Sunday, March 18, 2012

ShamRock N' Roll 10k was Sweet

One of my two "winter payoff" races was today, the ShamRock N' Roll 10k in Plymouth. I originally chose to do this race because it was a 10k (and an almost guaranteed 10K PR), it offered a tech shirt and medal, and I anticipated that it was going to be well run by Kona Racing Co. As a bonus, a least two of my fellow SE Michigan running bloggers, Megan from WatchMeGoRun and Jeff from Detroit Runner were going to be there. (I call them fellow bloggers, but they have blogs which are much more popular, longer running and updated more frequently than this one. To me, they are in the "Pros" of running blogs, while I'm in single A ball. :P)

I wanted to be well rested for this race and, after not sleeping well Friday night (watching too much Breaking Bad on Netflix, trying to catch up. Not since Battlestar Galactica have I enjoyed a TV series this much. A few more episodes and I'll finally be at the current season), I needed to get to bed early. I was in bed at 8pm and asleep by 8:30. Woke up at about midnight and slept off and on until about 3am, then I got a couple more solid hours of sleep.

I had to get up pretty early to eat something and drive to Plymouth. I have had good luck with caramel rice cakes and Gatorade. Yes, that not exactly the "Breakfast of Champions", but it seems to be a combo that my stomach can deal with on race day, so I went with it.

I arrived a bit early, about an hour before race time. Parking was great and check-in was quick. I missed having the family at the race (I don't think they've made a race since Halloween) but they may have been bored getting there that early. I walked around a bit and checked out the setup and the downtown before I found Jeff from Detroit Runner. We took a couple pics and talked a bit, then each prepared for the race. I lined up early about a third of the way back from the start and listened to the National Anthem and watched the dance routine. Very nice start line setup, with great sound (not being able to hear at the start of the race is a pet peeve).

It was a little crowded just after the start of the race, but that probably worked to my advantage. I think it allowed me to ease into race pace. First mile was right pace on and the second mile was faster. I liked the course with the twists and turns which visually broke up the race into sections (I find this preferable to looking ahead to a seemingly endless straightaway). I hit the 5k mark at about 24:30, which would have made it my second fastest 5k if that was it. Alas, the race continued...

Just after 3.5 miles, I heard a volunteer shout out to Megan of WatchMeGoRun. I turned around and waved and continued on. Inside, I was a little scared. Between our blogs and DailyMile, we both know that our race PRs and our training times are really close. Yes, she's a woman and yes, I'm about 10 years older, but we're at pretty much the same place in our running careers in terms of race times. As such, we have been "just jokingly" (but at the same time somewhat seriously) posting about who was going to win between us, usually posting that we are scared that the other will win, rather than taunting each other. :) Knowing she was close strengthened my resolve to try to keep my pace, which I maintained, for the most part, until mile six.

Mile six was a bit of a struggle and I began to slow a little. Slowing to an 8:30 + pace for the mile (after one of my most consistently paced races ever through the first 5 miles), cost me the chance to hit my 50 minute "gold medal goal". I was able to turn it on a little bit and had a nice .2 mile finish, but unless I could run it all at a 4:30 min/mi pace (I can't), I wasn't going to break 50. I finished just before the race clock hit 51 minutes, so I knew that was in the bag. The final result was 50:28.7, which was a 10k PR by 7 minutes.

After finishing, I saw Megan's brother (who I recognized from pictures) and tried to locate Megan to say hello and to see how the race went. We found her and she had finished less than a minute behind me (While, as a competitor, I wanted to finish ahead of her, I didn't really celebrate. I wanted her to get a PR. If she had a better run or if I didn't run what was perhaps my best race ever, she could have just as easily beaten me. We shall meet again next week at the Rock CF Half Marathon). Ryan (her man) finished a couple minutes later and before long, I was able to meet the whole family. I thought it was cool that they all came to the race and many (her brother, Ryan, her sis-in-law and her dad) all raced. RunnerBaby is sure to join in the racing soon.

I tagged along with them for a while and saw Jeff again for some more pics and met Megan from On the Road Again. It was cool that they "adopted" me for a little while and invited me to get a beer and lunch with them at Sean O' Callaghan's. The food and company were both welcome.

Overall, it was a great race day. The weather was perfect, I ran a very good race, the race itself was operated well and I met some nice people. Can't ask for much more than that!


  1. it was great to meet you and I'm glad you had fun too! Congrats on the PR, you did great! I'm sure you'll do just as well this sunday. (and no hard feelings about beating me, you've been working hard and it's paid off!)

    1. You're gonna do great this coming Sunday too! Personally, I have plans to crush the course - Grosse Ile may just sink after we're done trampling it! :)

  2. Great job on the 10K! I'm 99% running Rock CF on Sunday. I did it last year and loved it - it's a great race! Maybe meet you there.

    1. That would be cool. If you end up doing the race, let me know!