Well guys, I told you I was going to make up for my lack of February racing by doing all. the. races. in March. This weekend I did back to back races! The last time I did back to back races, it was a 10K on Saturday and a half marathon on Sunday. This weekend it was a 5K on Saturday and a 10K on Sunday. This was much more manageable, although I am definitely a bit tired at this point.
Sunday morning I ran the St. Patrick’s Leprechaun Chase 10K in Robertsdale. I’ve only done this race one time before and it’s been several years ago now. I typically skip it since it is the weekend before Spring Fever, but when you are running all. the. races., you just do it anyway! The race takes place at St. Patrick’s School in Robertsdale. The entire event has typically been at the church, but they moved most of the pre-race activities and post-race festivities over to the school this year. I liked the way it was done this year. The race still started and finished at the church (as they used the same certified course from prior years), but everything else was just across the street at the school.
The race started at 8 a.m. We met around 6:30 to register and get in a longer warm up. It’s been a while since I’ve done a “long run,” and I wanted to get in between 12 and 14 miles Sunday. I got 6 miles in before the race, which was perfect. Luckily the rain held off for us, but it was a warm and humid morning (especially early on).
I really didn’t have a specific plan going into this race as I wasn’t sure how my legs were really going to feel once I started the race. They felt decent on the warm up, but not great, which made sense. I was asking a lot of them. Ha. I figured that I would settle in and try to run “goal marathon” pace (NOT that I am training for a marathon by any means (no one freak out (Mom)), but this is just a good pace to base my effort on). I figured I could sustain somewhere in the 6:45 to 6:55 range, but again, I wasn’t really sure. I figured that I would just play it by ear and see what happened! It’s really nice to approach races without any defined expectations sometimes.
As it turns out, I ran almost the entire race with my friend, Erin. It was nice to have someone to work with on an otherwise isolated course. The course is an out and back route that is run primarily on two county roads. We settled into a good pace and hung on through the first half of the race. We were in third and fourth positions overall for the first two miles of the race, until the leader took a wrong turn (major bummer for him … he was pretty far out in front). We passed him and the second place guy during the third mile.
From this point on, we were leading the race. It was pretty cool to have two girls leading the race! We got lots of encouragement from the other runners as we ran back (one of the perks of an out and back course (in my opinion)). Actually, six out of the top ten finishers were female. I love it!
The second half of the race was fairly uneventful. I was working a little bit harder than I would’ve liked to have been for the pace that we were running and I was more than ready to see the finish line. I finished in 42:11 as first female (and overall for that matter). My splits were 6:42, 6:51, 7:01, 6:46, 6:50, 6:37 and 5:57 for the last 0.2. Erin finished right behind me and Rebecca finished right behind her. Before we knew it, Jessica, Lizzie and Joy all finished, and that rounded out the top 10 finishers.
I had good intentions of doing a three mile cool down, but that turned into less than a mile. My left hamstring and glute were a bit cranky after the race. The same thing happened after the last 10K that I did as well, so I decided to call it a day at 13 miles. I was able to go back over to the church and do the fun run with Rebecca and Savannah. It was Savannah’s first race! We did a walk, run, skip, piggyback combo and it was a blast!
We hung around for a while and waited on the awards. They had food trucks, beverages and bands for the adults and snow cones and boucy houses for the kids. I decided that it had been entirely too long since I have had a snow cone. It really hit the spot!