putting the fun back in the run…

2 Mar

This weekend, Eric and I (and Jenn, Steven and my mom) ran the Buffalo Shamrock Run.  It’s a fun little 8K run through the Old First Ward of Buffalo, which is the old Irish neighborhood.  This was our 3rd year running this race, and it’s always been a lot of fun, but this year was the best one yet!

It’s no big secret that I have been struggling to find enjoyment in my running lately.  Something that used to be my saving grace has been for the past few months a chore at best and torture at it’s worst.  I’m chalking it up to weather mostly–it’s been too cold, my asthma has been miserable and I hate running on the snow and ice.  Couple that with a medically-altered foul mood, and it’s been a very bad winter for running.

When we registered, I asked Eric if he’d run the race with me, just for fun.  We’d take pictures, hang out, have some fun.  It’s been a long while (since the 2012 Boilermaker) since we ran a race together.  I don’t know why I had no idea how much fun we were going to have!

The crew pre-race

The crew pre-race

showin some leg...

showin some leg…

For the first time since we’ve started running this race, it was warm enough to go to the start line and wait.  We started pretty far back because we didn’t want to get in the serious runners’ way.  It took us almost 2 full minutes to get to the start, and this is a huge race, so there was a lot of bobbing and weaving throughout the entire race…normally this annoys me, but I was totally fine with it yesterday.  We crossed the timing mats and took off.  I was amazed (like I always am) by how much easier it is to run on roads than on trails.  We hit the first mile marker and I felt like we hadn’t even been running for more than 3 or 4 minutes.



At 1.4 miles in, we come to a bar handing out water…and beer and wine!!!  So we move to the side to “hydrate” (something I NEVER do in a real race–I hate the congestion of a water stop).  As we’re getting there, a guy passing out beer says, “This guy looks like he needs a beer!” and proceeds to hand Eric 2 cups, which he promptly chugs.  Not wanting to be left behind, I take the cup I’m offered, which is a FULL cup.  I drink half of it, dump the other half (while Eric yells at me that he would’ve finished it for me).  My mom has a little beer, too, and we carry on.  I expected my stomach to feel bad, and was surprised when I felt good.  I mean, really good.

So we keep cruising right along, thanking volunteers, talking to spectators, taking video while we go…at about 2.5 miles in, there’s another “beer stop.”  We halt, grab a beer, stand there to drink it, and then carry on.  Now I’m really anticipating feeling lousy, but still nothing.  My legs feel light and I am having the time of my life.  I can’t stop smiling and laughing.  I look at my watch at one point and see 8:50 and tell Eric that we should slow it down a bit…but then realize that I feel super and should just go with it.  At this point, I offhandedly mention that I think I should just start drinking during runs, which makes people around us laugh.

At 3.5-ish miles, there’s yet another “beer stop.”  There is no hesitation on my part this time.  I stop, pose for some pictures with my beer, drink it up, and get moving.  I have my watch set to display pace and distance, so I have no idea how long we’ve been running by this point–it seems like not long, but we’ve stopped 3 times now to drink, so I have no idea what to expect.



Around this point, we somehow lose my mom.  We’ve been bobbing and weaving all race, but she was complaining that she felt a cramp.  I slowed down a bit, turned to look for her, but it was just a crowd of green people…no mom.  I asked Eric if we should stop and wait for her, but we decided since we didn’t know where we’d lost her, we’d just find her again at the finish line.

We rolled on.  We found Jenn and her cute tutu and joined her.  By this point, 4 miles in, I was anticipating feeling tired, which in the past has always happened.  But there’s nothing.  I feel fantastic.  I want to keep running.  Straight to the beer tent…hahaha.

So we ran hard.  HARD hard.  It didn’t feel anything but wonderful.  We crossed the timing mats again and I hit stop on my watch.  44:54!!!  8:53 pace overall!!!!  AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mile 1: 9:23 (guess we could’ve gone out a little harder, huh?  thought i was going to be conservative…)

Mile 2: 8:57

Mile 3: 9:01

Mile 4: 8:41

Mile 5: 8:28

Last year, I ran this race in an 8:33 pace.  I pushed hard, felt awful for most of it, and didn’t start having fun til it was over.  This year, on almost no training, despite drinking throughout, having no “game plan,” I ran well.  Most importantly, I had fun from the minute we got down to the race til the minute we left.  I am ready now for the spring–for getting back into shape and having some fun with the run again.  It’s been a long winter.  The time for a fresh start is coming!

Post-race bar trip!

Post-race bar trip!

post-race bar trip!

post-race bar trip!

post-race bar trip!

post-race bar trip!

the best partner-in-crime (running or otherwise) ever.

the best partner-in-crime (running or otherwise) ever. ❤ this man for the fun he ALWAYS brings to my life!


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