St. Patrick’s Day 8K – Not actually on St. Patrick’s Day

After skipping out on the DCRR 12K that I had intended to run the weekend before, thanks to 22+ mph winds, I decided to sign up for yet another Pacers Race! Bonus: this one came with a cute t-shirt :) I don’t know why I love race t-shirts, when I prefer to run in my Under Armour shirts anyway (they wick sweat better); I imagine that’s the hoarder/collector in me. I consider myself to be a minimalist collector – that means that I alternate between periods where I collect stuff (stamps, coins, postcards, now apparently race t-shirts) and periods where I madly donate and throw things out because I want my space to be uncluttered. Mike says I get this mad gleam in my eye, and he runs to protect/ hide his stuff before I start bundling it all into bags for Goodwill.

Anyway, I picked up my racing packet on Saturday from the Pacers in Clarendon, and was confused by the long line of people in green going into a nearby tavern, since I thought, “isn’t St. Patrick’s Day on Sunday?” Turns out it was neither Saturday nor Sunday; I guess we all just started celebrating a week early :) Sure, I’ll take a Guinness any day of the year…

Sunday was super warm, like 40 degrees and sunny! Which was a nice change from my last two races in December and Feb. I skipped the peacock blue jacket this time, which I may regret later when I sift through the 5000+ race photos posted by Pacers to find the one picture of a blurry me in the right hand corner. The blue jacket made me easy(er) to spot…

I woke up at 7:30am (thank goodness my phone auto-switches for the end of Daylight Saving Time), got dressed in my new Nike Hyperwarm Mock Turtle-Neck with the race t-shirt layered on top and pulled on my thermal tights. I also opted to wear my Under Armour beanie in case it was colder than it looked. Turns out I could have left it at home. I look pretty awake for my pre-race pic, no?

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I love the Nike Hyperwarm Mock Turtle Neck – I picked it up on a whim when the Hyperwarm line was on sale for 40% off at Sports Authority a month ago (the sale might still be going on) b/c I can’t pass up an awesome deal!! I’m so glad I did – it’s much warmer and thicker than my Nike Element long-sleeve tops, and it’s fuzzy on the inside like my Brooks thermal tights, which made it very comfortable to wear. The neck coverage sort of keeps my neck warm, but it isn’t fitted so I’m not really sure how effective it would be on a truly cold day. I like the option to pull the cord at the side to pull the mock neck down, it’s kind of trendy-looking, I think =P Yea…I’m a little vain until I start running, at which point I just stop caring how I look.

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I also scarfed down a spoonful of peanut butter and a banana. A note for people as dumb as me: I almost died doing this, as I swallowed the peanut butter and started eating the banana before the peanut butter went all the way down. I nearly blocked off my airway and spent a good five minutes trying to swallow everything without choking. Water, or eating more slowly, would have been good survival strategies.

This almost did me in...

The race started at 9 AM, and I got to Freedom Plaza in DC at 8:45 – just in time to drop off my bag at the bag check. Pacers is really organized with their bag checks, which I definitely appreciate! It takes them seconds to find a bag after the race.

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There were a ton of runners there, but it felt smaller than the Jingle All the Way 8K. The course was exactly the same as that race, which was nice because I knew what to expect and when I would struggle mentally and was able to prepare for it. I had some hip problems the week before, so I resolved to take it easy and run at about a 9:00 pace, which would put me at a race time of 45:00 – still better than my last 8K. I always try to run a race with a negative split, which means I start out slower in the beginning and speed up at the end, otherwise I end up running out of energy in the beginning and start begging other runners to pull me to the finish line towards the end. So here’s how I ran:

split times

Not too shabby for a lady with hip problems! I even beat my desired time by 1 min and shattered my 8K record. I basically felt like Usain Bolt.

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I got super warm during the race and started taking all my clothes off took off my hat and tucked it into my pants. I’m glad Mike wasn’t there to take pictures because not only did I have perfectly-styled beanie hair, I was also rocking a lumpy butt. Lol, I have no pictures, thank goodness =P

It was a beautiful sunny day, so afterwards we headed to brunch. I wrote about that delicious mash fest in my Super Foodie DC Weekend post, so if you’re looking for a brunch place in the DC metro area or just want to drool, check it out :)

Here’s a beautiful picture from after the race! Because I’m a master at phone photography. Happy nearly spring!

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