It is still several months until the Dumbo Double Dare Challenge (so excited!!, have I mentioned that?), I knew I wanted to do a couple of back to back races in preparation. For several years I have wanted to do the St. Patrick’s Day Dash but for various reasons I haven’t been able to. This year looked promising, so I put it on the calendar.
My running co-worker signed up for the St. Paddy’s Day Run 10K and fortunately it was on Saturday. So I had my first double all set – 10K on Saturday and an almost 4 miler on Sunday.
I’ve never done an official almost 4 miler so going into this weekend, I knew I had an automatic PR. Yay! I briefly looked at the course map for the 10K, and all I saw was a good part of the race was along the water. Score! Because waterfront equals flat, right? (Cue foreshadowing: not always.) I had grandiose notions of double PR’ing. What is that saying? Pride goes before the fall?
Saturday morning came early as the race was about an hour to the south. I met my co-worker and we drove down to her friend’s house who was also running, as she lived close to the race site. Her husband dropped us off basically at the start line – how’s that for service? I had paid extra so I could pick up my packet on race morning and got in line. Soon I had my bib in hand and we made our way to the start line.
I had decided to go without a coat and without a hat. Standing at the start line I was regretting that decision. It wasn’t too cold, however the wind added that extra chill.
Finally we were off!! Down a hill that kept going and going. Every step I took down the hill, I realized my PR dreams were falling by the wayside as what goes down, must come up at some point. I also realized there would be a few more hills before we got to the flat waterfront section.
Lately I’ve been easily irritated by people. I blame it on a combination of fighting a cold and being exhausted. There were a few, let’s call them idiots, who were jumping all over the course. Now it is a St. Patrick’s Day Race so I realize a lot of people are doing it for fun. But please, please, please be aware that you and your idiot friends are NOT the only people on the course. I almost tripped when you jumped right in front of me for a stupid picture.
Rant over (for now). Back to the race. I was keeping up with my intervals, even with the hills. It had started raining, but fortunately it was just a drizzle.
I soon saw the first place 10K man, followed by the second place 10K man who was pushing a stroller. Impressive!! And then I noticed another fast runner with a bike escort and a different colored bib – the first place half marathoner! (The half marathon started about 30 minutes before the 10K.)
For the most part, the field had thinned out. Which was nice as the course had narrowed.
Finally I reached the turn-around point. If I did my math correctly I was still on pace for a PR. Shocking! I knew I had the hill at the end (and another one in between) but maybe I could still pull this off.
I caught up with the tail end of the 5Kers and my irritation returned in force. Fortunately the road also widened. I tried to stay over, yet not too far over so I wouldn’t block the half marathoners. For the most part, most of the 5Kers were fine, but there were several groups spread across the course. But the worst was once again, some idiot skipping, dancing, and not watching where he was going. I have no problem with him skipping or dancing, just with him not watching and causing several people (myself included) to dodge and duck out of his way. You are not the only one on the course. Grr.
And there it was. The last hill. Up. In what seemed like an unending up. I gritted my teeth and went.
You hear the phrase “I left it out on the course” and I think this was my closest to being able to say that. I know that I did not leave it completely out on the course but I definitely gritted my way up the hill and across the finish line with about all I had and then just about collapsed.
In the end, a half minute separated me from a shiny new PR. Mere seconds really. What if phrases started circling in my mind. I shut them down and tried to relish in another race finished.
Sunday morning. Let’s do this again! It was another race whose epicenter was in the Seattle Center. Part of the reason I enjoy races at the Seattle Center is I know where the real bathrooms are!! I parked and headed over to the Armory. On the way I found a $5 bill on the road!! I looked around to see who had dropped it but no one was around. Score for me!
I made it to the Armory where I enjoyed the break from the cold and the real bathroom. There was quite a line after I finished and I debated getting right back in line. But instead I waited awhile before heading down the hall to the other bathrooms, which had next to no line.
I was starting to get a little anxious and so made my way over to the start line to see the first wave off. (I had signed up to be in the second timed wave because if I’m doing a race, I want a time!)
Detlef Schrempf led the crowd in a rousing cry of Super Sonics (sorry to anyone in Sacramento but I really miss my Sonics) before the first wave set off.
And then it was my turn. Off we went down Mercer. It was a sea of green reaching about as far as you could see.
The out part of the course was basically one giant uphill, which of course meant the back part of the course was one giant downhill. The field never really thinned out and while it was crowded, I didn’t feel crowded.
My legs definitely knew it was my second day of running, but I felt good. Even on the uphill.
It was fun seeing all the different shades of green and costumes. And before I knew it, we were at the finish line! Yay!
I wandered around the Finish Line party before realizing I was freezing and made my way to the car.
And so ends the tale of my St. Patrick’s Day Duo.