This was the scene at last year’s 2009 Chicago Shamrock Shuffle. My best friend Gary entered the race and reported that his feet were so wet by the end of the 8k (roughly 5 miles), he felt like he was trying to run with bricks on his feet.
God help me if Mother Nature isn’t a little kinder this round. Because I hate winter, I kind of hate running, and yet I felt it necessary to throw my hat in the ring for the first Shamrock Shuffle of the new decade. I am an official entrant, as of yesterday afternoon, and there’s no turning back now.
When using the treadmill, my biggest accomplishment to this point is a four mile walk/run hybrid where I pump it for six minutes and then sort of speed walk for two minutes. Rinse and repeat. In other words, I am no great, driven long distance runner. Therefore, running five continuous miles away from my usual idle pace is going to be a challenge.
The one thing I have going for me as I begin two months of preparatory training is my competitive nature (just ask my friends Timbo and Di about the level of “in your face!” obnoxiousness I displayed last Tuesday when we won an evening of bar trivia at O’Shaughnessey’s). I also loathe humiliating myself with demonstrations of mediocrity. I do not enter into contests unless I have a decent hope, and certain intention, of finishing in the top 10%. The knowledge of these relentless character traits staves off a bit of the “Oh shit. What have I gotten myself into?”
But still, this old girl is once again trying something new and that’s always a little scary. The race is Sunday, March 21st. Join me in praying that on that day, I run with more grace than I walk.