Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Shamrock 15k

Oh the joy of running in the rain and wind. Sunday our little group of Slugs got together to do Portland's famous Shamrock run. They have distances for everyone in this race. 1 mile, 5k, 8k and 15k. It is the biggest race in Portland. This year they estimated almost 20,000 runners came out. Ruby made the plan to get us all to do this race. The runners in the group were in various levels of fitness so this made a good match for all of us to do.

Trying to stay warm....brrrr!

The weather was just plain ugly Sunday. Steady rain, 45 degrees and a wind gusting over 35 mph at times. Gail and I got ready and I got us a couple of big garbage bags to wear while we were hanging out for the start. We parked on the east side of the Willamette river to avoid the massive parking mess on the west side, and walked over the bridge. It was just really blowing on that bridge.

View of the staging area from the Morrison Bridge.

We met our friends and all were running except Eric who is too old to run...oh I mean he has a rib injury which kept him out today but he still showed up to chat. Everyone was freezing waiting in the rain. But Gail and I got lucky and only my feet were cold with the garbage bag over my body.

Ruby, Abbe, and Garbage Bag Lady.

Abbe, Rick, Ruby, Eric, Gail, Bret, Katie & Tom.

Well it was close to race time and Gail ran off to the Port-A-Johns and we waited for her to come back. She never did come back and the gun went off for the start of the 15k but the line was so big it took over 5 minutes for the runners to cross the start line. I kept waiting for her to show up but I soon figured she must have already left and gotten in line for the race. I went around a fence just up from the start line and was actually behind the two cop cars that trail the final runners. I passed them and crossed the start line. Since it was a chip timed race it didn't matter when I started.

View of Start line as I took off late.

My goal for this race to was to run fast but don't push hard as to get hurt. I don't do much speed work so this could a good way to get an injury. I ran on and after about a mile I caught up to Rick and Ruby. I chatted for a bit then pressed on. The course is flat for about a mile then begins the climb up Broadway. Up at mile 1.5 or so I met up with Gail. Still running in her garbage bag! (I had taken mine off and put in my pocket for later use). I gave her a hug and continued up the hill. I always run this area at an easy pace because it is a good 600 foot climb up the hill to the top of Terwilligar hill. We go past Dunaway Park and Track and start the turn up the big hills. I still am only running 8:50's or so up the hill not wanting to get out of breath or get hurt. I then saw Abbe and gave her a little push up the hill. It was a quick "Hi" and I continued on.

On this course I just know that once we hit the top you gonna fly down the backside so just go easy. The wind was really starting to howl up on the hill. The tops of the fir trees were really swaying. (Actually numerous trees got knocked down and people lost power later this day) We hit the apex of the hill and I began to let my legs go. We turned on to Barbour Blvd and this headwind turned into an awesome tailwind. "Now I can go" I thought. My pace picked up to 7:10 or so. Not wanting to push much more as my hamstrings already were starting to sing to me. I passed tons of folks since I started last. I sometimes feel bad doing that in a race like this because I am not really fast, I just started at the end. I respect every person out here doing the 9 miles. It is a true effort!

My legs never really got tired during the race, even after my first ever 70+ mile week. We went by the beer and donut stand and I was tempted to grab some but was on the wrong side of the street. But boy you could sure smell the beer on the street for a few hundred yards! We cruised on down Nato Parkway and I crossed the finish in 1:19:44. A respectable 8:33 pace for this hilly course. Most of my last 4 miles were around a 7:25 pace so that felt good.

I went back to the start line to see our friends cross. Gail was the only one I ended up seeing and we got together and left fairly quickly. They give you free beer and clam chowder but the line was huge. We gave our beer tickets away to a couple of women and they were very happy! Gail ended up doing a nice 10 minute pace for the run. Abbe ran a 9:30 pace and Rick and Ruby a 11:30 with their run-walk style. Tom's back locked up on him and the poor guy had to DNF at mile one. Katie did the 8k and finished with a 10:10 pace and a new long distance for the year! Good job Slugs! We have to do this more often. But please bring better weather next time.

We are so warm we can't stop smiling!!!

I didn't know Abbe was Irish?

It was a fun but very cold day. I have the Pacific Rim 24 hour run up next in Longview. I am not sure how this will turn out but the plan is to go for a 100k (62 miles). If anyone wants to come up and run with me I will be at Sacajawea Park in Longview from 9am Saturday to who knows . Figure at least 10pm Saturday night but the race goes until 9am Sunday morning. I will run as long as I can. But because it is a mile loop course (nice one at that!) and you see your car every time around it will be hard not to go home.

1 comment:

Sarah said...

Doing a little speed work, huh? : )

Bart and I plan to count a few laps at Pac Rim. Marc has to work, unfortunately. See you there!