It's no secret to many of my blog readers that I hate running in the cold and have a really hard time getting motivation to put in my mile here in Portland during the winter (due to cold + so many dreary days). I am no stranger to cold – having spent most of my life living in Minnesota, so I'm not just speaking as a spoiled Californian. I know cold and I know I don't like it
With that said I was supposed to run 12-13 miles in the Gorge. At one point I was going to meet up with Lynn for that run but we never really got that worked out. Good thing it turns out. Saturday I was getting ready to go run in the Gorge and trying to find my one good pair of warm pants that I can wear on my long runs. It literally took me over an hour to search for them. Since my run was supposed to start at 12PM (11AM leaving time) and it was already 12PM, I got discouraged at the lack of warm clothing, 1hr drive, and coldish weather so I sat there discouraged and depressed and didn't go run…
Friday night at a party with Christina's soccer club I had the opportunity to run with someone's bib at the Shamrock 5K on Sunday in downtown Portland. I had not signed up for the run for various reasons but figured what the hell – a 13 mile run followed by a 5K the next day? Sign me up! Well, since I didn't run the 13 miles I figured I'd at least try to run a decent 5K time.
I woke up Sunday morning to 32 degree temps. Yikes! Talk about cold. I bundled up and drove downtown, found my free parking and speed walked to the start so I could stay warm. I actually spent a fair amount of the next 30 minutes jogging around lightly so I could stay unfrozen. By the time I lined up for the start of the race the crowd was PACKED! That was a good thing of course, for one reason – body heat! It was not horrible at the start for this reason but I was excited to get moving and generate my own heat to keep warm. Keeping warm was never a real accomplishment but I did manage to keep it "tolerable" during my run.
I figured the run would be pretty flat and was hoping for 9:30-9:45 miles so I could break 30 minutes (a feat I have only accomplished once in the past 3 years after running some 26 and 27 minute races in 2006).
The first mile was pretty flat and I logged a 9:40. Right on track and I felt pretty good. Mile 2 turned out to be one long uphill. What the??? Not horrible but it did get to me and unfortunately I had to walk a few short sections which put my pace in jeopardy. I wasn't too worried though. I knew the hill would end and the race was ONLY 3 mile so I could push the end.
Mile 2 clocked in at a 10 minute pace. Oh oh. I needed to pick things up to reach my goal. I didn't do the math but knew I had to really kick it into overdrive. Fortunately, mile 2-2.5 was downhill – my favorite! Then the last half mile or so is all pretty much within site of the finish line and a straight shot. I checked my time and kept moving. The finish was getting closer and so was 30 minutes. After nearly getting run over by a couple who thought it would be cool to blow by some people in the last 100 yards (and almost knocked many over), I crossed the line in 29:50! Turns out my pace over the last 1.1 miles was about 9:15. Nice!
Overall it was a pretty good run. I didn't stick around for the fun after, beelining for my car instead. It was still barely 40 and I knew I'd get cold fast (which I was by the time I walked the 7 blocks back to my car).
I finished in the top 24% overall and top 14% among my age group and gender. To say it another way, I beat 76% of all people (3,500ish) running the 5K and I beat 86% of all female finishers! I'm no speed demon but I was far from the back of the pack. I guess that proves I'm still ok at short distances even though I am really horrible at the longer ones right now. I guess I'll take what I can get
Happy Running & Dirty Feet,