I hate this race. Every year, I blog about how much I hate this race. The crowds, the lack of pace signs, too-long beer lines at the postrace party, the crowds.
And every year, I come back to this race, mostly for the post - race celebration we always have at a local pub.
I've put down some good times here. 26:14 in 2010, our first crack at it, was my best. Tapered to a 30 minute finish in 2011 a week before my first marathon, and came back strong with a 26:42 in 2012 while recovering (so I thought) from what turned out to be my compartment syndrome. This year, I ran a 32:55 and said afterwards that "I ran the shit out of that race". That’s not one of my best 5K times by any means, but it's quite a but faster than I've been in training this year, when I've pretty consistently been a 12 - minute miler.
It helped that most of the first mile is downhill, and the last mile mostly flat. There's some hills in the second mile and beginning of the third (coming back up Key Highway toward Light St.) but I felt strong...or at least "not weaker" on the hills. Thanks, Mt. Wolf.
I did have the feeling at about halfway that I was running this faster than I should have and wouldn't be able to finish without a walk break or two, but the cool weather helped me hang in to the end.
I'm very happy with a time that I would have been pissed about 4 or 5 years ago, but that's something I can work on. I would like to get myself back under 30 minutes in the 5K this year, but I need to balance that with an overall focus on base mileage and long runs for a possible marathon attempt in the fall.
Whether or not that happens, I'm pretty sure you'll see me at the start of this race next March.
Fast course, great crowd support, the crowd of green-clad runners heading down Charles St. is a cool sight, you can watch the parade afterward, and sometimes the Oriole Bird is in the parade.
Crowded course, lack of pace signs, the name of the race is annoyingly long and I can't call it "Shamrock 5K" when so many people are familiar with the Shamrock races in VA Beach the next weekend.