Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Not The Luck of the Irish - But Consistent at This Year's St Malachi Race

Each year right around St. Patrick's Day I get excited. As the winter dies down and the hope of spring appears, I know that it's almost time for the annual St Malachi 5-miler. This 5-mile road race is almost a right of passage into spring for many athletes in Cleveland Ohio. What better way is there to celebrate St. Pat's than to run your butt off for 5 miles and then go drink beer at Irish pub? So this year as with several years previously I headed downtown to do just that.


The start of the race is not until 9:45 and with picking up our packets in advance of the race it was nice to actually "sleep-in" on a race morning. Unfortunately what we woke up to was a blizzard. Eek, this is not good I thought to myself beginning to worry about the footing for the race. In addition the morning was stressful with coordinating a babysitter for the little kids and a practice SAT test for the older one. I was also a teensy bit crabby as a result of the monthly timing of the race. Despite the chaos and challenges, Steve and I got dressed, ate breakfast, got the kids ready and to where they needed to be and hit the road around 8:15.

The drive was messy with snow and slush. We made it downtown around 9 and opted to stay in the warm car for a little while as we got ready. Around 9:15 we headed to the restrooms and got in a 1 mile warm up mostly easy with a few strides. I could tell it was going to be cautious footing. 

The Race:

Trying to catch the guy in front of me as we head towards the finish
Around 9:40 we lined up closer to the front and made small talk with some friends and chatty strangers. Then we were off. The first mile of this race is always fast and this year was no exception. My splits for the first two miles of the race were 6:28 and 7:16 with my 5k time at 21:30 (a 6:56 average pace). My last two miles felt hard as we ran through slush and a snow/sleet mix pelted me in the face. Wrapping up at 35:56 (7:11 pace) it is safe to say my plan to negative split and run sub 7 was unsuccessful this time. Too much shuffling around my feet trying to keep them out of the slush and puddles and I was a little fatigued that last mile going up hill. No luck of the Irish here but I was okay with my performance only being 2 seconds slower than last year. 

Considering all factors I feel like if I had better weather conditions I might have nailed my goal of sub 35. At least I was consistent with last year's performance to finish 9th of 252 in the 30-34 age group and 33/1153 overall female. Aging up next year to 35-39 will help I hope!

Steve had a good race as well finishing in 32:15 (6:27 pace) and placing 5th of 126 in the 45-49 age group and 79th overall.

Post Race:

After the race Steve and I were both wet and cold from the race. We said hi to some friends and headed to the car to change into dry clothes and shoes. Being the awesome husband that he is he helped me pull on my compression socks, which is actually difficult in a car when you have wet feet.

We then headed to McCarthy's to meet up with friends and have a nice, hard-earned beer. I'm happy to say that this year McCarthy's had the Dogfish Head 90-minute IPA! It's always a sweet finish knowing that a beer is just a few minutes away. 

Following the drink we headed back to Mentor and ingested a lot of really tasty but bad food at Melt Bar & Grill along with another tasty IPA. 

Another St. Paddy's day and another St. Malachi race in the books. Good times! 

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