Sunday, March 16, 2008

A Million and a Half Centimeters

I was among the multitudes who participated in today's Portland Shamrock 15K Run, finishing the hilly 9.3 mile course in 1:07 or thereabouts, which works out to a 7:14 minute/mile pace or thereabouts (update: 1:07:27 based on the posted results). I think I'll come out slightly ahead of my official time from last year, but last year's official time was wrong, so I may never know if I beat last year's actual time or not. I would say I don't care, but that would be lying, and I try not to sully this precious, precious blog with lies.

If I did beat last year's time, it was by the smallest of margins, and these are the best excuses I've been able to think up:

  • It was very crowded, especially in the first two and last two miles. The proximate cause was more bodies over the same course -- an event record of 15,000 participants, 4,000 more than last year's previous record. All the 15K runners formed a tight scrum over the first two miles before we were finally able to separate, and then the faster 15K runners merged with an even larger mass of 8K runners over the last two miles. I never actually fell down or tripped anyone else, but I had to do a lot of dodging, darting, and slowing along the way.
  • I am still wary of my left shin. This was the first run on pavement, let alone at racing pace, since it took me on an unwanted vacation from running. It never gave me any pain today, and as a consequence, I increased my level of effort throughout the race, but overall this was not a maximum effort because I didn't know what to expect.
  • I ate at Olive Garden last night.
  • I am not Irish and this is a St. Patrick's Day event. It is right, fitting, and proper that the Irish-Americans "own" this event.
  • Because of the crowds, I was not able to get over to the tables where they were giving out cups of beer to passing runners. A couple of swallows of beer would have shaved a minute, maybe two, off my time.
  • The t-shirts for this event are white this year. White?

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