I'll be wearing my Celtic Solstice 5 Miler Fleece with no worries. I did the race this morning on the usual chilly cloudy day up in Druid Hill Park and surprisingly felt great. I've been slacking quite a bit on the running front since the 1/2 IM so I didn't really know what to expect. During the race though I felt great.
Shirt designs and Snowflakes by reknowned Celtic artist Cari Buziak Image from Baltimore Running
Darren convinced me to go and after a bit of a locale mix up I drove up and got my bib and chip just in time to get in line and start the race. Up the hill I felt strong and was darting in and out of people after starting a bit further back then I likely should have. Actually the entire first mile I was doing a lot of waiting and working to get around folks so I'm thinking I could have cut at least 30 to 60 seconds off my time with a good starting position.
In the race though I found I was really enjoying myself on the hills (surprisingly since my usual lunch runs are perfectly flat) and working to pass people was a great motivation. Around the lake I found myself getting bored as I settled into a spot between other runners right around my same pace and running the perfectly flat and boring surface. I never realized before that I was motivated by changing terrain though it makes complete sense.
The pre-race Celtic Scottishman (???) and bag pipes part the crowd. Photo by Crista Gilbert taken from Baltimore Running
Down the final hill I picked up the cadence, did my usual "rolling" run down and then strode easily across the finish. On one hand I knew I didn't really give it everything I had considering how great I felt at the end, but on the other hand I felt I did a lot better then I expected before the race. No clue what my time it was but my comfort level during it was high.
In the end, it looks like I came it at 35:22, a 7:04 minute mile. In the peak of my tri season I was hitting around 6:40 minute miles for the 5 k's so I don't feel too bad about that at all. Also, at mile one I heard the gun time called out as 8:47 for the first mile so assuming I didn't start close to a 1:45 behind the gun I obviously picked up the pace through the remainder of the race from the first crowded mile.
The Race Site: I HIGHLY recommend this race if you're never done it. Not just for great schwag but for a great atmosphere and a great event.
Ok, time to pack for the early morning departure tomorrow. Oh and wrap those presents too!