Tackle a Chili Leprechaun (Triple Race Report)

Well, the race season has started and I have neglected to put out a race report.  This is how this hole thing started.  I put out a race report for the Fairmount park Turkey Trot and then I started my blogging.  Oh well.  Well three races have gone by this year.  Actually, it has been 5 but there is a method to my madness and it is not that I plan on putting them up in threes.  So ha!  It seems that this has been the year for PRs.  I know that I have steadily improved and therefore every year I set a new PR but this has been different.  I have shattered other records and I feel like I could have gone faster.  Well with one exception. 

On 9 February 2008 was the Tackle the Tower at ErieView.  This is where we foolishly run up 37 flights of stairs.  That is 646 stairs.  The irony is that it is possibly the hardest workout that only takes 6:39.  I have run marathons, over ice, through a couple of feet of snow and all of this pales in comparison to going up those stairs.  I even trained for it.  I had gone to the Marriott and ran up the 25 floors of stairs twice.  It about killed me the next day after training.  It turns out that going down the stairs really puts a hurt on the legs.  Well, we got to ride the Elevator down.  I was running up with my buddy Dave, his brother in-law and a bunch of people from his brother in-law’s company.  It was cool.  The Tackle the Tower was to benefit the Ronald McDonald House.  There were signs at each flight.  They said things like x amount of people benefit from the Ronald McDonald house and words of encouragement.  The only sign I did not appreciate was the one that said “30 more flights to go.”  Oh yeah if you think you are master of the run and drink think again.  You know we all have our techniques.  Mine is the crush the cup and sip from the corner edge.  Well, all of that goes out the door when traversing steps.  Nothing short of stopping works.  I had to use my superior coffee drinking while driving skills to keep the water steady while going up the steps and using that small flat part at each floor to get a sip in.  If you guys have any tips let me know.  I will need it next year. 

Well, the season had officially started and it was time to run the West End Chili Bowl Classic 5k  on 16 February 2008.  The location changed from last year.  I started out at Tower City this year instead of Westlake.  That was okay.  I love Tower City.  There is something very unique about it.  It is kind of what you would expect an upscale city block to look like in the future where everything is enclosed because of some disaster or over population or something like that.  Either way I read too much science fiction and on to the race.  I had no real aspirations about the race.  I was just planning on running a good 5k and getting my chili at the end.  Well, I went out and as usual I cannot judge my pace.  I hit the first mile maker at 7 minutes and some change.  Okay, I felt good and backed off a little.  At mile 2 I had slowed up but not that much.  Well, I decided to push a little and it happened again.  I thought kicking and I had my slowest mile yet.  Well, that did not matter I smacked that race at 23:49.  Another PR and I kicked it by over a minute.  Well, as usual I got my chili and all was good.  I couldn’t believe how fast I had run but there is no need to let it go to my head.  On a bad note during my stretch Jen notices that my shoes were getting pretty torn up.  I had less than 360miles on them and they were really starting to show some wear.  Well there is no time to make a shoe change I had some big plans that needed taken care of first.

On 2 March 2008 I had the Catch a Leprechaun 30k.  This is the perfect long run race.  Last year was a ton of fun.  It is a double loop course that goes through some nice neighborhoods and down the lake shore for about a mile and a half.  With last years race the lake shore was frozen and the wind was brutal.  I loved it.  This years run was in milder temperatures.  I started off in the 40s but got colder as the race went on.  Either way I started to over heat and rolled my sleeves up and trudged on.  Now this is and NCN race and the only time is at the start finish line.  Since I don’t wear a watch my pace is dictated on how I feel.  I sort of settled into what I thought was a good pace and stomped on.  It felt real good.  I did have a soft time goal of breaking 3 hours.  Last year I ran in 3:08 and some change.  This year I just hoped to do a little better.  I knew I had it in me to drop 8 minutes.  I was wrong.  I crossed the finish line in 2:42:33.  I love not having a watch.  I felt great and at points I thought I could have gone faster but my plan of just settling into a comfortable pace worked perfectly.  On a bad note on the second loop I could tell that my shoes were done.  Right at about 400 miles they had given up the battle.  They served me well and that is another story.  On a good note again my buddy Dave ran the race and we got some pictures of us at the race check it out.

Well, like I said this is shaping up to be a great year of PRs and I feel like I could have gone faster except the tower.  More races to come.  I am certain of it.