In keeping with my goal of doing a race every month, I decided March’s race would be the Shamrock Shuffle 10-miler.
Aaron has been out-of-town all week, and I didn’t really want to do a race alone, so I needed to convince some other weirdos to come out and race with me.
Luckily, I knew just where to find some!
I had a great St. Patrick’s Day yesterday! The weather was perfect for sitting outside all day drinking Guinness (in responsible increments) with friends. I took Giuseppe with us, and he was a big hit in his little kilt!
Then, this morning I got up to get ready for the race and woke up to a not-so-fun surprise of the lady kind (sorry for the overshare) . I knew that I would not be able to make it through 10 miles so I decided to switch down to the 10-K.
The twins were in town for spring break and had decided to do the 5-k along with my dad (one twin backed out) so my family came to pick me up.
We have been having the most amazing weather this past week. But then today, we got a storm blowing through and the winds really kicked up. The race was held at the edge of an Albuquerque suburb with no buildings to block the wind, but a lot of dirt and sand to blow all over the place.
I’m not exaggerating when I say the wind was bad. Reports of gusts up to 58 mph, businesses closing down for the afternoon, the entire west side of the city losing power, and stuff like billboards getting town down.
After we got to the race central and I switched events, I made my way down to the starting line. Each event started about 5 minutes late which was annoying because it was so windy, but whatever.
The blow horn went off, and we started our race. About 1 mile in, I passed a baseball field, and this guy asked me and about 5 other people in our little cluster if we could cheer for his son who was playing. I was pleasantly surprised that all of us actually cheered! Have I mentioned how much I love other runners?
The course itself was by far the most uphill course I’ve run on. It seems to me that we ran up 10 hills, but only ran down 3. Every corner we’d turn, I’d see another hill, and I’d say impolite words. And the wind. At points, I’d be on a decline, and the wind was blowing so hard that I could feel myself actually being pushed back uphill.
Still, I was doing ok. My splits weren’t my best ever, but I ran mile 3 in 7:37, and I was actually feeling pretty good and even started passing some of the people who passed me early on.
I’m not actually sure what happened, and I don’t remember it at all, but at about mile 4.3, I tripped on one of those miniature bottles of alcohol that happened to be laying in the middle of the track, and fell down. I looked up and was so thankful for a nice lady who stopped to help me up. I tried standing on my left foot, and I couldn’t. The nice lady shouted back encouraging words like “Come on! You’ve got this!” to me. Meanwhile I was thinking, I SO don’t got this. I was scraped up and bleeding, and my ankle was so hurt. I tried walking on it for a few steps, but it hurt too bad. Unfortunately, I was kind of in the middle of the course, there were no medical aid stations, and really no way for me to get back to the finish line except to limp my way there.
More impolite language.
Then I remembered the awards ceremony at Rock n’ Roll Arizona, and the lady who came in 3rd for the marathon pulled her groin very early on in the race (she literally couldn’t walk onto stage), and she still ran 20 crazy fast miles in pain. If she could do that, then surely I could run on this ankle for less than 2 miles.
So I started very slow, and then managed to get back to a run. It obviously wasn’t broken, but it didn’t feel good. I was able to get my pace back down and even finished mile 6 at just under 8 minutes.
I ran to the finish (the course ended on an uphill…thanks race peeps) with my wonderful family cheering me on. I came in at 51:38, which is more than 2 minutes slower than my last 10-k time, and almost 15 seconds slower per mile than my last half marathon. I suppose despite the circumstances, I did ok, but I just hated all of the bad stuff that had to happen.
I don’t think anyone had a great race. My poor sister has asthma, and was having a really hard time breathing and everyone came into the finish with face fulls of dirt.
I still managed to finish 14th overall, 4th female overall, and got 1st in my age group! I have a hard time being excited about placing when this was so far from peak performance. I did try as best as I could considering the circumstances, but I still kind of feel like I don’t deserve to celebrate it. One day I hope to place after running a race I feel good about and with a time that I’m proud of. Plus, I’m just grumpy.
My dad got 3rd place in his age group, so we both got medals!
I got home, and immediately iced my ankle. I think it will be ok in a few days. It isn’t broken and I don’t think it is even sprained, mostly just tender, although it does hurt to walk right now. I have a half-marathon planned for April, so I’m hoping I won’t be off it for very long.
And then when I was icing my ankle, the puppy ate his breakfast too fast, and puked it up. Lovely.
AND THEN, Aaron called from LAX to let me know that his flight back home was cancelled due to the wind over here. I’m not sure yet when he’ll get home, but after having him gone for 6 days, and after the day I’m having, I just want him here.
(UPDATE: I picked up a very tired Aaron from the airport at 1:00 a.m. this morning, 12 hours after he was supposed to be home).
Until then, I guess I’ll just have to sit here with my wine and my ice pack.