Nathanial Garrod

Shamrock 15k 2015 Debrief

I woke up on Saturday at 5:55, ten minutes before my first alarm is set to go off. I groan and roll back over. After a second, I turn back to my phone, change the alarm back 20 minutes and try to fall asleep again.
I do not know why, 20 minutes of sleep is mostly useless.

Around 6:20 I finally decide to get out of bed. I putz about my apartment for a moment, eating a strawberry here and part of a banana there. I wrap my ankle with the new wrap I bought yesterday somewhat on the recommendation of a coworker. I get my gear on and have just a small sip of water. I do not want another situation where I have to pee while I’m running. I drank almost a gallon last night. I should be fine.

I tied my shoes using a new method, as demonstrated in this YouTube video.

This whole time, it has been pouring rain. I hear it in the alley and out on the street. I head downstairs and open the door, expecting to be shocked by the rain. Instead there is a spider hanging down from the light over my porch. With trepidation, I determine if I can move around it. I cannot. I pull my sleeves over my hands and clap. Poor spider.

I grab a car2go down to the waterfront. It is still raining. I notice some folks huddling under a bridge a couple blocks south of the starting line. I join them, take a selfie for Instagram and respond to a couple messages and Twitter posts.

As it gets closer to race time, folks start heading to the starting line. The corral fills up quickly, and I become stuck in the middle of the 9-10 minute per mile pack. This is probably not the worst place to be, as I should be focusing on a 9ish minute pace.

The first mile is mostly uneventful. Just after mile one, I am doing imaginary parkour in my head, and do not see a sizable puddle. My left foot is completely soaked.

Around mile two, I see a man pushing a stroller with two kids. I wonder if this provides an arm workout too. The course turns onto NW Broadway and crosses Burnside. I am in awe. I walk down the sidewalk all the time, but there is something about running through my favorite city in the middle of the street.

SW Broadway uphill is painful. Slightly winded, I walk about twenty paces to catch my breath.

When running through Portland State – mile three and a half ish, I see a man with what appears to be his childs handprints tattooed to his leg, and another man running with what appears to be his ten-year old daughter. I hope that someday I have a kid that will appreciate running.

As the road passes over 405, I see fog covering the mountain from near the base of Terwilliger.

Most of miles four and five are a blur. Miles four and five are consistently the hardest part of running for me, no matter the course. Going mostly uphill does not help at all. At least I have run part of this route before. After five and a half or six, I am usually able to hit a stride. In this case, mile seven was around the crest of the mountain. My light tech jacket starts to feel heavy from all the rain around this time

Humans in Portland are absolutely the best. I slow down to walk for a minute while making my way up the hill to catch my breath, and a man in an orange shirt that is also running starts clapping in my direction. I hear him and look over and smile and speed up to running, but he does not look at me or say anything. I run just behind him for a couple miles.

Terwilliger ends and turns to Barbur and I think about how close I am. The hard hill is done, and almost the rest of the race is run – except for a couple feet when Barbur turns to Naito. There was a bridge somewhere. That was cool.

My official race time for the 15k was 1:22:08. My Nike running app says that I made a 24:07 5K, and a 54:06 10k time.

I think before my next major race, I need to focus some time and money on upgrading my gear, in a few areas.


Running with a jacket on the whole time was hard. I couldn’t take it off, because my number was on it but it was too cold to not wear the first few miles. In this case, a long sleeve tech shirt and a vest would have made a huge difference. A vest is more of a priority for me than a long sleeve tech shirt, but both are on my list.

Carrying my phone in hand and having the cord wobble all over is annoying. I will be looking both arm strap and belt strap options, as well as Bluetooth headphones (UPDATE: Since writing this, I have ordered some Bluetooth headphones). It is very likely that during my next race (the Rock N Roll Half in Portland) I will have an Apple Watch. This will probably help me keep pace a bit better.

Running with the Nike+ connection to Facebook for cheers was so great. As I was hitting the front of Terwilliger, I received four cheers, which really helped. Thanks to everyone who hit like on that post!

I wrapped my right ankle because I have been having some pain. Ideally, in the future I will wrap both, just to be safe. Tying my shoes in the new way was incredibly useful. I will probably also continue that.

Not as important going into the summer, but as fall returns, I will probably look for shoes that handle water better – the upper part of my current shoes is basically mesh.

As far as my running, I do not feel like there is a whole lot of need for improvement. I am now seven seconds shy of my goal time for a 5k which means I could probably easily hit that this year, and I did not even go into this race with any intention of setting any personal records in any area, so I am pretty proud that I did.

One Comment on “Shamrock 15k 2015 Debrief

  1. Pingback: » Gear Grubbing, Impatience, and Changing It Up Nathanial Garrod

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This entry was posted on March 19, 2015 by in Fitness and tagged , , , .


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