Sunday, March 18, 2012

St. Paddy's Day in snow?

The weather forecast was not in our favor but I was optimistic. Woke up at 6:40 a.m. and listened. Yes, the sound of heavy rain was still drumming on the windows. Damn. Temperature was 38 degrees.


I dressed, had half a AB&J sandwich, made some tea-to-go, and hopped in the car for the drive down to Tacoma to meet up with Kim and her S, Kerrie, Zoe, Mel, Tiffany, Jamie, Chelsea, and many others. In the rain and cold.

Huddled under an awning to stay dry pre-race.
3 Huskies & a Bulldog
Kim & I got to show off our Huskiness
There was quite a line-up for race packet pick-up so the 10k and 5k started about 15 minutes late, which just prolonged our time standing around in the cold rain. I went to the 10k start with Kim & S to see them off. Kim's goal was to get a PR (sub-57:00) and she rocked that goal by 5 minutes!

Those of us in the 5k huddled together for warmth until the horn blew then we were off down a pretty significant downhill for the first half mile. Mel and everyone were off like a shot. I think I came through the first mile around 7:15. I couldn't feel my feet they were so frozen. The rest of me was pretty warm. I was working pretty hard but was feeling o.k. The problem was, I had NO idea how long I could sustain my pace since I hadn't done any speed work to prepare for this run. So, I just hoped to hold on and see how it came out.

We hit the turn-around pretty quickly and the 2 mile mark came up at about 15:xx. I had slowed down as expected but was still feeling o.k. Very cool! This was when I remembered that nice downhill we had in the beginning. Oh yeah, gotta get up that thing to find the finish line. I debated about whether I should slow up to save myself for the hill but ultimately decided it wouldn't matter if I continued at this pace or slowed down - that hill was going to be rough regardless.

Sure enough, that half-mile hill was no joke. I slowed down significantly and just pushed as hard I could. As soon as I got to the top of the hill I could see the finish line and I gutted it out because I knew I was close to meeting my last 5k time (December). In the finish chute, I was sucking wind pretty good still when the volunteers handed me a great St. Paddy's Day highball glass and race pin.

After the race, most of the gang went out for food but I needed to scoot home. The drive back up north was SNOWY. In mid-March! I know that's nothing for many people across the states but for Seattle it's just plain crazy! It didn't stick but was exciting anyway.

Catching my breath! (Thanks Tiffany for the pic)
In the end I don't think I could have done any better, but just like the last 5k, left me hungry to try again after actually training for a 5k (i.e., doing more than logging regular old training miles with no speed work). In my dream world, I bust 21:00.

Chip time = 23:13, 7:29 pace (exactly the same time as my Santa Runs Tacoma 5k)
Overall place = 74/1,691
Women's race place = 11/1,177
Age group 35-39 = 3/150 (won me a yellow ribbon for third in AG!)

The top three women's finishers this morning were stellar:
  1. 18:23 (this lady was in my age group!)
  2. 18:34 (25-29 age group)
  3. 19:05 (my age group again)

I hope everyone else enjoyed their St. Patrick's Day races!

This week is Week 1 of a short 9-week half marathon training program. That means track Tuesday and tempo Thursday should be back FOR REALS this time. Next weekend's long run will be a 12-miler. I'm HOPING that the weather improves by then so it's not another wet, icy slog. Woohoo!


  1. Awesome job! Sounds fun, minus the cold:)

  2. Congratulations on so many levels!

  3. Way to go!! Awesome awesome race!

  4. You did well! it is very hot here. So strange!

  5. What an awesome blog and congrats on the ribbon! I'm glad I came across this! It's so inspiring reading about other women getting out there and running...I feel like I should go and enter into a race now haha.


  6. Snow?! Great running - a fast time and an age group ribbon, well done!

  7. NICE TIME!! I felt bad for all the St. Patty's runners with our terrible weather this weekend and secretly glad I didn't sign up for a race. Everyone who ran is serious rock stars!

  8. You're a rock star! Congrats on doing so well on a tough course, and coming in third in a superfast AG. I'm sorry I didn't find you beforehand. It was chaotic and we stayed inside Starbucks too long. The only one of the Ice Cream group I saw was Kim, as she whizzed past me in the 10k. Awesome job!

  9. Congrats on the AG!! you’ve got snow and we’ve got record breaking heat. boo.

  10. Wooohoooo lady, congrats on the fantastic run and our AG award!! Very very cool!

    What is with this crazy weather!!?!?!? My race in the midwest was in record high temps - I was a melted mess!! Thank God I'm back home in Colorado with normal temps now! :)

  11. Oh yeah! Age group podium. Great job!

  12. Nice job Alma! How funny you got the exact same time- I bet if the course had been the same you would have been faster though. That hill was CRAZY! As always it was great to see you even though we were half frozen :)

  13. Great race! Congrats!!!