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Malachi 5 Miler

This might go down as the coldest race I have ever ran. Not only was it cold but it was windy too. At least once a year I say “I feel stupid for running in this” and this year, this race was it.

So why run this race in the first place? Well, it’s the only race I have not missed since I started running. 9 years in a row I have showed up to this race so I couldn’t stop now. Even if I couldn’t feel most of my body.

Instead of my normal 1.5 mile warm up, I did 2 miles because it was so cold. You know how most of the time you start running, warm up and are fine. Well after a 2 mile warm up, I was still freezing and even with hand warmers I couldn’t feel my hands.

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Staying warm in the car.

I was excited for the race to start so that I could run and get back to the car and turn the heat on. When the race started I went out at a comfortable pace. My goal was to have some energy at the end and avoid having dead legs. I did a pretty good job, despite being cold and wanting to go faster. I ended up running 7:43 for the first mile. I tried to pick it up a little bit for the second mile because I was feeling good and ran the second mile in 7:33.

At around mile 2.5, I was finally warm enough to feel body parts again. My quads were so cold they were very heavy. It was an odd feeling to have legs that were so dead from the cold. I ran the 3rd mile in 7:43 but then struggled big time with the 4th mile and ran 8:23. Eek!

I ended up finishing with a time of 38:53. I was hoping to go sub 37. With injuries and being sick I had missed some workouts so I thought a 37 sounded reasonable for the first race of the season. Apparently, I have some work to do…

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Excuse the finger in this photo
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Malachi 5 Miler 2015

Finally, the blizzards have stopped and the roads were unfrozen and I was able to get out for a road race in Cleveland. Just in time for the Malachi 5 Miler. I think I have been participating in this race since 2007 or 2008 so it’s nice to keep the tradition going.

Ryan and I pre-race
Ryan and I pre-race

My training had been going really well so I set a lofty goal to run anything in the 35s for this race. I had calculated the paces and was that I could achieve that goal.

The race started and I did really good at  holding a perfect 7 minute pace. There is some downhill during the first mile that definitely helps. After the first mile I felt really good going into the second mile running another 7 minute pace. However, around mile 2.5 I started to zone out and lost my pace. I should have had someone meet me at mile 3 to pace me the rest of the way but I didn’t think of that until I was at mile 3.

At mile 3.5 I started to pick it back up to a 7:15 pace but couldn’t quit get down to the 7 minute pace I was aiming for. With 2 up hills on the second half of the course, it’s hard to pick up the pace. At the top of the last hill I started to really leg my legs go and barrel down the hill. I don’t normally take the downhills too hard because it wrecks my quads but I was trying to cut some time off my race and get as close to “something in the 35s” as I could.

Heel striking down the bridge
Heel striking down the bridge

As I turned the last corner and neared the finish line, I saw that I did not make it into the 35s, I instead ran a 37:01 a 7:24 pace.I was definitely disappointed in my time but it was faster than last years time. I was also 6th in my age group which is pretty good for me considering there are well over 200 women in my age group.

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St. Malachi 5 Miler

I believe over 4,000 runners showed up for the race and I’m so short you can’t even come close to finding me in this pic.

Starting line
Starting line

I was really nervous about this race with my plantar fasciitis flare up going on. I did a 1.5 mile warm up and I could already feel the tightness and soreness. That tightness got worse just before the start from standing around in the cold. When the gun went off I was so nervous my legs weren’t going to work they were so tight.

As funny as my legs felt, I just went through the motions of the race and told myself “run your own race“. Malachi is a huge race with the top runners in the area participating. I’m lucky to come in the top 10 of my age group for this race so it is nice to focus on solely competing with myself.

I ran the first mile in 6:45 and the 2nd mile is mostly downhill so I wasn’t worried about holding a certain pace or pushing myself. However the 3rd mile is mostly flat and you feel that downhill on your legs. I would have ran a pretty good 5K race at this point. The next section is up the huge hill around the browns stadium, it went by a lot faster than I expected. However, my pace went way down.

Fierce Face
Fierce Face

For the last mile, I was concentrating on getting up and over the last hill which is actually the Superior bridge. Once you are over the bridge it is all downhill from there (in the best way possible). I let that downhill carry me down the bridge and saw my pace picking up. In the past the finish line would be not far after you get off the bridge. This year the finish line was down a huge huge hill. I barreled down it and hoped it would get me to my goal time.

I was shooting for anything in the 36s. It’s not a PR but it’s a time I felt I could run while dealing with this plantar fasciitis. As hard as I was pushing down that hill, I didn’t quite make my goal. I did however run a 37:12 a 7:26 pace, so only 12 seconds from being in the 36s. Not my best time and not my worst so I’ll take it and improve from there.

Malachi Love at Rozi's Wine House in Lakewood
Malachi Love at Rozi’s Wine House in Lakewood

I finished out the day with 8 more miles making it 14 for the day.

While looking through the photos from the race, I found this gem of a finish line photo. I have high hopes that one day I can get a photo like this.

Sidenote: I have no idea who this guy is. Welcome to the blog.
Sidenote: I have no idea who this guy is. Welcome to the blog.

Do you have any awesome finish line photos? Or are you like me and usually get a photo while you are stopping your watch.

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St. Malachi 5 Miler

This is my favorite new race shirt. Seriously super comfy.
This is my favorite new race shirt. Seriously super comfy.

