I swear to the run gods, body glide, and Kara Goucher I won’t wait 5 days to post a race recap ever again.
I’d just sweep it under the rug and pretend it never happened if 1) it wasn’t a PR 2) it wasn’t an inaugural race I felt deserved a recap or 3) it wasn’t a substantial part of my Ragnar/Eugene training. Oh and Bri ran and beat me (20:01), and I’d like that to be chronicled so when I become faster than him there will be internetz evidence that his wife wasn’t always a better runner than him.
Saturday AM, WAY F’ing too early. Manage to dress/feed myself and get out the door for a few “warm up” miles before the Leprechaun Leap 5k.
Stepback week (glorious, glorious stepback week!) meant I had “just” 15 miles on the schedule. That’s cool except when you’re trying to squeeze them in before a 7:30am race.
I parked in the empty parking lot at the start (wonder if anybody thought I was just a super eager beaver, 2 hours before the race?) and took off for the the trail. It was still dark. And cold. And it started raining. And I decided this was all a really dumb idea. Like I manage to at least 10 times during any long run.
9 miles later, I stopped at the car for a costume change and made my way over to meet Bri’s work team. Rebecca (from Surf City pacing and Track Party Tuesdays) organized the team and let me play along.
Foreshadowing : good move, Rebecca.
Ran into all the Team Sparkle girls at the start line and chatted with them about all things sparkly, Ragnar’y (they’re running Ultra SoCal, too!), and then it was time to take off.
Since I wasn’t sure what running a bunch of miles beforehand would do to my legs, I went out with what felt good and was within my previous PR time (7:09/pace).
And it felt good. So I went a little faster. And then around 1.5 someone yelled,
“YOU’RE 3RD FEMALE! KEEP IT UP!”
There was a girl in front of me, and I didn’t know if they meant SHE was 3rd or I was 3rd. All I wanted to do was yell out, ‘ME OR HER?! ME OR HER?!’ because I’ll be damned if I came in stupid 4th place.
So I went faster.
And my lungs were burning, and my legs were tired, but it was good. I felt strong, like I was pushing hard but not grasping at every inch of pavement to keep myself going forward. (thank you thank you, coach margot and track party tuesdays)
The course had A LOT of switchbacks, so I got a few looks at how far my shadow was behind me. Each turn (while painful) gave me a little more adrenaline and I told myself sweet baby jesus just don’t get caught.
On the final switchback I saw the lead woman (18:56 nbd) and that I was in second place. As we made the final half mile stretch it was SO COOL to hear everyone cheering and hear the course guy announce “second female #47” into his radio.
That’s me. I’m #47. They’re radio’ing for me.
Shadow finished right behind me in 21:32. I gave her a high five and thanked her for the pace. No way in hell I would have ran that hard without feeling her behind me.
We cheered a few other teammates through the finish, and I took off for 3 cool down miles (for 15 on the day). I got back to the team “homebase” and guess who was there?
Shadow girl! Turns out she was on our team. I’d say it was awkward or I felt bad, but… I didn’t, and we got 1st place team overall. So really, we all won.
I just won a teensy bit more.
Don’t ask me about Brian’s hat. Or lei. Or his Thanksgiving shirt. He didn’t run in them, I promise.
So all in all, great long run, great race, great friends, and sometime I’ll be faster than Brian maybe. As long as he makes more money than me, that’s ok, right? Marital balance at its finest.
Tustin Leprechaun Leap 5K, 3.17.12 : 21:17 *PR
2nd Female, 1st Division (W20-29)
Objective review of this inaugural race : There was a good turnout for the event – almost 800 runners despite the gross weather. For $35 you got a cotton tshirt, plastic medal, switchback-heavy course, no photos (official or unofficial), and a so-so post-race spread. It was chip timed and proceeds benefited the chamber of commerce, which were its saving grace. I’d run it again with a team, but would find another event if I was just looking to race.