2013 Race Reports: St. Paddy’s Green Run 8k

RaceSt. Paddy’s Day Run Green 8k

City: Raleigh, NC   Date: 03/02/2013

Distance: 8k

Weather: mid 40s and windyvby late afternoon (3:00 start time)

Course:  “flatter”… pffft… I wish RDs would stop putting that in the course descriptions here…  it is still hilly

Summary:  Guinness Book of Records attempt Kilt Run, bag pipes, and a head cold… slowest 8k so far.

Prologue

I am a member of only 2 run groups: the Nog Run Group and one through my gym, Lifetime Fitness. I like both and there seem to be cross-over between the groups, but, of the two, I usually try harder to make the Nog run group because I like the routes and I prefer the bigness of it, even if I don’t usually talk to or run *with* people. Nog puts on 2 races a year now: the St. Paddy’s day 8k in early March and a new companion Oktoberfest 8k in mid-October. Last year’s Oktoberfest 8k was the first race in a really long time where I logged a mile in under an 8:00mm pace, AND substantially so to the point where I kinda bragged a little about it which kinda led my friend to misunderstand me which kinda led to my 10k PR in the City of Oaks 10k for 2012.

So…. my expectations *may* have been somewhat elevated for this race…. add to that a nice little cold and I am surprised I did as well as I did.

Pre-Race

To boost registration, the organizers of this race throw in all kinds of things like a chance to win a trip to Germany and 2 tickets for free beer. I would have registered for the race regardless of the chance to win the trip (I mean… I’d love to go to Germany and all and would never pass up a chance to go, but that wasn’t the reason I registered… and I didn’t win anyway, so…) and the beer – eh – I don’t drink it anyway and always give my tickets away. I wouldn’t say this is my favorite race – I skipped it last year – but I have enjoyed this race in the past and I’m starting to enjoy the 8k distance. It is so weird – 4.97 miles – it messes with my OCD just a little, but that’s kind of what makes it fun. After talking about it with a friend, I realized this area has *several* 8k races that seem to have just popped out of nowhere – these are just 2 of at least 6 I can think of (2 of the other 6 are on Thanksgiving day!)

So… I’d be running it anyway.

but… shortly after I registered, I discovered they were going to try for the Guinness Book of World Records for the most number of people running in a kilt. hmmm…. reeeealllllyyy? I thought to myself – ok… ok… that’s only 200 meters, but how fun would it be to do that?!?!? I’m in! I don’t have a kilt, but, whatever, I’ll figure it out.

I didn’t.

I went to get the bib for the race, and lucky me (haha) they had some kilts for sale. ah… ok. I’ll have one of those. Also, to count in the records, I had to wear it with a belt. I don’t wear belts. Sorry. I have never liked them. I wore them when I was told I had to, but they were usually the first thing off when I got a place (usually my car) when I could remove it. I think they make me look stocky and I hate them. So… I don’t own one. $30 and a Target trip later, I had my kilt and my (ahem) belt, and my Nog club shirt, and my bib and my shoes and I was ready to race.

Race Day 

This was an afternoon race, which was the only reason I was able to do it. I had my boys in the morning, but the way the schedule had worked out with them, I took them over to their dad’s after lunch. The Kilt run started at 2, but you had to sign a waiver an all that, so they wanted you there by 1:30. I felt like I was in slow motion with the cold, so I was running behind, which stresses me out – I hate being late to races. I still managed to make it in time to sign the waiver, prove I had on a belt, and queue up with the rest of my kilted friends. Mine was an el-cheapo costume kilt held together by flimsy-skinny piece of velcro (and it was a pretty breezy day, so, thank God I wore something under it!) and my cheap Target belt, but some folks went all out and had colors and ornamental pins and sporran (don’t be impressed… I had to look that up) boots, hats…. the whole 9 yards. I have never done a race in costume, so this was about as dressed up as I have ever been – and it was only for 200 meters.
They lined us up and had us walk under a sign with a camera and then under another sign and had people counting us – we walked to the start line – bands played (yes! bag-pipe bands!) and they started us! 200 meters looks even shorter when there are hundreds of people and you’re going half way up a block, turning right and finishing at the end on the other side. The finish seemed a little anti-climatic, but there was a lot of excitement. I was ready to start the 8k! Because I had a little bit of time and I really hated wearing that belt, I ran back to my car, took off the belt, debated running the 8k in the kilt, ultimately deciding not to because of the breeze (I didn’t want to have to carry the thing in my hand 1/4 mile into the race), snapped a photo of myself in it to prove I wore it, threw it in the car, and went back to wait for the call to start the 8k.
Once they got all the kilt runners through the finish, the asked the 8k runners (substantially fewer of those) to line up. I was already starting to feel a little tired from my day and the cold was starting to take its toll. I hadn’t eaten well and was busy with the kids most of the morning so I had no idea how much water I had before I headed out to the race – all I remembered was how much I had once I got there. I kind of had to pee… but it could wait. Besides, dehydration is constantly a problem for me, so I thought it better to wait. And… damn. it was cold. How can it be this cold in March? I was shivering (looking at my stats, it was only 46 degrees at the time I finished, so I’m not surprised I was freezing). On top of it all, the sun was constantly in and out – when it was out, it felt alright, but when it went behind the clouds, the temperature seemed to drop substantially. I just wanted to start this thing already.
I don’t recall being excited or happy, but more like this was just something I wanted to get through. I hate being sick for a race because it drags on you. I felt like I was just kind of going through the motions – following people wherever they went. At one point, I remember going up a hill thinking “dang. I still have 3 more miles left”. I felt exhausted and I was ready to go home. I finally got to the point of acceptance and made my way back up the nasty hill at the end, rounded the corner to the finish at over 41 minutes, my slowest 8k yet.
Annoyed, I walked around a bit after the race, took a few photos, and then headed back home disappointed….
then, I looked at my stats. Looking at my stats will usually change my perspective quite a bit for just about any race. Looking at my stats, I can kind of see why I felt so terrible the first two miles – my first two miles were waaaayyyyy too fast. I was sub 8 on both of those, and mile 3 wasn’t much over 8.
and… I was doing that with a cold.  I slept like a rock that night, needless to say, and the next day was a rest day. I needed it.

Learnings

I am usually of the opinion that, unless I physically cannot walk to the start line, damnit, I’m going to do that race. I have only one DNS but that was only because of an injury that, quite frankly, I couldn’t walk to start, so there was no way I was running .1 mile, let alone the other 3 for that 5k. In the case of colds, however, if it is just a wee head cold like this, I’ll usually go. Running tends to clear me up. I do have to remember, however, that it is in my best interest to reset expectations if I do. I have a tendency to believe that, even when I’m injured or in some way ill that I can still do the same things I can when I’m well.

Kiddies, you cannot.

If you run while you’re sick, be ok with the slowest time in the race. It still bothers me a little, but I have my sights on a couple of 8k races to hopefully erase this time. And, for the record, my PR time is 56 seconds faster, so the range isn’t that big for this distance yet.

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One thought on “2013 Race Reports: St. Paddy’s Green Run 8k

  1. Pingback: 2013 Race Reports: Raleigh 8000 | The Devil's Chasin' Me

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