Yesterday I ran in the Shamrock Shuffle, which is a 5k and 10k race held here in Madison every St. Paddy's Day weekend. I can't rememeber if this is the second or third time I have done this one. I really like the Shuffle since it is always such a great time and a great scene. The people are always festive, and there are a lot of silly costumes. One guy always comes dressed as St. Patrick himself and gives the runners the traditional Irish blessing on the PA before we go on our way:
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face; the rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.
And may the good Lord not squeeze too hard.
Well, obviously St. Patrick ad libbed that last part, but it got a lot of laughs from the crowd. I have a sneaky feeling that St. Patrick had been to the bloody mary bar before the race, but I digress.
I ran a hell of a race. This 10k course is hilly, and I am glad I paid my dues this winter with hill training outside. The last hill is very tall, and is a heartbreaker since it is in mile 5.5 of the run. The vast majority of people were walking up this hill, but not me. It is also at the point there the 10k and 5k racers meet so I think there may have been a lot of 5k walkers schlepping up it as well.
Oddly, my second half of the run was faster than my first half. I have no idea why that was. I averaged under 7.5 minute miles for the course, which was roughly 6.25 miles (10k). I pushed myself as far as I could. At the end when I stopped running I knew I had done the very best I could since I almost passed out. I had to take a moment to get my sh1t together and get some air. It felt crappy and awesome at the same time. I am glad that I can push my limits.
I can't wait for April in San Francisco where Carl and I will be running across the Golden Gate Bridge and through the Presidio. That is a 10 mile run that I think I will just do for plain old enjoyment. I trained pretty hard for the Shuffle, and need a little time to let my body relax and recharge before cycling/duathlon season.
My legs are killing me today. Time for me to get into the masseuse.