The George Sheehan Classic was the very first 5k Brian and I had ever ran in 2013, and we are trying to keep up a tradition of running it every year. We had originally signed up year 1 because the advertisement we saw said “Fast, Flat, Course.” If any of you reading this have ever run this race, you know that this description is not entirely accurate. See, this race not only has hills, but it has one very ominously named Tower Hill at the start of mile 3. As someone once said to me, any hill that has it’s own name is bad!
|The elevation gain on Tower Hill - it's no joke!|
Year 1 I ran this race in 29:48 , my very first official 3.1 mile time and hit my goal of a sub 30 5k, but I had to walk up most of Tower Hill. Year 2 after not running very frequently and getting over a cold, I came in at exactly 29:47, even though I ran up Tower Hill. The goal was to beat my previous years time and I guess technically I did, but I was disappointed in my lack of improvement after an entire year of running. My new goal for this year was not to come in at 29:46…
I have been running reasonably consistently lately and was feeling confident in the week leading up to the race, until the day before when I saw that the expected temperature for our 8:30 am start time was a humid 80 degrees! Ahh! My pace usually suffers big time in the heat, so I was slightly worried.
|Brian and I before the race|
We arrived race morning to 1500 race participants and the hot temperatures we were expecting. Since we had some time before the run started I got to meet fellow fit blogger Tracy for the first time, who was super nice. I love how blogging and instagram brings like minded people together! (So nice meeting you Tracy!)
|Tracy and I after the race.|
Before we knew it, it was time to line up at the start. Mile 1 actually went decent. I saw a few people that looked like they may know how to pace themselves better than I did and tried to stick right behind them, but my adrenaline got me a few times and I ended up blowing past them. Still, I felt myself holding back my pace a bit, and at the 1 mile mark I was happy with the 9:07 pace map my run announced to me.
About halfway through the second mile, my face felt hot and I knew I probably had that dreaded purple face look I get when I overheat. Some of the neighbors along the course were out spraying their hoses to help cool down the runners, and I made my way over to a few of them. It helped a little but I later realized this made me run the course long since I kept zig zagging to them and not doing the tangents right. Mile 2 came in at 9:17. I was well on my way to beating my 29:47 time.
Then mile 3 started with the incline up Tower Hill. I was crazy hot by this point but my legs felt good so I kept a decent pace up the hill. Until I really started feeling nauseous… I actually had to stop and walk a few steps near the top of the hill so I wouldn’t puke. Then I caught my breath and started running again, trying to make up time in the downhill.
I slowed my pace for the rest of the mile, until the last turn when I picked up the pace and barely made it across the finish line, dying from the heat. I walked to the water station before I realized I needed to turn off map my run.
|Finish line photo. Chip time was about 40 seconds behind.|
I hit the stop button at exactly…….. 29:46 Seriously, that really happened…
The good news is I knew I had beaten my time since I didn’t turn it off right at the finish line. But cruel joke, Map My Run! It also said I ran 3.19 miles, which means I definitely did too much weaving throughout the race.
My official race time was 29:24. At first I was disappointed since in 3 years I had almost the same time at this race. But now I think I’m ok with it, since the previous 2 years temperatures were 20 degrees cooler than this year, so it’s really not an apples to apples comparison. I also have my inconsistent training to thank for my progress not being better, but the run streak is definitely helping with that and I’m confident I will be able to get a 5k PR this fall.
Until next year, George Sheehan Classic and Tower Hill!
Have you ever finished a race with nearly the same time 3 years in a row?