Ah, St. Patty's Day. Green beer, friends, and running.
I didn't partake in the green beer, but did in the friends and running. This was my first year running the Madison Shamrock Shuffle, which I thought to be a well-organized event by Madisonian Steve Donovan and crew.
Tim and I signed up the day before, and decided it was a great idea to run in 19 degrees after being in Mexico for 5 days. Right.
And those 19 degrees felt like 9. Very chilly at the beginning - although you could feel that the sun was warm, and wearing black running tights was a strategic choice.
We jogged from our car to State Street, and joined the mass of green-clad runners funneling down to the start line in front of Potbelly's. We were stopped, and 5 minutes passed. And then 10 minutes. We were getting antsy - why didn't races start on time? And then we heard: "5K starters only!" For the third time, we had missed the 10K start, and we played catch up most of the race.
This route followed Langdon - and up Observatory Hill. It wasn't as bad as I remember it in years past, but still takes the wind from your sails. At the bottom of Social Sciences, the 5K group took a left, and we ventured out west past Picnic Point and halfway around those soccer fields. The great thing about starting at the back of the pack, is that you constantly pass people, which is good for your mental game.
I felt really strong this whole race. I knew I was doing well, but tried not to think about it too much and just feel how hard I was running. I stayed away from glancing at my garmin, fearing it would mess with my head. Sometimes knowing that your body is working at a hard pace is better than seeing it on a watch. The most challenging part of the race by far was coming up the back of Observatory Hill. Yuck.
We crossed the finish line at 55:18, which is a average pace of 8:54. I'm pretty sure the last 10K I ran was in 59 or 60 minutes, so this was a great PR for me.
We met some friends at Brocach Monroe St for lunch, and had a Guinness in honor of my Grandad, Patrick, who, was Irish and died 17 years ago on St. Patty's Day.
All-in-all, it was a great race, and a great day. (Except for the Badger game. Sad trombone).
Happy St. Patrick's Day!