On Saturday I had not one day, but two days of races scheduled!  The morning race was a 15K.  It’s the Great Black Swamp race.  I gotta say – this race actually went better than expected. I really had very little interest in running on race morning. It has snowed on Friday, and when I woke up Saturday morning, I was expecting the snow to be gone. But no, there it still was. It was one of the dreary Ohio days, but luckily the wind wasn’t too bad.  Here’s the view on Friday afternoon…


On the way to the race it started to rain. Nothing bad, but definitely sprinkling. Just to be prepared, I had an alternative outfit because at 38 degrees it was hard to figure out what the best outfit would be. When we got to the parking lot, I made the rash decision that my brand new jacket would be best. Note, I have never run in the jacket, or even worn it for more than 5 mins! But still, it was “waterproof and breathable” so it sounded like the perfect test! I had a short sleeve t-shirt layered under it, and I was good to go.

When the race started I was actually getting back into the groove of running a race. I honestly was having a case of stage fright and anxiety about running a race that morning!! I debated if I was going to be better off from running it, or just skipping it due to my hamstring issues. I settled into a comfortable pace and pretty much didn’t look at my watch for pacing the rest of the race because it only showed me overall pace anyways! I had never changed the screens after our speedwork on Weds.  Look at me in this awesome race picture!  (be prepared, I have a lot of great pictures today!!)

gbs race start

Around mile 3 we turned on to the bike trail and I was shocked to see it wasn’t cleared!! Much to my surprise, it was just slushy and not really slippery. Phew!! I found it was actually even better to run in the snow in the middle instead of the tracks. This area did slow some people down, but it was some of my faster paces that day!  When I hit the right song, I was feeling in the zone.  Yeah!

The last mile was into the wind and I was dragging. The end couldn’t come soon enough. I was feeling the hamstring and glute pain by that time and it wasn’t pleasant. I finished with an overall 8:56 pace, which I’m quite happy with. Given my goal HM pace, my pace probably should have been closer to 8:15 ideally, but given my current condition, it’s all good!
The most surprising part of the race – I actually got 2nd in my age group, out of 27! What the heck? That was a total surprise, so I guess I actually did pretty good after all.



Here’s my fabulous finish line pictures… me getting passed at the last second (right after I had passed her 30 seconds prior.  You can see which one of us still had something left in the tank!).  Doh!


And here I am with a hand in my face.  Double doh!!


Here’s Alan heading toward the finish.  He ran the 25K.


In the late afternoon it was time for the Blarney Shamrockin Shuffle.  It’s a 3 mile fun run in downtown Toledo, starting and ending at an Irish pub.  This year 1,200 people were registered!  It’s a good time with people running, walking, and a lot in between.


I ended up running with Sara from my Dave’s Training group.  We went faster than her goal time, so she was quite happy!  She really did a great job.


That mustache was quite Irish, don’t you think?  Finish line photo:


After the race we all got to hang out in the party tent.  My beer tasted awfully good after my hard day of running!


Here’s Chuck, the speediest runner in our 5K training group.  He’s targeting a sub 20 by the end of the training plan.  Woot!



All in all it was a good day of running.  The next day was another story.  I spent a bit of time with ice packs on my hamstrings.  Yikes.  I can still deliver some speed, but I sure do pay for it!


Q:  Have you ever run in a costume?

It’s no where near a costume, but the mustache was a new one for me!

Q:  Have you ever run a 15K?

It was my first.  Instant PR for me!!


4 thoughts on “Double day of racing – Great Black Swamp & Shamrockin Shuffle”
  1. Nice job! I can’t even make myself run twice a day, let alone race, let alone in crappy weather, so good for you!

    I’ve actually never run a 15K. It just doesn’t interest me. I have a weird irrational dislike of the 9.3 mile distance and I never want to run one, even though it would be an insta-PR! I’m odd.
    Hanna @ minimal marathoner recently posted…Race Recap: Canyonlands Half MarathonMy Profile

    1. Thanks! The kicker was it was actually 9.5 miles (everyone’s watch had that distance) so on the results we all looked slower than our Garmin pace. Doh!!

  2. I thought that snow & slush on the bike path flat out sucked! I could feel my Newtons slipping because of the lugs and my pace dipped at least 10 seconds and it felt harder. Should have worn the BoCO ATs insead.

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