Race Recap: Irish Jig 5k

This morning, I ran the Spectrum Health Irish Jig in East Grand Rapids, which is actually the first time I’ve done the same race twice.  I did it last year and finished in 33:38.  I went into this year feeling a bit more confident and prepared; plus, it wasn’t snowing like it was time, so that was a definite bonus.

Before I left the house, I fueled up with what is quickly becoming my pre-race favorite fuel:  sunflower seed butter toast with cinnamon chips.

I layered up, complete with my new shirt from SkinnyRunner! I debated also wearing my North Face fleece jacket during the run, but ultimately decided against it and I’m so glad!  It was definitely the right decision, I was just right with what I had on.

There may have been no snow, but still chilly!  It was around 33 degrees when I got out of my car!

I met up with Andi, Kayla, and Amy (her husband also ran, but the race was split in two waves:  men first, then women).  We had some time to kill before our race started, so we waited around for a bit in the gym of the high school where registration and packet pick-up was going down.

Eventually we made our way out to the starting line.  It was a bit congested in the first half mile or so, but thinned out a bit as the race went on.  I made my way ahead of the girls pretty quickly.  I felt really good the first mile and time flew by.  I love bigger races – having all the other crazy runners around is such awesome motivation!  Plus, there were some decent crowds, thanks in large part to the men that had already finished.

I got into a pretty good groove as soon as I got past the mass of people trying to get going.  In that first stretch, I felt like I was just getting going, then had to slow right back down.

The second mile felt better since I had to do a little less weaving through the crowds.  I kept checking my Garmin to see where I was at for time – I really felt like this could be the day I would get my sub-30:00 time, but I knew it was going to be close.  After a decent sized hill, I so desperately wanted to walk for a brief moment, but I knew if I did, any chances I had of coming in under 30:00 minutes was shot.  My lungs weren’t happy about it, but I powered through!

As I entered the last mile, I knew there was a chance to reach my goal.  I kicked up the pace and fought any and every inclination I had to walk.  Just keep running, just keep running!  Once I hit that last mile marker, I started sprinting and gave it everything I had until the finish line!  The end was so hard, but it was completely worth it because I came in at 29:34 (chip time)!!!  I’ll be honest, I teared up just a bit when I crossed the finish line and knew I had gotten the time I so desperately wanted.  Not only did I come in under 30:00, I got a PR by over 30 seconds!

My (negative!!!) splits:

  • Mile 1:  9:54
  • Mile 2:  9:45
  • Mile 3:  9:06
  • Mile .12:  0:53

Garmin time:  29:39

I came in 711 overall and 130 in my division!  I’ll take it!

As always, I tried to create a great playlist.  Well…I think it was great, you may disagree!  I had quite a few more songs than I really needed, but I always like to have more just to be on the safe side.  Ironically, just like in the Heart and Sole 5k last month, Won’t Back Down came on as I came to the end and it was the perfect song to end with!

Dear Irish Jig,

Thanks for a great race.  Both me and my PR thank you.


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