, I think I’ll treat myself to a pair of those compression socks that I see y’all raving about. What brand would you recommend?


14 comments:

  1. Wow, congratulations! A great time and a win- doesn't get much better than that.

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  2. I knew you would get your PR you were hoping for... awesome! Too funny that you thought the 10k winner had a time of 36:24. You are speedy. Glad you're seeing good results after all your hard work. (:

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  3. a 3 minute PR!!! woozers!!! Great job! Any help with what to do in the weeks before 1/2 marathon so I can PR too? I recommend the CEP ones - they are medical grade and definitely tighter than "recovery sock." And though I thought the hot pink were cool, I recommend white since they go with anything! great job again!

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  4. Congratulations on a great time and a win!! How on earth did you win and not realize it? They should have had cheerleaders, trumpets, something! I won a race in my small town once because there were only about 4 women actually running it and I flipped out.

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  5. It was such mad crush of people at the end it was hard to figure out what was going on. The most frustrating part was asking the officials standing around the finish line if any other women had come though, and they just shrugged.

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  6. Awesome race! Congrats on the win and the new PR!

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  7. You continue to inspire me! Congratulations on winning the race!

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  8. AWESOME!! So glad you Pr'd :)
    As for the compression socks, the CEP are my faves!

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  9. Congrats on your PR!

    I really enjoyed the race myself. There were more hills than I was expecting, but it was a good challenge. Pushing the stroller through the mass of people at the beginning was a challenge in itself. I found a fast person with a double jogger to run behind for the first mile until it thinned out. I did manage to beat my 5k time 2 weeks ago by 30 sec, so I was pleased.

    I *think* I saw you. It was in the port a potty line about 15 min before race start. Blue shirt, black running capris, body bugg on left arm?

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  10. Congrats on a great race, and an awesome PR!!

    The race sounds like they need to work out a few kinks before next year.

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  11. Congrats on a great race, and an awesome PR!!

    The race sounds like they need to work out a few kinks before next year.

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  12. Awesome race! Congrats on the win and the new PR!

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