JS and I had 16K on our training plan for today so we decided to get an early start and kill 6K before we ran the St Paddy's 10K. We met up at 8:30 with another of our TNT teammates and headed east. As we went, it was quite apparent that we had overdressed. Better to find out then instead of mid-race, I say! :)
It was a super quick 6K and, before we knew it, we were back at Eau Claire and had a few minutes to rest and get ready (read: alter running outfits) before we met up with J for the 10K.
Here we are pre-race:
At 10am, the 10K-ers were given a loud firetruck siren send off and away we went to the west. We were easily keeping a 6 min/k pace (surprising since we had just finished 6K a half hour earlier). At the 5K turn around point, there was a water station just begging us to take a glass and we happily obliged, having chosen to leave our fuel belts behind. The path got icier at around the 4K mark, but nothing too dastardly quite yet.
As we came up to the turnaround point for us, another water station (chaired by an enthusiastic bunch of volunteers) helped us out again. By this point, my super cute St. Paddy's fingerless gloves were starting to feel pretty warm. If I'd had more than a tank on under my long sleeve, I think I would have been stripping by then. I was very warm. My doubled up pants were definitely overkill. Lesson learned. A quick glimpse at my Garmin at this point told me that I was on pace for a PR if I could maintain the pace! JS said "Let's get you there!" and we plowed onward.
Unfortunately, at around 7 or 7.5K, tragedy struck. We had just navigated a large sheet of ice and thought we were headed for clear pavement when, all of a sudden, J hit black ice and tweaked her ankle. Her pause when we asked if she was ok, told us she definitely wasn't. For the next kilometre, she tried to stay with us, but soon she urged us on so she could drop back a bit. I felt really bad abandoning her, but I know if it was me - I'd do the same thing.
When we reached the 8.5K point, we expected there to be that first water station awaiting us. Imagine our dismay when it had been packed up already! JS and I were really in need by that point, but we slogged on. I started to get a pretty good size stomach cramp and begged for an early walk break so I could still finish strong.
After the walk, we said "Let's finish this thing!" and headed for the final stretch. As we came to the turn off, JS's husband was there with the camera. He ran backwards in front of us, shooting pics as we flew to a new PR :D
Edited to add: I forgot to finish off J's story. After JS and I crossed the finish line, we decided we would head back up the path and run or walk in with her for her final stretch (whichever she could do). As we turned to head out...she came breezing up to the finish line. Just a minute behind us. She says the ankle is still sore. I hope it isn't going to plague her this season!
The time, as per my Garmin, was 1:04:12. I'm pretty sure the official results will be pretty much dead on that, though I will admit that I am getting concerned with the delay. They still aren't posted on my Running Room dashboard. Hopefully when Doodle got a hold of my bib yesterday in the car, she didn't wreck the chip.
I really hate it when they use the timing chips that go on the bibs...
As for race swag...it consisted of a long sleeve tech shirt with really oddball sizing. The medium appeared like the sleeves would be too short for my gorilla arms so I went with a large. The large is good for arm length, but I could fit 3-4 of my arms in each sleeve LOL. Ah well...LS tech tees are always good to have so I'll be happy with it. I'd also have liked a darker colour because white and I are not buddies :P
|The gloves are mine...picked them up at Hallmark yesterday so I'd have something shamrocky :)|
They also gave each participant a nifty shoulder bag. I'll probably use it to toss our dry cleaning in. Sorry - no pic of that.