I ran the Human Race last weekend (the 24th, not the 31st). Though, it's not the Human Race now, as it's been renamed to Irish Run, complete with a bright green race shirt but hey, more shirts for being visible on a bike is always good, right? This was a short little 8K down in the Cities. I'm on the Austin-Jarrow racing team and we do the USATF team circuit - most of the races of which are in the Cities. The bad part is it's a long way to drive for short races but the good part is there's always lots of teammates running with you and they're generally a fun time.
The Irish Run changed it's start/finish this year to be right behind Macalester. It was also fun to have a race covering roads I ran in college - I knew exactly where I was at all times and knew what the road crossings meant in terms of distance to the finish, which really helps. We do about a mile down Summit and then turn around and head back up, past the start and just over a mile the other direction before turning around Billy Mitchell Law School and finishing where we started. I didn't think I would like the change but I really did. You end with a nice three block downhill, which is always a good finish.
It took a long time for my Short Race head to get in the game so perhaps two miles of warmup was not enough. Around two miles in the race, I felt a tap on my shoulder and saw my friend Rudy going by me. An awesome guy but he should not be passing me! Crap. My second mile split was no good either, but I generally try to not freak out about mile splits one way or the other and just use them as a guide. About a half mile later, I passed Rudy back and finally got some groove going and was running the 7 minute miles I should have been doing for mile 2. I wish the race had been at least a 10K and I could have done so much better! It was great fun to pass so many people on the way back, though, since it felt like the entire race was passing me in the beginning.
I came across the finish in what I thought was a few seconds slower than last year and was a bit bummed about it. But then I was rather hyper and ready for more running! On the way back to Duluth, I remembered that it took me a few seconds to cross the starting line and low and behold, I actually ran two seconds faster than last year! Granted, I wanted to run about thirty seconds faster than last year since last year was grossly hot but since I really haven't been doing any sort of speed training (so much for marathon specific track workouts . . .) I'm happy with it. Stupid second mile time. Good thing there were footsteps right behind me on the last stretch to help push out those two seconds! I didn't realize she was so close, though, until I saw the pictures! I did manage to drop her in the last block :) I like to think I'm a hard person to beat coming into the finish. Unless your name is Marcus . . .
So, here I am now, 13 days to Boston! Soon I can start stalking the weather predictions. Of course, I'll be bringing every possible racing gear anyway, so I don't know why I bother. I have my seat booked on a shuttle down to the Cities and back (it'll be nice to not have to drive, even if it gets me back to Duluth a little later Tuesday than I would like), my tickets are bought, my friend is going to host me. All that's left is obsessive list making to make sure I don't forget anything. And trying to figure out if airport security will let me fly with a sealed bottle of Boost . . .