Late Friday afternoon, I got word from my project team that I had to work on Sunday. I had already submitted my timesheet for the week (zero hours for the weekend, since my job is typically M-F unless it's a project deployment) and I already had plans to run The Claddagh Pub 4 Miler on Sunday with my mom. I was NOT happy, to say the least.
Thankfully, my meeting was after the race, so I wasn't out the registration fee - though it did throw a monkeywrench into my post-race party enjoyment of the Gobshites. I missed my favorite Irish Pub song while sitting in the car to take my conference call. Gah.
I went into this race with the mindset of "running, not racing" - I'm not in racing shape right now, and having done this race twice before (2012 and 2013), I knew that I was definitely not in "hill racing shape" - or hill running shape for that matter. I told mom from the get-go that chances were better than likely that I'd be walking on the large hill during mile two.
We arrived at The Claddagh Pub in Lawrence around 10:15am for the 11:00am race. Bib pickup was a breeze (I always enjoy the Wild Rover Series of races as they're usually well organized and a lot of fun) - we had received our numbers via email earlier in the week and quickly picked up our personalized bibs, long sleeve tees and our participant medals. This was new this year, as in previous years, the medals were given out at the finish line. One less thing to worry about as we caught our breath at the finish though, so that was nice!
As with previous years, the race started right on time - mom and I ran into quite a few people we knew while waiting for the start which was nice! With over 1,000 participants, it was great seeing some familiar faces! We quickly fell into place once we passed the start line and before we knew it, we were passing the 1-mile mark (as with previous years, each mile had a clock with gun-time splits).
We had been aiming for a 10:00 minute per mile pace on average and were right on target. Our splits were as follows - 9:22, 11:07 (mom ran up the entire hill and I met her at the water stop - I decided that if I could walk faster than I could shuffle up the hill, there was no sense in shuffling), 8:56 and 9:10 for an overall average pace of 9:44.
Upon finishing, we quickly made our way to the car to change into clothes that were not soaked with sweat so that we could enjoy the post-race food, beverage and band comfortably. We met up with my uncle Chris and opted to order a pizza rather than partake in the complimentary pasta and salad provided by the race.
I have to say, the pizza at The Claddagh Pub was *surprisingly* good! Not what I would have expected from an Irish pub, it was downright delicious! It didn't hurt that they also had Strongbow on tap to wash it down - the perfect combination (I know that for an Irish themed race, I could have/should have stuck with Magners Irish Cider but I prefer Strongbow, so sue me).
I have another race tonight (Millennium Running's Fat Tuesday 5k) and fully plan to once again "run not race" - which is good because ever since Sunday, I've been hobbling around and ridiculously sore. We'll see how it goes!