Ras na hEireann 5k
It was a beautiful day to run a 5k (high 50s at race start!). There were tons of people at the race, most dressed in green to celebrate St. Patty’s Day. There were even some fully-outfitted leprechauns and a man completely painted green! I had done the Ras na hEireann in 2009, and set my 5k PR. There are some decent hills on the course, but it finishes on a long downhill, making for fairly fast course.
Mile 1: I started out at a good pace, but tried not to get caught up in the crowds sprinting out at the start. 3 women past me quickly, I stayed close behind 3rd place. The first half was slightly uphill and the second half downhill. I knew I should be running just under 6 minute pace, based on my 2 mile time trial a couple weeks ago (using the McMillan running calculator as a predictor), but figured the first mile would be slightly faster. Mile split: 5:46
Mile 2: Another woman past me and the 3rd place woman. I started to get worried that I went out too fast, but I still felt really strong. Mile split: 5:49
Mile 3: I passed the 4th place woman, she passed me back, and then we both passed the next woman, putting me in 4th place. I knew that the last half mile would be a steep uphill and then a long downhill to the finish. I was slowing a bit but my legs were feeling pretty strong, so I powered up the hill and then just put all I had left into the downhill in the final stretch. Mile split: 5:57
Final .1: At this point, I was just running as fast as I could downhill (5:17 pace!). Final time: 18:12, 4th place woman.
I was really happy with this run. I was only 10 seconds off my 5k PR, and this coming off only 2 months of running after a 2 month layoff. I am surprised at how quickly my speed has come back – I credit it to my swimming and cycling workouts over the winter! I’m really looking forward to running more shorter races this season and improving my speed.
A big thanks to J & J for cheering me on!