Posted by: runsinthefamily | March 14, 2010

St Malachi 5 mile race

Yesterday was my second race of the season, the St. Malachi 5 mile run, held on Cleveland’s near west side.  This race starts down a big hill, goes up and over bridges, ( more on that later) and then finishes up a big hill!  It is typically one of the bigger races around, mostly because it is also one of the first races of the spring season.  It was so beautiful this week that lots of people decided to register  – I heard there were over 3500 runners between the 5 mile and accompanying 2 mile race.

I was hoping to beat last year’s time of 36:47, but since I’m in the middle of marathon training, and just started adding real speedwork this week, I wasn’t sure that I could do it.   Plus last year the weather was great – this year it went from 69° on Friday to a cold, rainy, gusty 42° on Saturday morning!  Not the best weather, but at least it wasn’t snowing, right?

I wanted to get to the race early because I was going to meet Jodi!  Somehow in all my blog-clicking I one day discovered her blog, and realized she was also from Northeast Ohio.  We’ve been corresponding through comments on the blogs, and she decided to come do the 5 mile race, even though she had just run the incredibly tough Mill Creek Classic Half-Marathon last weekend!  It was so much fun meeting a fellow blogger, who is also training for a marathon, her first!  So please go visit her blog and give her lots of encouragement!  We talked outside, then headed inside to stay warm – both of us left our warmer clothes in our cars, and we had about 45 minutes before the race would start.  Her parents also ran marathons back in the day!  I thought that was really neat.  Finally it was time to head to the starting line – I didn’t think we lined up too far back, but with all the people it was hard to tell.

Well, I guess it was a little too far back, because when the bell rang to start the race I had trouble weaving through the crowd of people, and had to keep braking down the hill, instead of letting loose.  A sharp right at the bottom, and along came a gust of wind and blew off my hat!  It was raining off and on, and I really noticed the gusty winds – the whole way I kept trying to stay behind people to get away from the wind!  Although I was really cold (and tight/tense) the first mile, after that I warmed up.  But my first mile was 8:00 minutes!  I’m not sure if the marker was in the wrong place, or it really was that slow – Jodi thought her time was off too.  Definitely not what I wanted to hear!

Next mile, still pushing, up and over bridges.  Now I have noticed that my lovely bright Nike Lunarglides are kind of slippery to run on the wet, slimy, slate sidewalks that we seem to have a lot of around here.  I always seem to start to slip on rainy or slightly snowy days.  Otherwise, they are perfect.  Well, the grates on these bridges were slippery too!  I saw a bunch of people hop on to the concrete walk on the side of the bridge, guess I should have tried that, but I was never in quite the right place to do that.  Something to remember for next year.  My second mile was just over 15 minutes, so I had gotten it down to about a 7 minute pace.  And then we went up a hill.

Obviously I need to work on hill training for Boston.  I did a couple times, but nothing consistent since the weather has been so snowy.  That will have to change!  People have always passed me on hills, I try to keep the same effort, but slow down a ton – psychological, I know.  I do love downhills though, and always manage to catch up on the downhill.  So around 2.5 miles we went up – ( for what seemed forever – we turned a corner and kept going up!) but then we turned another corner and started down.  It was here I caught my breath, got to the 3 mile mark and heard my time, ( don’t remember it exactly now, and I wasn’t wearing my Garmin, but it was around 22:30) and realized I wasn’t going any faster.  Now I really wasn’t going slower, but I didn’t think of that at the time.  I saw a man running near me who looked like he was just cruising, nice and easy, but fast, and decide to pace after him, figuring rightly that he was going about 7:30 pace.  So I relaxed and just went with him.

Fourth mile, don’t know the time, but still about 7:30 pace, and then the area looked familiar again – here comes the bridge!  I still didn’t go to the sidewalk, but the man did, and got a little ahead of me.  I got close again after, but then came the hill up to the finish.  I actually didn’t feel too bad on this hill – I pushed up it, but lots of people still passed me, although I passed a couple too.  Across the finish line in 37:45 (chip time).

Overall I’m not really happy with my time, because even though I’ve been doing a lot of slower miles, it has still been a lot more miles, so I really thought/hoped I might be faster.  But I was really cold at the start, and I felt tight for the first mile, and just didn’t get into a groove.  I also slacked off and took the easy way out – I didn’t keep pushing.  I know I do this a lot in races, and I need to work on this – my inspiration is one of the girls on the XC/Track team, who just always pushes it to the limit.  I kind of think if I could just do that once…(sigh).  I don’t think marathons are quite the same type of “push” that the shorter races are – marathons tire me out in such a different way, maybe because I’m still just running them, not quite racing them, at least not yet.  Maybe soon.  🙂

Time:  37:45, 3rd in AG.

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Responses

  1. Great race report Connie! Again, it was great meeting you yesterday! Now I wish I could figure out how to just put your name on my log and link to yours (like you did on here with mine). Glad you had a good 12 mile run today! Happy running and have a great week!!

  2. Sometimes it takes awhile for those extra miles to do their magic. It is frustrating to train harder and not see results, though. Stick with it. Maybe your body is a bit fatigued from the mileage? Just a thought. I’m sure your efforts will pay off soon. Great time in the race, even though it wasn’t what you wanted.


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