St. Paddy's 8k Race Recap...

St. Paddy's 8k Race Recap...
I talked about having fun at this race. And before I get too far into my recap, I have to say I did. Today was awesome!

I decided on Friday I was going to run with a present bow and smack it on the finish line if I PR’d. I decided to run with it either way to remind myself of how lucky I am to run.
That every run,every race is a gift to myself.

I’m pretty big on routines with my running, especially with races. Yesterday I found myself gravitating to pre race rituals I established last summer and fall. I cut my hair Saturday, for streamlining purposes of course. I hydrated and ate well and stayed off my feet as much as I could.

I really liked that this race had a 10:00am start, it meant I could
sleep in a little. On top of my nap yesterday, I got nine hours of
sleep, awesome! Getting ready for a race with everyone up was different.
We all got up about 7:30, and Pam got out for a run before I headed to
the race. The girls and I had breakfast and i got ready to run.

to the race wasn’t bad, traffic was light. I parked in the Lincoln Park
Zoo lot. Great for pre race, craptastic for post race.

getting my shirt and bib and checked my gear I warmed up. I ran for
25:00 to get loose and threw in 4 :20 pick ups to get the legs moving.
After that it was time to get in the corral.
I ran into a couple of people I know on Twitter…Cate (@caconroy1) who writes Seriously, you’re taking my bagels here on ChicagoNow, actually spotted me and hollered. I got to meet Jenn (@jennsutherland)
who is an ACS Determination, cancer ass kickin’ runner! We headed to
the corral and the announcer kept telling us we’d get started in just a
few minutes…seriously, he said it like 5 times.

Finally we got
started, and remembering my promise to myself, I didn’t obsess about my
pace. I checked my Garmin about a half mile in. I was holding a 10:20
pace. Coach Jen and I talked about not going all out. One of my big
issues last year was starting too fast. I focused on that the first
mile. And really, I had enough on my plate as both the 5k and the 8k
started together. There were A LOT of walkers, and i had to weave for
much of the first mile and a half.

I hit the 1 mile mark, I paced it at 10:15. I felt slow. It took me a second to comprehend I was moving at a decent clip.

second mile, the 5Kers split off and it thinned out. Which was perfect
timing I was a little cranky and had a side stitch…getting some
breathing room helped. I paced mile 2 at 9:48! Sweet! Mile 3 we were
heading back south and rejoined the 5K folks for a bit. There were 6 or
so people lined up picking off the walkers. They were pulling my pace so
I tucked in the back and mile 3 I feel like I had a second wind. I ran
it at a 9:56 pace.

Mile 4 I struggled. I slowed at an aid
station and for a heartbeat thought about walking. I swore at myself and
got moving. The side stitch was back and my legs felt heavy. As I
rounded out mile 4 it started to rain…I paced it at 10:02. It was my
slowest mile.

I think I was partially holding back a little for
the last mile. Some thing clicked in the rain, and I had another wind. I
picked a guy up ahead of me and decided I was going to pass him. I had
tunnel vision, it was just that dude and me. I passed him at Fullerton
with about a half mile to go. I was hurting, my lungs were burning.

a quarter mile left, a woman stopped short in front of me. I swerved to
avoid a collision and tripped. It was almost like my tumble at Half
Madness in Batavia last September. I landed on my shoulder and side and
rolled. I was back off, and dazed. I walked a few steps and yelled at
myself, Move your ass!

I startled the two women near me. I made
the final turn and pushed as hard as I could. I paced mile 5 at 9:32!
And finished with an official time of 49:45! Sub 50!!!

was ecstatic and fought back tears. I wandered around a bit in a daze, downed 2 bananas and a lot of water. I met up with Cate, Jenn, Jenn’s husband and a fellow AHA runner, Danielle, who I got to meet! It was pretty cool..I didn’t figure to see anyone I knew, and I saw quite a few folks.

I want to give a shout out to my old HS friend, Anedra. She has taken up running and this was her first 8K I believe and she rocked it out. She’s doing a couch to half marathon group and she’ll run 13.1 Chicago as her first half! Anedra, you’re awesome and an inspiration! Keep up the great work! Awesome job today!

I tweeted and FBed my time as well
as texted it to Coach Jen, my dad, Steve and Ashley my time…though I
typed 49:26. Oops…I was 20seconds off. Crap! Doesn’t matter, it’s
still feels awesome. I was grinning ear to ear.

A year ago today I ran my first 8K…the Shamrock Shuffle with Dave pushing me. I finished in 58:16. I shaved 8:31 off that time and set a new PR by 1:11! What a difference a year makes!

Coach Jen asked if I was happy with my this race via text…I texted I
definitely was and may have teared up. She said she was “over the moon”!

I’ve said my goal for this year’s Chicago Marathon is to run it
under 5 hours. I’ve been saying it, but like last year I hadn’t fully
bought in yet. Now? I have. I feel like it’s possible and not just
wishful thinking. Thank you to everyone who has helped me get to this point. I feel I owe you all a lot and I’m forever grateful.

Overall I’m happy with today. But I know I can do better…in 3 weeks, I get my chance! For now, I’ll enjoy my birthday gift…my new 8k PR! It’s beautiful!

I have a post I’ll share tomorrow or Tuesday, I started writing a letter to myself.

More later!


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  • YEAH DAN!! Congrats on the PR today, way to kick off the racing season!

  • In reply to Kgbug7:

    Thanks Kate! I had a lot of fun today!

  • In reply to Kgbug7:

    That is frigging awesome! Congratulations; I knew you could do it! my family and I were in chicago this weekend. We had some charity work at children's memorial, and we drove right past the race at 10:30am. We were all thinking about you running in the rain. I am so glad you were not deterred. sounds like a great race. keep it up!

  • In reply to fult23:

    Thanks dude! Luckily it was only misting for most of the race. It started really coming down though near the end. It actually helped. I was starting to overheat...

  • In reply to fult23:

    AWESOME! Keep enjoying the PRs, DAN! It is ALL GOOD and you have worked hard for all of this - you deserve it all !!!!

    Next up! Shamrock PR! :)

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