This was my 10th year running the Portland Shamrock 15k. One of my favorites every year. It is usually raining, windy, and miserable but this year….it was clear and sunny. BUT this year they changed the course! What?! I was really mad…how dare them change the course. They said it was flatter and faster than before. I don’t think so. It used to be flat, up, up, up, and then down, down, flat. This year it was up, flat, down, up, up, down, down, up, down, flat. Different. I think I could like this course but I think that it will take a few years.
I didn’t really know what to expect. I have been consistent with my heart rate training. I feel like it is hard to gauge if it is “working” or not. Every weekend since RNR AZ I have run parts of the course. Up and down Terwilliger. Sometimes hill repeats…sometimes steady zone 2…and if I was lucky I would get to run in zone 3…which actually happened more and more as the weeks went on. Ilana ran with me most of those weeks. Each week got “easier” and “easier.” Just more comfortable running uphill staying in the right zone!!
Sunday came upon us quick. It was time for Shamrock this year. I had a very welcomed recovery week leading up to the race. I felt relatively good. I was excited.
The loose plan was to stay under control and steady for the first 5k. The middle 5k I could speed up but not get crazy. The last 5k let it rip! I didn’t have to look at heart rate or pace. Liz wanted me running on feel. Ilana and I “joked” about trying to average about 9:45s. I thought there was zero chance of that….but you never know!
Sunday morning we had a “leisurely” morning. Our race didn’t start until 8:50 and we live close so I was meeting Ilana at 8:30. The race usually starts at 7 or so. It was really late in comparison to past years.
We ran into Sherrie on the way down there.
We found Ilana and said good luck to Scott (who was running the half—starting 30 minutes later).
We positioned ourselves in a great spot. We got into the corral in a different area this year and we ended up being real close to the front on accident. It took us about a minute to get through the start line. It was nice not having to fight the crowd.
Now we all know the The Pancakes aka Dan and Leslie have a loving and friendly competition. (Just keep that in mind)
We started off and not as conservatively as I would have liked but it turned out just fine. Dan was running with us which was fun. He was in and out of our conversation. We were on a steady incline for the first 3ish miles. Dan got in front of us at the aid station and Ilana asked if I thought Dan would be able to keep up. I said I think that he might slow down once we start going up Capital which was pretty soon, about a quarter mile away. I didn’t really know. He seemed to be doing good.
We get up the hardest part of the course. It was hard but we got through it. Sure enough Dan was out a bit in front of us as we crested the hill. We heard the bagpipers playing at the top. Something that didn’t change this year. The course was just opposite how we usually ran it.
We started cruising down Terwilliger at a pretty fast clip. I was feeling pretty good. Ilana was keeping track of the time. I looked at my watch when the mile split came up. It didn’t mean too much to me as I wasn’t really trying to focus on a pace. She said we were doing good and the pace was “fast.” We got back in front of Dan but he passed us at the bottom of the hill. I pointed to Dan and said he was going to take off. He didn’t though.
We must be close to mile 7 now. AND we were about to go back uphill. I was definitely starting to feel it. We weren’t slowing down so it was getting harder and harder.
We finally got to mile 8. We had some downhill at this point, which was awesome. I took a quick glance at my watch. We were at 1:17 and some change. WHAT? I was definitely in PR territory. I just had to keep it together for less than 15 minutes. Ilana said we can definitely get to 9:45s. BUT we were already busting a move. We were running fast. Definitely out of my comfort zone. Hallelujah that Ilana and Dan were by my side…it was a race to the finish and I definitely would not have done it without them!
I saw the Oiselle cowbell corner and they were cheering for me. I could barely wave but had a huge smile on my face. The last .4 was hard. SO HARD!! We went for it. Dan went ahead, Ilana and I followed. I left EVERY.THING.ON.THE.COURSE! I PR’d (only 40 seconds but it was so awesome) and went sub 90 minutes for the first time. I was so excited. I thought I might puke just for a second when I went over the finish line. I had PR’d and I wasn’t even trying for it. I told Liz I would be happy with 92-95 minutes!! Totally pumped! Shamrock 15K 2017 1:29:43 (9:37 pace)
Dan won the Pancake trophy yet again but it was a fun race! BUT I took home the PR. The weather couldn’t have been better either! Until next year! #livelucky