Sunday, 13 March 2011

Faith n' Begorrah n' Chili n' Beer

I did not want to run today's Achilles St. Patrick's Day 5k.  I've been a total wuss in my running life lately -- too much working, too much rain, too little mojo.  I've missed most weekday runs and my weekenders were less than stellar.  I thought an easy 5-miler yesterday would be a good way to boost my confidence, but I had a very tough time with no handy excuses -- the weather was perfect and the sidewalks were clear.  I was worried this run would be just as bad and I would be put off running for good by demonstrating publicly how much speed I've lost.

But we went anyway.  We were doing the race with our friends, which is always fun and motivating -- Tim, who's been in many of my race recaps; Mel who ran the Hamilton Half with us and, appearing for the first time as a runner, Mel's husband Steve.  You may remember back to this post, where Steve looked out for the dead bodies being pulled out of Lake Ontario while the rest of us were too busy trying to breathe to notice.

My hand isn't really that big.

The race was run downtown, starting and finishing at the Steam Whistle Brewery.  Lots of expensive parking close by, indoor waiting area, vibrant green tech tees (they are excused for this due to the mandatory vibrancy of the Irish this time of year) and matching gloves, which I was very thankful for since it was a little cold and windy.

The race started right on time, but the starting area was chaos.  They reported having 1800 people signed up and made no request for the walkers to start at the back of the swarm.  So there they were, walking 10 abreast, arm in arm, wearing jeans and backpacks, laughing and chatting away as runners tried to get around.  It took me about a half mile to be free to them.

Can a mascot be a stalker?
This guy's at every race!
Still don't know what he is.

But that was my only complaint.  After that, I felt like I was flying.  It's nice to have so many people to pass!  My splits:

Mile 1:  10:59 -- see above + undone shoelace
Mile 2:  9:43 -- nice!
Mile 3:  10:13 -- no more downhills, apparently.
Mile 0.13:  7:34 pace -- booked it!  Didn't start the sprint until I saw the finish line this time.  Can't believe people can do whole races at this pace. Or even whole miles.

Chip time:  31m51s, 72/179 age group, 369/929 women (I've NEVER been in the top half before, so maybe all those walkers are a good thing.)

So I'm back to where I was before!  Woohoo!  Not a PR, but pretty close.  Not smashing my 2011 under 30 minute goal, but closer than I thought. 

Phil and Tim were way ahead of me; don't think either had a PR but still awe-inspiringly fast to me.  Steve and Mel came in shortly after and both had PRs.  Way to go!

Then into the cozy warm Brewery for Irish chili (beef or vegetarian) with bun and Steam Whistle Beer, all before noon on a Sunday.  Very nice.

Next up:  Harry's Spring Run-Off 8k  in High Park on April 2.  Hill training starts tomorrow.

Update:  Someone turned the internet back on and I've signed us up for a 10K in the Beaches next weekend.  The fever is back!


  1. Great job...chili and beer? Yes please!

  2. Congratulations on a great race! Looks like y'all hada lot of fun!

  3. Congrats on getting out there and putting on a good show! Top half! Woot!Woot!

    A bunch of my buddies ran and loved the race. I'll have to get out there next year.

  4. Sounds like u had a good race! Great job!!