Yesterday I ran the Shamrock Shuffle 10-Miler in Alb, NM. Mental note: Never run this race again! Ok, with that said, here's the recap...
I had a wonderful packet pick-up experience, because I didn't have to go! The GF was right next door, so she picked it up for me. Another white race t-shirt (I hate white t-shirts) and my bib...I get my timing chip when I arrive at the start.
I woke up at 6:30 to get ready so I could leave by 7:10ish. The race was actually in Rio Rancho, which is about 30 minutes from my house (with minimal traffic). I arrived and parked and got my timing chip very quickly. I used the restroom twice, which is on top of the two times I used it at home before I left. These 4 trips where not pretty. I was actually unsure of whether I'd be able to run 10 miles without having to stop for some explosive action! Spoiler alert: I never had to stop!!
A month ago, after perusing me 10 mile split times from past half-marathons, I decided that my goal for this race would be 1:42:00. After last Sunday's 15K, I knew I could beat that goal. But on Friday, when I decided to get a head cold AND seeing that the weather was going to be crappy and windy, I changed my goal time to 1:45:00, secretly keeping the 1:42:00 in the back of my mind of course. Either way it would be a PR for this distance!
Race starts at 8:30. I started near the front of about 125 people just to keep the dodging and weaving to a minimum. I stayed way to the right of the large group anyway, so nobody really had to go out of their way to get around me. After half a mile of a flat course I look down at my watch and I'm at an 8:25 minute mile pace! WHAT THE HELL! SLOW DOWN SPEED RACER! I was able to hold my horses and finished the first mile around 9:30. So much for feeling fast...the rest of the course went uphill, then downhill for what seemed like .2 of a mile and back up, and it repeated this process over and over until the finish!
Mile 2 - Straight uphill, windy kind of at my back, but a bitch of a hill! (Have I mentioned how much I hate hills?)
Mile 3 - Slightly downhill, then back up, around a couple corners and so windy that dirt is in my mouth and eyes now. And because I sweat so much, it's coating my face!
Mile 4 - Into housing community now so houses are blocking the dirt, but not the wind which is blowing me from side to side and coming straight into my face as I trudge my way back up the hills again.
Miles 5-7 - Just some more uphill in the wind and dirt. This is were we start the 2nd loop back through the housing community. Unfortunately we passed the finish line around the 10K mark and a few voices came into my head telling me this was far enough...but I pushed on!
Miles 8-9 - Around this time I passed a friend of mine who was also racing. She kept slowing down on the uphills and I finally made the surge past her. At one point when I came up next to her, she made some silly excuse and sped off, but I finally got passed her and kept moving my legs on the uphill parts.
Mile 10 - I knew this was about 25% downhill at the beginning and then the rest was uphill to the finish. I wasn't nearly going as fast as I started the race, but I knew I could finish within my goal time, so I kept my legs going. It wasn't easy...especially when you see all the 5K and 10K finishers still running up and down the streets. It's almost as if those runners need to run 10 miles, but only run the 5K so they can take 1st place...then they rub it in your face that you've still got miles and miles to go by going the opposite way on the course! Stop it please!
I finished, with not much flourish, in 1:42:24! Just over my secret goal, but under the big goal! So, not too shabby for the weather, the sickness, and only running once all last week! I also received a finisher's medal...the first time I've gotten one of those in these small races.
Then the coughing and dry heaving attack ensued! I tried to drink some water and duck behind a truck to get out of the blowing dirt's way, but it only made me wanna puke, so I pulled myself together, congratulated a couple friends on their finish, and made my way back to my car. As I was driving home, I captured this sweet picture and was so glad the race was over!
Yep, that's dirt in the sky...we call that a "brown out" here in Albuquerque! At one point I couldn't even see those cars in front of me! The rest of the day went like the picture above, so I stayed inside and complained about how out of shape my upper body is and that I really need to do something about that for my next race. My shoulders are killing me today.
So, overall, I had a fairly good time for everything that was going on prior to and during the run. I will probably never run that race again because I HATE HILLS! Had the wind been any worse during the race I might have dropped out early. Had my bowels not cooperated I might have dropped out early. Had my sickness taken over this weekend I might have dropped out completely. I think I'm a rockstar!