Monday, March 16, 2009

RACE REPORT – SHAMROCK 5K


Weather – Upper 30s/low 40s, wet, drizzle

Today was the official beginning of my spring racing season. Over the past 2+ months I’ve run more and run harder than I ever have run in my life. I ran up to 100 miles a week and ran some pretty good workouts and all while keeping my eyes on mid to late March…and beyond. My goal since last fall was to attack the 15:00 barrier. Two weeks ago I ran 15:12 on the track and started to have doubts…but then I realized I was in the midst of some of the toughest running I had ever done. March would be a time for taper.

The weather (cool and drizzly) was reminiscent of England, not necessarily Ireland, but it was perfect racing conditions. After a 20 minute warm-up I did a few agilities and toed the line. The horn blasted and I immediately shot to the front. The first mile is downhill and is always fast so I tried to relax and run comfortably. I was soon joined by teammate Patrick Reaves but I was feeling good so I decided to surge ahead…then ahead again. I hit the mile in 4:35 and felt very good. My legs felt a little heavy, but I told myself I’d be done in 10 minutes and I surged onward. Ahead of me the pace car cruised with flashing hazard lights. Police motorcycles made “whoot whoot” sounds and crowds cheered “go, go, go”. It then occured to me that I was winning. Kids waved plastic green hats and old men puffed tobacco onto the course. Irish wolf hounds growled and drunken Irishmen spilled Guinness on the sidewalk. I continued to throw in surges and push myself hard when I found myself falling asleep. I hit the turn-around and felt as if I had the “W” locked. Not good enough, I told myself. The competition is always the clock. Push, push, push! Don’t be a coward, don’t fall asleep…hammer it in! Break 15!

I hit mile 2 in 9:35. I now knew I had a chance to break 15:00, but I had to act…and act now. Up ahead of me loomed Pratt Street and after running this race for the past 2 years, I knew I had to start my kick here. I crossed the street and began to pick up the pace. When I saw Market Street (the final turn before the finish) something happened to my legs which hasn’t happened in years - I began to kick! I pounded the pavement, turned the corner and immediately looked at the clock – 14:51, 52, 53…

Damn it! Push it, push it! Go to the line…………………………...
I crossed the line and pumped my arms.

14:58

Not only had I won ($150) but I had broken 15 minutes. I had done it! The hard work of the past months had paid off.

To date, this was definitely the race of my life. It was my first major post-collegiate win and I felt good doing it. I had run virtually alone wire to wire chasing cops on motorcycles and was able to rally and push myself when times got tough. Bigger and better times to come.

Teammates Reaves, Sam Blasiak and Chris Bain were 2, 3 and 6. Teammate Melissa Tanner was the top woman with a PR of 17:03! A great day for the
Georgetown Running Company.
Next up – University of Maryland Invite in 2 weeks…I look forward to racing an all out 5k on the track. After that it’s the big dance – Cherry Blossom.

9 comments:

Stephanie Y. said...

How exciting!

I have a huge, stupid grin on my face right now because I'm totally living vicariously through you! (and getting aggravated that people smoke on the sidelines)

Congratulations. It's so satisfying to see hard work culminate. Keep up the good work.

KLIM said...

Thanks Stephanie.

Say "hi" if we ever pass one another on the trail. You know what I look like...but you are a mystery.

Daniel Weston said...

Well done. I'm so glad you broke the 15min barrier.

Stephanie Y. said...

All right. I'll "log in" so as to not by the mysterious strange lurker any longer. :D

KLIM said...

Welcome Stephanie...welcome.

Mike Styczynski said...

Nice job at Shamrock. I've been lurking on your blog for a few months now (kind of like Stephanie), but haven't taken the time to comment yet. I used to live in MD and may have faced off against you a few times. I've very impressed with (and inspired by!) your running lately.

Good luck at UMD!

KLIM said...

Thanks for the nice note Mike. I know who you are (by name). You ran for Ithaca, right? That was my top choice...but I never got there. A bunch of my teammates in college ran against you in MD HS.

What are you up to now? Any more running?

Mike Styczynski said...

Yep, I'm trying to get back into it. I've even started my own training blog as a little bit of extra motivation. We'll see how it ends up!

RM said...

Mike Sty - feel like I've met you before. I know you're from the hood of Mike Prada, who was my roommate at college. What a small blogging world.