This section of my website used to be dedicated to triathlon training, personal race results and certification reviews, like Turbo Kick. I am expanding it to include more generic health & fitness topics. Also, I talk a lot about "D" -- he's my husband (Dave Liu)!

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Dublin's 2006 Shamrock 5K Fun Walk & Run

Once upon a time, I was in decent shape and could run a 9 min mile over 6.2 miles (10km) - nothing earth shattering, mind you, but respectable. Due to work and other Life Issues, the frequency of my workouts dwindled, and I have spent the last few months leading a rather unhealthy, sedentary lifestyle.

A couple of weeks ago, I decided that enough was enough, and I had to get off my rear end and start training again. Since St. Patrick's Day was around the corner, I thought the best way to ease into a program was to run the Dublin's Shamrock 5K Fun Run & Walk. I remember D did this race back in 2003 and he had a fantastic time. Not only he get awesome schwag, but he was rewarded with free Krispy Kreme donuts at the finish line! With this happy thought in mind, I signed us both up for the race.

The race had a staggered start with markers indicating difference paces. D & shuffled back towards where the 9-10 per minute mile folks were hanging out, although I was tempted to move even further back. D said it was fine where we were since the important thing was to avoid being in the front where we would be trampled on by sprinters. There were quite a few people with strollers and I secretly dreaded that some of those people would actually be faster than me.

There were a ton of people so the race started slowly. We walked for a bit before there was room for us to jog, and once D started going, he waved goodbye to me before taking off into the distance (so depressing when he does that).

I started off at any easy pace and kept on reminding myself that it was ONLY 3.1 miles. After all, aside from the running portion of a sprint triathlon, I've never been in a race that was shorter than 6.2 miles.

Boy was I wrong. It took a ton of effort to get through those three teeny tiny miles. The first 10 minutes of any race are always the worst, because it takes time for my body to become accustomed to running, especially when I'm simultaneously sucking down cold air. I was happy to see the first mile marker, but that quickly turned into disappointment when I heard the person there call out a time that began with "12 minutes...". 12 MINUTES? 12 minutes to run a lousy mile? Thinking that was going to be the low point of the race, I became truly demoralized when stroller people started passing me. It wasn't so bad the first time, because the lady was pushing an Iron Man stroller, so I figured she was a super fit person. Then when a second and third stroller lady left me in the dust, I wanted to cry.

I felt myself slowing down around the 2.5 mile mark. It's such a terrible feeling knowing that I can run faster, but not being able to move my legs any faster. When I reached the 3 mile mark, I told myself that I have never decelerated towards the finish line so I forced myself to sprint the last 0.1 miles to the end, but by then it was too little, too late.

Afterewards, I met up with D near the food stalls. To my utmost horror, THERE WERE NO KRISPY KREME DONUTS! Instead, I had a tasty mini-brownie. D said that his first mile was slow too, but his splits continually improved throughout the race. After having a snack, we looked at some of the stalls that were part of the Dublin fair, and I scored myself a pair of nice earrings.

My results were dismal: I finished the course in 34:40 (11:11/M pace), placing 613 out of 1369 overall, and 77 out of 196 in my age group, although these aren't fair comparisons because I was "running" *cough* while plenty of people were walking. It's a lousy time, but hey, I had to (re)start somewhere! As I told D, it doesn't get much worse than this (I hope), so I can look forward to nothing but improvements going forward!

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