2011 Shamrock Run

“Frigid cold, cracks your limbs, how long can you last in this frozen water burial?”  These words came through my headphones during the first mile bringing the first of a few smiles to my face.  It was 41F with rain/sleet, and 20+ mph winds.  And I was under dressed (is anyone surprised by this?).  I have a 10 degree racing rule.  Since it was 41 outside I would dress as though it were 51 if it were a normal training run.  I wore shorts and a short sleeved shirt.  Had it not been for the wind it would have been the right choice.

I wasn’t sure what to expect but I thought I was capable of a personal record even not having rested.  It started out well!  In the first mile I had to dodge a lot of runners but still managed a 6:27.  My PR for this course is a 6:30 pace so I was pleased particularly because I felt like I was running a comfortable pace.  In the second mile I smiled again laughing at myself.  My playlist started with Slayer’s “Angel of Death” but by mile two I was listening to Colby Caillat’s “Fallin’ For You.”  I had an even better second mile due to thinning groups of runners and good music, a 6:11.

In the fourth mile things went bad quickly.  The course turned and the wind was directly in our faces.  The rain picked up and had sleet mixed in.  It hurt.  I couldn’t see.  My abs started to hurt.  I started to get extremely cold.  Though almost no one passed me I turned in a 7:28 mile (!!!).  By the fifth mile I had stopped twice to massage my painful abs.  Perhaps worst of all was the plight that affects male runners…when things get really cold it’s extremely painful (which is why wind briefs exist).  In an effort to maintain good running form and to not look like a pervert I did not run with my hands covering myself even though I badly wanted to.

I did not PR but I’m happy with the race.  I finished in 33:12, a 6:42 pace.  I placed well (10th in my age group, 90th overall out of ~3500) which means that the weather affected other people too.  Best of all is that I have new memories that won’t soon be forgotten.

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