Based on 40 years of tradition this race is always held the Sunday closest to St. Patrick's Day and in the early afternoon to not interfere with all the churches along the route and allow the temperature to warm up (not an issue today, it was 80F and sunny). Even with the wonderful weather and St. Patrick's Day stupidity I still managed to have an easy day at work and got out around lunch time, thank you locals for behaving and not injuring yourself or others and saving me from being stuck at work all day on my final weekend shift ever!
I met up with my team as we lined up checked out the competition. How intimidating being surrounded by local elite runners and Team USA runners, I guess this is what it's like to be racing as a USATF team. Even stranger was that the race was on a split road and there was an unwritten understanding that men lined up on one side of the median and women on the other, good thing someone filled us in so we at least looked like we belonged! The start was a blast, so many of these women have raced together for years and were friendly and welcoming, I don't think I have chatted so much at a start line before today.
"Take it easy, take it easy, don't get caught up in the race, you have bigger goals ahead" These things all kept running through my head as I stood at the start. And we were off, with the first hill (of many) upon me I kept it easy and was so happy feeling no ache in my leg! Quickly I saw 3 of my teammates pull ahead, "let them go, just relax". I keep repeating similar things during the race. Wow, almost to the turn around and it is warm. This has to be the one and only time it is too warm to run in a tank and shorts in March, wow! I'm feeling good and push a little, surprisingly things feel even better pushing my leg. I see the finish line having no idea my pace or time and look at the clock, 37:27 as I cross for 7:33 pace. I'm happy not only did the leg feel good, but I can't complain for running my first run in a week on a hilly course with heat and wind only a couple minutes slower then my goal had I been healthy. The best perk of running odd distances: an automatic PR!