Or as I like to call it: finish a race without having to use the port-a-potty.
Tomorrow is St Patrick’s Day, and here in the Twin Cities there is no shortage of places to go that manage to incorporate beer into whatever activity is happening. And race day is no different! Saturday at 9am, I will be lining up at 2nd St and Portland Ave in Minneapolis to start the 7k Get Lucky race, my second one in the Monster Series I signed up for with Team Ortho. As I am still working on increasing my mileage for the half in June, I thought it would be a better choice to run the manageable 7k as opposed to the Triple 7, and the course should be pretty great tomorrow: the temp is supposed to be 62 degrees at 9am! It’s going to be kind of amazing to run in a t-shirt and capris as opposed to the base layer, cotton layer, and fleece I was wearing for the polar Dash. I may even celebrate by wearing a festive silly hat, but we’ll see about that one :)
Remember my excitement over the medals? Well, tomorrow around 9:50 a cute little shamrock number will be coming home with me – my son will be so happy, it’s been driving him nuts that there is only one in the case and it’s all lopsided and sitting funny because it doesn’t have anything to lean on. Lopsided no longer!
Along with my new green accessory, I will get the real prize of the day: a free beer pass at Kieran’s Irish Pub. Yes, it will be 10 am. Yes, I will be sweaty and in need of a shower. But there will be beer, by god, there will be beer!
Race day is always kind of wonky for me (I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in this, but since I don’t have a symbiotic brain meld with any other runners, my race day is all I know about). My husband works nights, which leaves me a little puzzle to figure out each time a race morning comes around: what am I supposed to do with these kids? My kids, I mean, not the kids of the world (although that is a good question, too. Maybe a bit too much to be solved today, but I’ll let you know what I come up with). Luckily, my parents have been really helpful the last few races by letting the boys stay over the night before to avoid an ungodly early morning race day free-for-all. As they are 7 and 4, they are vastly more interested in watching an episode of Spongebob than standing in a crowd of people waiting for their mom to come panting down the road towards the finish line. I have a feeling that when they first heard that they would get to see me cross a finish line, there were certain expectations of what that would mean formed in their imaginations. Probably confetti, a close race where I magically finish #1 – possibly ending in a very large trophy coming home with us, and, most of all, an actual finish line that someone would break through. Okay, I may be projecting my own dreams of race day onto them a little bit. But I can tell you that the reality of race day for a kid is not nearly as fun as it sounds, and for that reason they are happy to know that this time they get to have an easy, late breakfast with grandma and grandpa and they aren’t required to make an appearance.
All of this is to say I will be kid-free for the Get Lucky, and this ensures that I will be enjoying my complimentary beer. At 10 am.
Juggling momhood and running can be a bit tricky, but it has paid off in one unexpected way: my minivan is hella helpful when 7 people need to be hauled to a race with limited parking options. This may be the only time since my uneasy purchase of the van – my self-image took a bit of a beating that day – that I’ve been proud to offer it up. Hey! We can all meet and ride together! I have a VAN. Tomorrow the van will be parked across the street from the pub, waiting to take us all home after the race has been run, the medals have been received, and the beer has been drunk.
I may do everyone a favor and bring a change of clothes for the post-race (got to love those bag check areas!). Tonight I will be home alone with my pre-race thoughts, no kids, no husband. I may go out for a couple mile walk just to escape the thought-swirl.
Do I have my bib? Should I wear my hydration belt? No, not for 4.5 miles. But it has bib hooks! And a place for my phone! Maybe I could somehow take off the water canister so I don’t look like an over-prepared nutjob and then I could still use the belt. I can’t forget to bring my ID or there will be no free beer for me. I’m going to need that pocket for my ID! I should probably shave my legs tonight. Do I have my bib?…
Yeah, I think a walk would be a good plan. Tomorrow I’ll just get up at the crack of dawn, have a little brekkie, and deal with any nitpicky stuff that pops up. My plan for the race is to enjoy the weather, enjoy the people, and not let the pace of others freak me out. If I finish under my normal pace, that’s great, and if I don’t…well, I get the beer either way. My pace at my very first 5k was 13:30 a mile. My average now is around 10:50 a mile. So it really doesn’t matter what tomorrow brings, pace-wise. I know that I’m improving, so I’m ready for a fun day tomorrow in beautiful Minneapolis!