The Seeker

A Meta-Cognitive Journal About Writing… Plus Other Stuff

Thirty 5Ks… #16 and 17 (Doesn’t everybody think about racing for St. Paddy’s Day?)

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A few weeks ago, I was thinking that it would be no mean feat to run a 5K in Chicago on the day the city designated to observe St. Patrick’s Day.  I expected the relief stations to be stocked with Jameson instead of water, and was prepared to hurdle piles of green puke.  Turns out I was thinking too much of the typical Chicago St. Paddy’s Day celebration when I should instead have been concerned about the weather.  It was below freezing with wind chills in the teens when I showed up in Lincoln Park three Saturday’s ago.  The only good thing going was that the sun was out, and thank St. Paddy himself that I was wearing black tights and a black sweatshirt.  They were two of the three protections I had against the cold, the third being heating myself up by actually running.

It wasn’t pretty.  The wind along the lake pelted everybody for half the race.  I could never normalize my breathing since the wind was pressing against my chest so much.  Thankfully, there was no snow or ice to deal with, and only one homeless person to work around who was entrenched in the tunnel we ran through underneath Lake Shore Drive.  It was around the halfway point when I started to ask myself why the hell I was still trying to run thirty 5Ks.  Hadn’t I given up the quest two and a half months prior after a stellar Christmas Day race?  Hadn’t I decided that outdoor runs were too infrequent and too taxing on my body throughout the winter?  Hadn’t I come to my senses?  Well, no, I hadn’t done any of those things.  I might have thought about them, but being a runner means you’re stubborn.  So there I was, packed beneath a thick sweatshirt and plodding along the shores of Lake Michigan, wondering why I hadn’t slept in and stayed warm and picked the quest back up at some other time when the winds weren’t howling and I wasn’t more concerned with where The Girlfriend and I were going to go to get our St. Paddy’s on.

Races come to an end, though, and that one certainly did.  I finished in decent time, considering I’m still the kid who was the slowest runner on the Angola High School cross country team back in ’86-’87.  The best thing that came from the race was that I finally reached past the halfway point with this absurd idea to match races with the number of years I’ve been running.  The sun rose again two Saturday’s ago, and The Girlfriend and I drove down to Deer Park for another St. Patrick’s Day-themed run.  Similar weather conditions, though not as cold.  There was a lot of wind, and twice as many runners.  I wasn’t hopeful about my results, but I broke the finish line at 26:46, fifth in my age division, and then I dodged broken glass.  Some genius had the idea to give away pint glasses to finishers.  You picked yours up at the finish line, and though you probably wouldn’t have been swilling Jameson as you ran, some post-race symptoms are similar to having done that–the jitters, the unsteadiness on your feet.  The urge to puke.  So people dropped their glasses and they broke.  Others glasses got knocked off tables or blown over.  The race wasn’t billed as being on a challenge course, but it ended up that way.  I was happy to make it home with my pint glass intact, but the second I went to wash it I saw a crack down the side of it.  I introduced it to my recycling bin.

Oh well.  I got in a pair of races at a time much earlier than I usually resume running outdoors, and turned in a pretty good time at one of them.  I feel good about keeping after myself with fitness and staying at least near running condition over the winter.  Now the goal is to knock this quest down to the single digits before summer, and hopefully put it to bed long before August happens.

Written by seeker70

March 28, 2017 at 12:22 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. may our lives follow that path. happy April first and a good spring break and push to the end, jeff. peace, h

    April 1, 2017 at 12:25 pm

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