Wet, Cold and Ugly…..2016 Portland Shamrock Run

2016 Portland Shamrock RunLast Sunday’s Shamrock Run was probably the ugliest in recent memory.  The race itself is run flawlessly by the organizers.  I’m talking about both the weather and my performance that were so ugly.  This was the wettest Shamrock in many years.  Rain doesn’t usually bother me, but this time it caused my clothes to stick to my body, which was uncomfortable the last few miles.  Over the last 6 years (since I’ve been paying attention), Portland Oregon’s most popular race event, with approx. 30,000 people registered for 1 of 5 different races, has been run in the rain. I could blame the poor conditions for my lackluster (for me) performance, but my 1:06:46 is much more the result of lack of recent speed and hill work.

Since the Vancouver Lake ½ marathon at the end of January, my weekly mileage is approx. 25 miles and has consisted of a lot of 5-6 mile runs.  I could blame my lack of training on inclement weather and a lot of business travel, but reality is I have trained with these same obstacles for many years. The fact is, I really haven’t put in much intense work, the last 45 days.  So without much intensity, it’s obvious to me why I’m not at 1:02 like I was in 2014.

Middle Age Marathoner Shamrock Run

My workouts have consisted of a few 8 milers and 4-5 mile runs on the (hotel) treadmill.  The only track work I completed the last 30 days was 100m strides two times.  Other intense work include a 6 mile tempo run and a hill workout 9 days before the race.

For comparison, I have included my splits for the last 3 Shamrock Runs.  As you can see, my times have gotten progressively slower.  In 2014, I was training for Boston, so I was clearly in much better shape.  My time last year was only slightly better than this year’s time.

2016 Shamrock Run – 15k

2015 Shamrock Run – 15k

2014 Shamrock Run – 15k

Lesson’s Learned…Game Plan for rest of 2016

If I want to run faster times, I need to practice what I preach and plan and run some hard workouts.  I’m only 50 and I’m not injured, so I think I still have plenty of fast races left in me.  I need to identify a local 10k or ½ marathon for late May/June towards which I can train.   The Vancouver USA ½ Marathon is in mid June and will probably fit into my schedule.  I can get in some base mileage over the next 30 days and then start an 8 week plan.  If I run a 1:25 half marathon in mid June, I will be on track for a low 3:00 hour or possibly sub 3:00 hour marathon this Fall.

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