Sunday, March 18, 2012

2012 Shamrock 15K Race

Shamrock 15K Run
March 18, 2012
Portland, Oregon

Time:  1:27:21  (9:23 pace)

Big running event in Portland.  This year it boasted 32,500 entries.  OMG.  And about 7,000 in the 15K event alone.  Very cold weather race morning and threatening rain.  It becomes tiresome running and cycling in the rain.  But I heard from my sister in San Diego and her triathlon was cancelled due to high winds and a small craft advisory.  Ooooh goodness.

Got warmed up and then lined up.  The race start was delayed due to a late Amtrak train that would be crossing the course.  That was considerate because it is rather frustrating to have to wait for a train with the clock still running.

Race started and I tried to keep it pretty easy and relaxed the first few miles until we got to the big hill.  I kept about a 9:00 minute pace although it felt more labored than I’d like.  But I have been taking some time off from training so I wasn’t as fresh as I should have been. 

Lots and lots of people in this event.  People dressed up in various costumes and stuff.  The 15K has more serious runners so not so many crazies as the 8K and 5K.  I was wearing my CDA finisher hat and IMCDA shirt.  I got lots of “way to go’s” from others on the course.  I did get one guy who asked some silly questions.  This was towards the end of the race and I was hurting pretty badly so I wasn’t as chipper as I could have been.  He asked if I had done an Ironman.  I said, “yes, CDA.”  He then asked, “the whole thing?”  Duh.  I said, “well you don’t wear the shirt unless you did the whole thing!”  Do people really do that?  Wear a gaudy Ironman shirt and they didn’t really do it? 

Speaking of shirts, I am not sure what it is about the Portland Triathlon Club but they continue to be some of the least cheerful participants I have met.  In many events I have given them cheers or “way to go’s” and only to get no reaction from them.  Here I am wearing my IMCDA shirt and hat and saw several of them pass right next to me in their Portland Tri Club shirts and nothing…. No words, no looks, nothing.  Other teams are always vocal or give you some kind of gesture.  But nothing. 

At about mile 2.5 we started the long climb to the top of Terwilliger.  Oh baby.  This is what did me in last year.  I didn’t realize how long it was and it just kept going and going.  It was a ball buster.  This year I knew what to expect and just kept my head down and kept plugging along.  My pace dropped to 10:30, but there were several stretches that I was under 10 minutes per mile.  I got super hot and had to take off my hat.  Luckily I carried my hand towel and could wipe the sweat off my head. 

It then started raining and I was pretty wet to begin with.  Oh well, you can get only so wet.  Finally I reached the top of the hill and we started our descent.  I was expecting to kick it up a notch on the way down, but I was really spent.  My hips, legs and knees were taking a beating and I could only must about a 9:00 minute pace on the way down.  I was getting passed left and right.  I sucked down a gel hoping that would give me a boost, but it didn’t.  I just had to slug it out.

With 2.5 miles to go, I had to go into mind-disassociation techniques.  Taking my mind off the pain by thinking about other things.  I tried to follow other runners or think about races from the past or races in the future. 

Finally made it to the finish line and rolled on in.  Glad it was over.  Very congested finish area, racers were backed up just after the finish trying to get their timing chips off and collect their medals.  Saw Wendy in the crowd.  Always great to see her at the finish.

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