Shamrock Run (4M)
March 16, 2013
Time: 34:07 Pace: 8:31
Age Group: F25-29, 30/274
I didn’t celebrate St. Patrick’s Day this year in traditional style. No green beer. No green attire. No tent party. No bar hopping. Instead, I ran the four mile Shamrock run, took, a nap, and went to hot yoga. That may sound lame to some, but for me it was bliss.
After my lackluster performance during The Polar Bear run three weeks prior, I wanted to redeem myself. I was determined to run this race as a tempo run, faster than my mini marathon race pace. I’ve done it before during training runs on the treadmill, but it was time to prove myself during a race outside. My goal was to run at an 8:30 pace, maybe 8:15 if I was feeling good.
Earlier that week, I decided it was time for new running shoes. My current Nike Pegasus were over a year old, and I was starting to get shin splints. With the help of my husband and Runners World shoe guide, I had it narrowed down to two different running shoes: New Balance 890 v3 and the Nike Flyknit Lunar 1+. They both had great reviews making it a difficult decision. Bryan, being the amazing husband that he is, gave me his Dick’s Sporting Goods gift card that he won during The Polar Bear Run for placing in his age group. When looking online, Dick’s did not have the New Balance shoes that I liked, but they did have the Flyknit Lunar. The following day I went to Dick’s on my lunch break to check them out. I was instantly in love. The inside had so much cushion, it felt like I was bouncing in moon shoes. Maybe that’s how they got the name Lunar? I took a mini lap in the store and I knew these were the shoes. I opted for the gray, white, and black, a great neutral for my neon running racerbacks.
Naturally, I was anxious to go for a run in my new shoes, but I decided to wait until the Shamrock Run to break them in. As I was getting ready for the run that morning, I felt good. I had a great 7 mile run outdoors the previous week, and it was 40 degrees outside. Wooohooo……above freezing! I met Bryan on the circle downtown before the run. Instead of going for an age group win, he was going to run with me! I was so excited. The only run we have ran together, as in next to each other, was The Color Run last summer and that wasn’t timed. He was going to serve as my pacer to push me to quicken my pace. He knew I could do it.
The course was very similar to The Polar Bear Run. We started downtown at the circle and ran to Fountain Square and then ran back to the circle for the finish. My first split was 8:13, Bryan wanted to see what speed I could hang at. I felt good that first mile. Hey, I think I can handle this for four miles, maybe. It was probably a little too quick for me since my second split dropped to 8:47. I was starting to get a little warm. I wore a racerback tank, a long sleeved running shirt AND my north face pull over. It was definitely overkill, but I like being warm. I picked it up a little for split 3 at 8:42. Ok, Melissa one more mile, move those legs a little faster. Bryan started to run a little ahead of me to get me to pick up my pace. The wind also started to pick up and we were running into the wind. For my last split, I finished with an 8:27 and an average pace of 8:31. Right at my goal! I was ecstatic for about five minutes, until the competitor in me wished I had ran all four miles at 8:13 like my first. Oh well, maybe next time. At least I was over a minute faster in my pace versus The Polar Bear Run.
On a side note, I love my new Flyknits! They were lightweight and comfortable on my feet. My shins didn’t hurt at all and I felt like I was flying! I was confident I made the right choice for my new running shoes and was already looking forward to my next run. There is only one detail about them that bothers me….the laces. The laces are made of ribbon instead of traditional shoelace material. The ribbon is supposed to decrease the weight of the shoe. On my left food the laces feel okay, but my right foot is a tad smaller than my left, so I feel like I can’t lace the shoe tight enough without retying it two or three times. Depending on how much it bothers me in the future, I may end up replacing the laces with something I can tie tighter. I like my shoes to fit snug. Therefore, I grade the Flyknits with an A, not an A+ due to the ribbon laces. Maybe they’ll grow on me.
After the run, Bryan had to work a pub crawl downtown. Instead of partaking in the event, I walked back to my car passing people in all green hitting up the bars early. It started to get cloudy and the wind was blowing stronger. I was glad to be headed home. Once home, I put on a movie, snuggled up in our oversized couch chair in the bay window with Carson and took a nap. Something I haven’t done since graduating optometry school….nap (one of my favorite things to do). I woke up from my two hour nap with a Shewman burger from Scotty’s Brewhouse waiting for me to dive in. Time to relax again. A few hours later, I went to hot yoga. I was craving the heat. This has been the longest winter ever, and I desperately needed to feel warmth on my skin. It was perfect. Heat. Soothing music. Dark room. My mat. Myself and a handful of other yogis “celebrating” St. Patty’s Day. Feeling revived after hot yoga, I went to my favorite grocery store, Fresh Market, to load up on fruits and veggies. I could spend hours there looking at all the produce and organic products, but I limited myself to 45 minutes.
After Fresh Market, I went home and relaxed…again. What a difference a year makes. Last year I spent St. Patty’s day-drinking at a tent party, getting so drunk that I passed out in the limo on the way home. How did we end up in a limo….weird. Although it was a blast, I did not enjoy the hangover the next day. This year I woke up hangover free and I couldn’t have felt more rejuvenated from my run, nap, and hot yoga the day before. Maybe this will be my new St. Patty’s day tradition. Exchanging the pub crawl with a run, the tent party with a yoga studio, and alcohol with fresh fruits and veggies. But I’ll keep up with the spirit of St. Patty’s with my green headband.