Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Luck of the Irish Race Recap

After several months of racing 5ks, the Great Lakes Winter Run Series is over! I wanted Luck of the Irish to be my best in the series - but as sometimes happens, things didn't go exactly to plan.

First, the good news. I placed 2nd in my age group for the series, which made me happy. Going into the series, I wasn't sure I would be able to place in any of the races, but somehow earned enough points to win a series prize.

Holding my series prize after the race - and a change of clothes

As for the Luck of the Irish race - let's just say it wasn't my best. I truly believe I'm in PR shape for a 5k so that's what I was aiming for.

Here's how the race shook out:

Time: 22:57
Average Mile Time: 7:24
Division Place: 5/51

Overall: 102/737

Even though it was a challenging, hilly course, I started fast. I had passed several people by the halfway point and had my sights set on a girl who was just ahead of me. I noticed she kept walking a few paces before picking it up again. Quite unusual among the people I usually race with and I knew it meant she was really fatigued. So I held on to my pace up a large hill and ran the downhill fast, passing her on the way.

Almost immediately after, a side stitch set in.

Although I didn't reduce my speed as much as I would have during a training run, I still had to slow down a bit. This one hurt and I spent the last portion of the race running with a few fingers jammed into the affected area to help lessen the pain. The run/walk girl passed me during this time. As did a few others.

Finally, we turned toward the finish and I decided I could sprint through the pain to the end. I managed to re-pass a few people in this effort, but was definitely over my goal time.

New 5k PR, you will be mine one of these days. In the meantime, it's time to focus on training for the Rockford Half Marathon. Hopefully no side stitches make an appearance during that race!

Share Time! Has anyone else had a side stitch during a race? If so, how did you react? Also, what are your best tips for getting past one either during a race or in training?

- ST

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