Woke up to a very wet snow and more on the ground than I would have liked to see. I kinda thought they were kidding, when I saw the weatherman saying we would get more snow. Although, by the time I drove down to the race the snow had turned into slush and rain. Not ideal conditions for the St.Malachi race. Just like in this flashback photo of me running Malachi in 2008! (it rained..a lot).

Me. Malachi. 2008
Me. Malachi. 2008

 

Normally, I would complain about it but it really wouldn’t have made a difference. 1.) I was already registered for the race. 2.) If I wasn’t registered I would have registered the day of and ran anyways. 3.) I had a long run to get in (13 miles) so I probably would have been out in it no matter what. So before my warm up I went to say hi to some runners and then got in a 1.5 mile warm up.

The future McCartney's with the future Humble's
The future McCartney’s with the future Humble’s

Every year this race just keeps getting bigger, which is surprising because it is not an easy race. It’s definitely the hilliest 5 miler I race all year. I had 2 goals for this race, 1.) don’t go out too fast and 2.) run somewhere in the 35 min range. Believe it or not I hit both goals. Came a little close to that second goal though!

Starting line. Photo from Hermes Cleveland Facebook page
Starting line. Photo from Hermes Cleveland Facebook page

My first mile is usually in the 6s but I wanted to get it closer to the 7 so that I didn’t die later in the race. Well the road was so slick going over the bridge I was forced to slow down. I think I was just afraid of falling or messing up my IT band but I felt like I was sliding a lot. I kept looking around like “Am I the only one who can’t get a grip on the ground”. But all of that gave me a 7:12 first mile.

Most of the 2nd mile is downhill but I held a pretty steady pace of 7:11 and also avoid most puddles that had developed. Ryan just passed me and gave a “hey babe” so cute. (He was the 26th? male finisher. Baller) However, shortly after this I headed toward Burke Lakefront and sloshed through a ridiculous amount of puddles. I was pretty much soaked up to my shins from the puddles. But I was halfway done, and then I saw Beal, Steph and Jay on my way back, seeing all of them giving me waves cheered me up. Coming up the hill from the Browns Stadium seemed extra long for some reason. It was very tempting to walk but I didn’t, I did my best to keep moving forward and still held a 7:30 pace.

By the time I reached mile 4 I was doing the math in my head to see what I needed to run in order to still run in the 35s. I’m obviously not very good at math because in my head I had figured out it would be closer to a 37 min 5 miler. I did my best to get up and over the last hill and gave a thumbs up (and maybe even a smile) to Matty O as he cheered me on. I came to the top of the hill and charged my way to the finish line. They were snapping pictures as you finished. Clearly I didn’t see the camera and am being covered by my friend Pam.

Photobombing during a race.
That’s not me in the green. I am that little bit of pink behind the green.

Official Finish time 35:58, a 7:12 pace, 14th in my age group (out of 233). Then of course I entered my time into McMillan running calculator to see what it predicts my future times in. I’d be very happy with a 3:31 marathon time but also feel that the 1:40 half marathon is dead on right now, if I went out and ran a half I think that is exactly where I would be.

McMillian Times
McMillan Times

Anyone else use the McMillan Calculator? Is it accurate?

Also, this was my 6th year in a row running this race! (only 4 shirts pictured. I’m wearing one and apparentky I lost 1)

Couple more years and I can make a Malachi blanket out of these!
Couple more years and I can make a Malachi blanket out of these!
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Holy St. Malachi Hills

This weekend was the annual St. Malachi 5 Mile Run. Malachi is usually a somewhat hilly race with an uphill finish. But I can usually run a fairly good time and come close to my PR…but not on Saturday. There were some major changes to the course. Let me give you the run down of the course….

This year Hermes started the 2-mile and 5-mile at the same time (not Hermes fault, it was the city’s fault and recent constructions fault). So it was extra crowded at the start. You start the race going down hill, then you turn right and right again and then, “0h no!” That hill you used to run up to finish is at the beginning of the course and you have to run up it, but at least you get it over with at the beginning. After going up that steep hill, turn left (W.25th) then turn left again and go over the Veterans Memorial bridge. So yep another hill to go over. When you get to the bottom take a left onto W. 9th, go under the freeway and make a right (a little flat for a while, phew), make a left onto W. 3 and head downhill, around the Browns stadium and then back up hill. Make a left and pass Great Lakes Science Center and The Rock Hall. Then make a left and go downhill to Voinovich Park where you can turn around and yep run the course again. So run  up the hill to the Rock Hall and then back down and around the Browns stadium, up W.3rd which is killer and seems to go on forever. Then  I forget where we went but we end up back at the Veterans Memorial bridge (which for some reasons feels like a mountain at this point) and then finish the race just off of W. 25th. Wow I am exhausted thinking about that course. Holy Hills!

But as hard as this course was I would easily run it again.

So I was not even close to my PR. I ended up running 41:23 (also my slowest 5-mile time ever, I usually run under 40 mins). I was 38th in my age group out of 240 and 493rd overall out of 1889. Plus the other 2,000 2-mile runners I had to dodge for the first mile. Hills+getting over being sick does not equal a PR….incase you were wondering.

Oh and I got to meet some beautiful people/runners/bloggers/tweeters/awesome!

Kali, Me and Kimi Source: I am a thief! I stole from Kimi

What did everyone else think of the course? And is there a course in Cleveland that you think is more challenging?