Whoa Mama

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Luck of the Running Irish

In Buffalo, when we run races in cold weather it is very often to come out of hibernation and have the opportunity to drink beer. It is important to note that the annual Shamrock Run also comes with the extra added bonus of coinciding with the High Holiday so the post-party is such a big deal that they charge an entry fee for non-runners, of which there were gobs! Only the actual runners got to enjoy beer on the race route though, when not one, not two, but three different establishments passed out beer like water. Ah Buffalo!

I do love races regardless of the occasion. I love the spirit of camaraderie, the faux athleticism of those in it for the beer, the truth grit of those in it to win it, the good natured chatter and happy energy that foreshadows the starting gun.  There are always outlandish get ups to see. The Shamrock Run traditionally brings out the hardwired crazy of St. Patricks Day and couples it with general sense of cabin fever for an achievable 8k. That means wacky outfits don’t have to hold up for all that long. Now that I’ve mentioned it, I find it annoying a predictable 5 miler has been replaced by the foreign and mildly insulting 8k. I just want to do 5 bona fide miles without having to add on which means I’ve got to be either a pre- or a post-runner to get to the round five. I’m neither of those. You know the ones I’m talking about? The runners whose gear all matches, who run to the starting line because it is easier than fighting traffic to get dropped off. They are the hardly sweaty folks running backwards up the route cheering on those of us poor slogs who will never see the sunny side of an eight minute mile unless being chased by zombies.  I know you are out there and we are friends with you (Laina & Sarah, if I’m talking to you, I promise it is meant in the nicest way ), but the pre-runners are intimidating and post-runners just seem less coachy and more showy.

When running not-quite-five-miles, you can sport almost bling and on Saturday, so many people did. The kilts were so commonplace that they are almost not worth mentioning. There was bountiful headgear and why I haven’t yet gotten myself a tutu is a mystery. I will be remedying that. Things that have never occurred to me include a Spiderman costume with or without the complementary 8” afro or Speedos. There was not one but two teen specimens dressed for an Olympic swim meet straight down to the swim cap and hairlessness.

 I am not a fast runner. I can get the job done but it is never fast. For the Shamrock Run, I tried compression socks for the first time. They are comfy and feel good and I want them in every color including nude so I can wear them all the time. They do not however make me fast. I enjoyed them in neon green on the outside of my tights in honor of the occasion. They did not make me faster than usual so you can imagine my surprise when at mile 2, I went barreling by Spiderman. I mean I blew past him. He was panting and doubled over, holding a stitch. I may never win a race; I may never complete a full marathon; I am not breaking any records. I am only competing against myself and I can say this with 100% surety.

Because I beat Spiderman.


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