I’ve gotta tell you, I’m a big fan of the Go! St. Louis organization. I love what they do for the racing community and the St. Louis community in general. I love their race environment. I love their courses. I couldn’t really tell you much of anything that I don’t love about them.
This year they changed the starting point of the race. Normally we’re at Market and Tucker – nice wide open spaces. Plenty of room to move about. You can actually do your stretching and warm ups in the corral at the starting line. The new starting point was on the road in front of the Arch. Talk about a funnel! Being a brand new starting point, I don’t think they quite took into consideration what the number of people would look like when we were all in our starting corrals (or trying to get into our starting corral). It had a pretty big feeling of cattle being sent in for branding.
The corral was definitely busting at the seams and we ended up waiting on the outside of the gates and had to maneuver into our gate once our corral letter was called for the official start. Having great company (clearly large mouthed company) made the wait and claustrophobia very tolerable!
I loved the course and thought the starting point was cool, being right there by the river. Hopefully, next year they will utilize the full street in front of the Arch instead of trying to cram everyone in front of the flood wall. That was my only complaint about this year’s race.
This is probably the first Go! race that I’ve attended where I gave very little thought to the race beforehand. I’ve been so consumed with training for my Iron Cowboy that everything else is just part of the training plan. This race was no different. I swapped out my long run days and made it be Sunday instead of Saturday and just utilized this race as my long run day. Just another day in paradise, right?
There’s just something about participating in a race that makes you want to, well….not stick to the training plan. All my training is done in intervals and my long run this week was supposed to be 4 minute run 2 minute walk interval. I feel like I’ve been doing this particular interval forever and have become impatient with it. I struggled a little between trying to PR on this race and sticking with my interval plan. The two Go! races that I do each year are the only races where I pay attention to my time. They are my barometer races. It’s how I gauge improvement (or lack thereof). So even though I planned on this being “just another training day,” there is that piece of my brain telling me that last year I ran the race in 57:20.
I mentioned this to my daughter and she reminded me that this race was a stepping stone to the Iron Cowboy and that I needed to stick with my training plan. And I knew she was right, but I also knew that I could push myself a little bit without doing damage to my training. The last race I ran this spring (the Luck of the Irish) I did 5 minute run/2 minute walk intervals. Knowing that, and knowing that last year for the 7k I did 10 minute run 1 minute walk intervals, I decided I would make a compromise between training and racing. I decided that an 8 minute run 2 minute walk interval would fit into that parameter, so that’s how I set my Garmin.
I stuck to my interval plan with one exception. There was a MASSIVE (drama queen definition) hill going up one of the bridges and I was struggling a bit. Ann was running with me and she was struggling as well, so we set an object part way up the hill and determined that we were going to take a walk break at that object. This put us almost to the top of the hill and we took a walk break half way through our run segment. And then, of course, we had to take the obligatory selfie with the Arch in the background.
Then back to following my interval buzzer.
We finished the race in 53 minutes and 20 seconds. Exactly 4 minutes quicker than last year’s race. I. Was. Happy!
Four minutes while running feels like an eternity to me. During each run interval I would feel like “Oh my god, is it time to stop running yet????” And I’d look at my watch and it had only been four minutes. FOREVER, I tell you! So to shave an eternity off my time from last year was very satisfying for me. And I did it without sacrificing my training plan.
It was a great feeling!
Aside from that, the best part of the race was our post-race treat!
Another fun Go! St. Louis race. Another race that I got to do with my daughter. Another piece of data on the training log. One step closer to my Iron Cowboy.