Tricky Nikki and I went to Indianapolis for the Shamrock Run and walk.
And I took away some valuable lessons from the day.
1. I am not a runner. You may recall last summer that I had delusions of grandure that I could be a runner. (This links to one of my favorite videos to date, by the way…oh, panda bears) However, I was horribly mistaken. Running for most people is at least easy. Or tolerable. Not for me. Tricky Nikki and I (under the encouragement of our friends Katie and Nik’s sister Tracy- she used to be known as Skinny Witch, but henceforth is only to be referred to as Racy Tracy. It’s a double entendra and suits her well in both aspects. You shall see why as a minute.) were highly “motivated” to take our best attempt at starting off strong and jogging.
2. Competitive events are a lot like shopping the day after thanksgiving. Sure, nobody gets trampled. It’s a civilized event, after all, racing. But you find yourself running for no particular reason at all. Because we people are a lot like lemmings that way.
3. Much like shopping with a high interest credit card, running causes an aftermath of misery. Oh, you don’t feel the pain right away. You feel a sense of accomplishment. Then, when you have to pay for your actions, you feel how high the cost really is.
We got to Indy the night before, slept at Racy Tracy’s house, and woke up early. Fun fact about Illinois and Indiana- they are subject to that confounded time change. Indy is an hour earlier than Illinois. So when it said that registration for the race began at 8am, that was 7am for us Illini folk. That meant the event itself started at 8. And have mercy, I do not do well with mornings. Not without a POT of coffee.
But I did my best. I wore makeup and Dolly hair, looked uber cute, and even had my Ireland ball cap- deeming that I looked sufficiently “sporty spice” enough for the event. See?
In all honesty, I had no idea what was about to take place. I did not fathom the only thing that proved to others I belonged there were my Asics gel shoes. It had nothing to do with my walmart jogging suit. Or my ponytail of fake hair. Or my special wintergrade moisture wicking shirt to keep me warm.
So we get to the event (which took place in Indy’s “circle”) and signed up for the event. We got our numbers. I got 1801. Nik got 1783. Katie got 648. And Racy Tracy?
She got 69.
And that made her a star. Because everyone giggles when they see the number 69, morals or not. It was like winning the Racing Lottery.So that sent us into fits of laughter right out of the gate.
Then there was the problem of my own moisture wicking. See, you all know I am famous for wetting my pants. So I wore a big honking pad. There would be no accidents today. Problem was that the pants I was wearing were continually shoving said pad into my crack. So making a pre-race trip to the bathroom, I tried to rearrange the pad a little further back. Then forward. Basically, I ensured that the sticky part of the pad would no longer stick to my unders.
After a picture with a few wandering leprechauns, and one final stop at the portapotty, it was time to begin.
THREE! TWO! ONE! GOOOOOOO!
The race began and people took off like lightening. Everyone was all excited and the energy was in the misty morning air. Racy Tracy and Katie shot out. They have been training for a mini marathon, and they feel about running the way I feel about French Fries. We couldn’t see them anymore. And Tricky Nikki and I decided we would jog as long as we could, then walk quickly the rest of the way.
Our goal was simple. WE WILL NOT BE LAST.
And we jogged. Not fast, but we jogged our little hearts out. And after what felt like we had been jogging for an eternity, Nik and I began discussing that she might need her inhaler and I was going to keel over if we didn’t stop. So we did.
We made it 2 blocks. (In our defense, the blocks in Indy are very very very long. At least that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.)
So by the time we quit jogging, I was totally out of breath, and my shins were more than warmed up. Cause remember- I am not a runner.
One thing I have learned about walking outside in the elements- you layer your clothing. It’s important to do, because it’s easier to strip off layers like an onion.
So off went layer one. Green jacket. I also had to go around a parked car to spit out my gum, which is code for yank my pad from the deep recesses of my crack. Remember, this is a civilized event. I still had make up and Dolly hair and pride.
We walked and walked, and finally saw a sign. 1 mile. We were officially 1/4th of the way done.
The second mile, we walked and talked. People were passing us like crazy, and Tricky Nikki felt the urge to powerwalk a little faster, as we did not want to be last. And my moisture wicking shirt was getting pretty warm. But we muscled through.
We finally made it to where Katie and Racy Tracy had made it around the loop and passed us on the opposite side. Much yelling ensued , and many references to “Hey 69” were made. And we made it to the half way point. Where kids were standing with cups of water for us. But you could tell by looking at the kid’s faces they were thinking “you are walking and probably don’t need water.” So our cups were only half full. Cheapskates.
After yanking my pad out again, we began the 3rd mile. And we were starting to feel the push. I believe for those that run half marathons, this is what they experience in the 8th mile. Not being a runner myself, I was happy to experience it during the last half of the race. Which was beginning to get serious. People were playing musical chairs, passing each other, falling behind, and it was a lot like driving on the interstate. And I felt like the big RV that was going 30 in a 65.
I realized that I could not remove my moisture wicking top, because the exercise support shirt underneath it showed my bra. Really badly. So I pulled the front part of my shirt over the back of my neck, so my chest could get some air and still hide the straps of my bra. It looked ridiculious. But I didn’t care. And we made it to the last mile.
By this point, I was dying. For the record, we walk about this far at the mall. However, it’s on a flat surface, we don’t do the first lap running, and it is at night when I am energized. All the odds were stacked against me. Including the lower moisture wicking issue. By this point, I don’t mind giving you a visual as to how it must have looked under my walmart pants.
Nice, huh? There was no digging it out any longer. Now my goal was to keep it from falling out of the leg of my pants. Water/sweat/pee dribbles plus adhesive do not a sticky pad make. Oh no, it makes one that is hanging on for dear life, much like I was.
Enter “Beer and Feathers.” There was a woman who was wearing a hat that looked like a beer mug and a green feather boa. And she was rocking this walk. So Tricky Nikki and I determined we simply needed to keep up with beer and feathers. And that’s what we did. We would speed up a little to stay right behind beer and feathers. Mostly. I repeated it a lot, because it was fun to say. We kept her in our sights till the last 10th of a mile.
Finally we got to the last tiny part of the race, almost crossing the finish line, and Racy Tracy was already there and done. She came up beside us and said “C’mon girls, finish strong!”
So we jogged around the last bit of the circle and the race ended. And we jumped around and cheered. And my pad fell out of my unders and stuck to my shin. I reached down to tie my shoe, grabbed the pad, wadded it up and shoved it in my pocket. Sigh. I am a mess.
When we got home, the rest of the evening, I was totally wrecked. My shins kept cramping, my toes were curling, and I came very close to exceeding the legal limit of advil. But I finished the race.
And all I got was this lousy t-shirt.