A 10K Recap And The 10 Mile Run That Was

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Who knew running 6.2 miles the morning of St Patrick’s Day could actually be fun? I didn’t just a few days ago. When I woke up at 530 AM Pattys morning not to drink but to run a 10K, it seemed like the worst idea every thought up.

I signed up for the Irish Sprint 10K a couple months ago, thinking it might be a fun thing to do and at the worst I’d get a green shirt out of the deal and I’d be up earlier than usual to start drinking. It turns out the race was quite popular and sold out quickly. I never planned on going or running with anyone, it was just my monthly ‘March’ run.

Circumstances dictated that I wasn’t able to be available to sign up for the Marine Corps Marathon when registration opened. That sold out in less than 3 hours, a record for the race. I would have freaked out about that if I didn’t learn that my silly little Irish run would have an extra stipulation to it; if you finished you would receive a ‘golden ticket’, a chance to sign up for the MCM after it had sold out. Luck of the Irish.

The 2 weeks leading up to the Irish Sprint I was nervous about running. I knew I was in good enough shape to run the 10K without any problems. My fear was that I was going to injure myself before the run and miss my chance at the marathon this year. My first injury took one step to knock me off my feet for months. I was sure with the way things usually go for me that I’d be hit by a car or mauled by a bear if I ran too much before the race. With that air tight logic in place, I only ran a few times in March before the race. No cars, no bears, no problem!

Along the way, Paul (of Running Jerks fame) and Courtney (not of Running Jerks fame) got the itch to run the race. Race had long sold out, but they worked some witchcraft and were not able to sign up themselves but also Courts fiancee Nate. How does that line go, where once my wolfpack was 1, now is 4? Anyhoo, I had someone to drive me to the race and talk to me afterwards. Luck of the Irish.

I slept on Pauls couch the night before and woke up at the ungodly hour of 530 AM. I never knew 530 AM existed on St Patricks Day morning, but let me assure you, it does, and it sucks. The race didn’t start till 8 AM but we had to pick up Court and Nate and apparently drive to Denver, where we would be shuttled to the starting line. My thinking when signing up for the race was that I’d drive an hour, tops, to the race, park the car, run the race, pick up my 1st place medal, get back in car, drive home, and have a beer in hand in the recliner by 1030 AM at the latest. Ya, notsomuch.

The line for the shuttle was a tad long, which was a reason we left earlier than we had to, to plan for such things. As we got dropped off, I kept my license in case, you know, they wanted to know who I was when I picked up my bib. Turns out they didn’t need any confirmation (they never do it seems) so I got to run with my license in my pocket for the whole race, which meant I was checking my pocket for my ID every other step. Also, turns out my ID scratched up my Ipod screen a little. Stupid ID, good for nothing.

Ok, lets recap the race itself. Started out in the middle of the woods on some road. I got to high five an old man in a green Pope outfit and a Dog mascot and jog behind Pattys Day Elvis before I even crossed the starting line. In my book, we call that a ‘good start’. Weather was awesome, not cold nor hot. Just right. Of course it was, it was St Patricks Day.

Paul mentioned that this course was rather hilly before the race. I checked out the course map on the way there and it only mentioned 2 uphills and 3 downhills. “Bah” I thought, “Arlington is chalk full of hills, this be not a problem for individuals such as I”. There were a couple uphills in the first 2 miles, nothing of note. I thought I was going to tear up this course, to the point they’d rename it after me. Then we made our first turn into the woods. Then came the hills, or what felt like mountains.

The first hill was nice enough. Long and steep enough to have people already start walking. Dodging these problem because the trail wasn’t very wide and walkers love walking side by side. Jumping around them was problematic; I didn’t want to hit them or a tree or step in a large pile of leaves that actually was a giant hole (or Sarlacc pit) and break my ankle. I waited for my openings but my time was already suffering. Ok, so maybe they won’t rename the race after me now, but I can still get a kick ass time.

The first hill was rather long, longer than any in Arlington. Then there was a short flat earth break, then another hill. Then another. Then we got a downhill break, only to be followed by another long hill. That was followed by 34 more uphills.

I mean, it felt like 3 miles of hills when it was probably just over a mile of them but man, that was the roughest stretch of mile(s) I’ve encountered. You didn’t know when it was going to end, just had to suck it up and do it. Looking back now, it was a fun challenge, but during it I was worried some of these people might fall down and start rolling down the hill, turning the run into a Donkey Kong game of jump over the oncoming barrel/human being.

The next couple runs felt like a breeze after scaling that mountain. I made sure to keep an OK pace and not start to burn myself out just cause the terrain isn’t trying to kill me. A couple people passed me and I made sure to remember them, cause I knew there was another hill and I would pass them as they walked (spoiler: I did. Jerks). The rest of the race was kinda cake except for the very end, where the last quarter mile was a big ass hill that destroyed the willpower of any who came across it. When I came upon it, not 1 person was trying to run up it, everyone was walking.

The path was wider this time, but it was still a pain to dodge all the walkers, because it seems there is no “slower people stay to the right” rules in hill walking. I had enough left in the tank to really run up this hill. I tore up the sucker rather nicely and no doubt blowing the minds of all the people who I passed. It was a cruel way to end the race, but again looking back, I enjoyed it. Tough course. Fun race. Who knew.

After the race I literally got a Golden Ticket to get into the MCM. Very radical. Also, we got a free beer. So I got my pre 10 AM beer, which was nice. Only downside to the whole thing was we had to wait a bit for the shuttle back to the cars, but all in all it was a great race that I’d probably do again. The whole morning left me drained for the rest of the day and I wasn’t in Prime Drinking Shape, which is a shame. No regrets though, great time all around.

Oh right, the 10 mile run that was.

Well I tried a 10 mile run the week after I almost did it. Short story short: I did it (hizzah). That’s when I thought I was going to injure myself and shut things down till the race. Cool story Mike!

 

One Response to “A 10K Recap And The 10 Mile Run That Was”

  1. Mom Says:

    You both look a lil thirsty …now go knock back 10000 Irish brews, n keep your eyes on that big prize, the MCM. Congrats to both my sons, my boyzzz!!! Love love

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