Actually, no. No I was not “ready to roll” for the ShamRock & Roll 5K on Sunday. As I wrote on Tuesday, I was not feeling my best Sunday morning. Not even my second-best. In addition to feeling tired and achy, I was really scattered. I’m normally really organized and over-plan everything, but that Type-A person was nowhere to be found on Sunday. Couldn’t figure out what to wear for the weather, couldn’t find my shamrock Chicaband, couldn’t find my running gloves– I think I even wore the wrong pair of running sneakers (Old ones. Feet were killing me afterward.). Forgot the address of the race and had to pull over on my way and google it. Forgot the start time of the race and actually didn’t figure that one out until I got there. In short, I was a bit of a mess.
Fortunately, the ShamRock & Roll is a GREAT race. It is the perfect mix – there are some super-fast runners, so it can challenge your pace if you want it to. It also has the best atmosphere, and feels like one big party from beginning to end. People are encouraged to wear costumes, and many heed the call, with entertaining results. You couldn’t throw a dart without hitting a runner in a leprechaun suit for blocks. I rolled into Toad’s Place, the bar that serves as the start and end point of the race, to see people tossing back beers while listening to a live band play “Sunday, Bloody Sunday.” At 8:30 A.M. I don’t do that particular kind of carb-loading before races (they don’t call me Two Beer Tina for nothin’), but more power to those who do.
So, the ShamRock & Roll definitely has the yin and yang down for a great race, and also has the best awards list of any race. In addition to the race awards that are usually handed out at races (top 3 overall, top 3 age group, blah, blah, blah), awards are also granted in the following categories:
• Best Individual & Group Costume – St. Patty’s Division
• Best Individual & Group Costume – Diaper Division (The race requests diaper donations for a local diaper bank, so some like to wear costumes celebrating the theme).
• Shortest & Tallest Finisher
• Slowest Finisher
• Weirdest Finisher
I didn’t get any of the awards (thankfully, no “Weirdest Finisher” here. I don’t even want to know how weird you need to be to get that award), but I did end up posting a good time, especially given how crummy I felt. I ended up running the race with a 7:37 pace, which is the fasted pace I have posted since I started running races again last year. I’m not yet at my goal of 7:30, but getting closer.
Of course, dear Colby, the Snowshoe Warrior, came down to meet me after the finish and we got to catch up for a little while over tea. The combination of race silliness, physical exertion and laughs with Colby completely improved my mood and I went home a different, happier person than when I arrived . All in all, not bad for a chilly Sunday morning.