Sunday, March 11, 2012

I've Got The Magic In Me-- St. Malachi 5 miler

...Now everybody wants some presto MAGIC, MAGIC, MAGIC!

WOO HOO! I’m still on a high from this fantastic weekend.  In between racing, a 17 mile long run, and my lil bro’s 21st birthday celebration, I’m not sure how I made it through this weekend in one piece. But, I did…and March Madness has only begun!

The days leading into this weekend were difficult.  My allergies were bothering me and my legs had not recovered properly from my previous weekend workouts. Additionally, I was just feeling lethargic, finding difficulty getting motivated to push the pace, and feeling overall pretty crabby. I had to work uncharacteristically hard to get myself psyched.  By midweek, I was falling apart. Wednesday, I went out for an easy 8 miler and felt terrible pretty much the entire time. Although it was gorgeous out, it was SO windy which wasn't helping. I just felt “off” the entire time, and started feeling like I was going to pass out into about mile 3. I felt very out of it, and was really worried I was going to go down similar to how I did last year. I forced myself to stay in focus, thinking about each step and keeping my head up. When I finally got home, I ate dinner right away hoping that would help. I still felt that loopy feeling and very irritable. I didn’t feel like myself at all. WEIRD. I made sure to get to bed early that night, hoping that my Thursday 3 mile pace run would be better. I decided to do this run on the treadmill, thinking that the extreme wind resistance I was doing on my recent runs may have been causing the problem. Although I made it through all 3 miles on pace (7:15min/mi), I felt the SAME way I did the day prior. I drove immediately to Giant Eagle after my run, and bought a TON of food to have a BIG dinner that night. I was thinking that maybe there was a deficiency in my diet that may have been causing the problem.  I definitely overindulged, especially on the salty foods, but felt SO MUCH better on Friday.  I don’t know what it was, but I’m SO glad I was able to snap out of it!

SO, going into the St. Malachi 5 miler on Saturday I was a little nervous regarding what I should put out. I didn’t want to hold back, but wasn’t sure what I really had in me. I was REALLY excited to run the race mainly because one of my besties, Jeness, was running it as well. With Jeness being there, I knew regardless of the outcome I was bound to have a great time!!!
Jeness and me pre-race!

Plus, St. Malachi never fails to be an awesome experience. The atmosphere is always filled with fun, Irish spirit, and rain or shine I never walk away disappointed. The course is challenging  but very interesting in that it winds around Downtown Cleveland. I LOVE our city, and LOVE any opportunity to run in it. This was my third shot on this challenging course, so I felt prepared for the pain.

I met Jeness about 45 minutes before the start, and we hung out in McCarthy’s to stay warm (and close to a bathroom…I swear I never have to go more than before a race, LOL). Then, as we headed towards the start with a little warm up jog, I turned my ankle in a weird way and it HURT. It was VERY cold that morning, and my legs were pretty stiff which I think is what contributed to it. I didn’t say anything to Jeness about it, because I knew discussing it would only make it worse. Fortunately, as soon as the gun went off, I forgot about it.  J

I wanted to run the race conservatively, because I totally BOMBED a 5K I ran in early February and I didn’t want that to happen again. However, the adrenaline of the crowd, the sunshine, and the BEAUTIFUL city took over me. I crossed the first mile marker around 6:12ish, and was feeling awesome. I thought I should slow down, but I decided to just kept rolling with what felt comfortable. I was passing some guys, which made me feel a bit nervous that I was going too hard. One guy shouted at me, “You’re too rich for my blood!” as I passed him. HAHA? I started laughing so hard. So much for maintaining my composure thoughout the race. J As I passed the 3 mile marker, I was at 18:57! I was SoOoO wishing at that moment I were running a 5k. That most certainly would have led to a P.R. for me. But, the race was far from over…

The fourth mile was VERY tough.  My pace definitely dropped, but I wouldn’t let myself choke. I knew I would hate myself for making it that far and running so great to throw it away when the course got tough. SO, I kept pushing…

As I was climbing through the ascent of 5 mile on the Lorain bridge, I stopped looking at my Garmin and focused on feel. I made sure there were to be no regrets regarding my effort, and just gave 110%. I passed a few chicas along the way, which I thought might help me get an age-group award. As I rounded the corner towards the finish line, I saw 32:00 on the clock. I was ECSTASTIC. My P.R. prior to this race was 33:55, so this was a BIG jump for me. I pushed, pushed, and BOOM 32:18, 6:28min/mi!!! I was so pumped to nail such a great P.R. Most importantly, I’m SO glad I was able to run with intensity, strength, and stamina. Plus, it was SO much fun running in Cleveland and got me SO excited for the marathon!!!
Crossing the finish line!

I ran back to the Lorain bridge to help Jeness finish. She also ran a strong race and nailed a P.R.! SOOOO PROUD OF HER! After words, we hit up the VERY crowded McCarthy’s for some post-race adult beverages.  I would have to say my favorite part of this race is the crowd this race generates. Not only are there phenomenal male and female runners that I aspire to be like, but also highly attractive non-runner males. HeHe...J It’s a great time.  I was able to catch up with some friends and some great runners. Unfortunately, I missed my cousin-in-law, Jess, BOO!! Until next race, Jess! Jeness and I kept it easy for the post-race celebrations considering it was early and we still had the night to look forward to...
P.R. ladies post race!


Later that night, my family surprised my youngest brother with a 21st birthday celebration! We took him to a Japanese restaurant (…and now I certainly have my salt balance in check…LOL) and went downtown to W. 6th. GOOD TIMES!!! BUT, it was a super late night with the time change and I still had 17 miles on the schedule for Sunday…

…Which turned out to be the BEST long run I’ve run this year! I got to the Tow Path around 1pm and it was GORGEOUS. It felt great to run in shorts and a t-shirt, and I think I may have gotten some sunburn! WOO HOO! I was not sore at all from the race, but definitely dehydrated from the Japanese dinner and the adult beverages. However, this was not a hindrance on my ability to maintain a solid pace throughout each mile. I ended up averaging a 7:54min/mi which I was very happy with!

This weekend was definitely the confidence booster I needed to keep me going strong throughout the remaining weeks of my marathon training.  I am feeling more ready to OWN this spring, but still have a great deal of work to do. But, everybody knows…

I’ve got the magic in me! J

3 comments:

  1. Great race this weekend!!!! It was so nice to see you at the finish. I thought the exact same thing when I got to the 3 mile mark. I would have had a 30 sec PR!!!

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  2. Nice to see you, too! Congrats on a great race!!! :-)

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