This past weekend was filled with green, beer, friends, and food. It was St. Patrick’s Day on Monday, meaning that the entire weekend was just one big reason to don poor Irish accents and drink a lot. No complaints there, right?
Saturday kicked off with Johnny’s 5 Mile Runnin’ of the Green. I’ve realized that lately I run races that involve heavy drinking/eating afterwards, but oh well. Better than nothing. Myself and three others got in the car at 8:30 to drive down to the start line with fairly decent weather. Even though all of us ran at different paces, it was nice to know I had friends around.
Before the race, we asked another racer to take our pre-race photo. She was wearing a sweatshirt from my undergrad, and I struck up a conversation with her. We talked about the college, and then about running. She mentioned that the furthest she had ever run was a 5K, and I started to remember how nervous I was about my first 5-mile race. I tried to give her some words of encouragement, finishing with “don’t let yourself give up” (something I try to always tell myself), and off we walked to the starting line.
All of us were together for less than a tenth of a mile, which meant I was on my own for the whole race. I started off feeling ok, despite my slight shin splints and calf pain. I also started off too fast, which ended up making me hurt in the end. Races are interesting because everyone around you is running at a different pace, and it’s intimidating to get passed by a number of runners. I checked my pace consistently, and was always running at least a minute/mile faster than I knew I should have been. I think I need to invest in blinders.
Just as I was approaching the finish line, I saw the same woman from earlier in the day who snapped our picture. She was still running, and at a good pace! I caught up next to her, and creepily said “you didn’t let yourself give up!” between exhausted exhales. We chatted the whole way to the end, which officially made it her longest consistent run. It was pretty neat to be a part of that experience – watching someone start out so scared of a challenge, and then overcome it.
The rest of the weekend was a blur of green and friendship, adventuring around downtown Rochester as well as Buffalo, throwing green food dye in everything, and closing with a very long sleep. Take all of that and throw in some nice weather, and things are looking up!