Sunday, March 20, 2011

Race Report - Leprechaun Run

Baby run, cut a path across the blue skies
Straight in a straight line
You can’t get here fast enough
-George Strait, "Run"

From time-to-time, I'll find myself perched at my computer, unable to refrain from purchasing 99 cent country songs.  Sometimes while running, I'll repeatedly play these songs in my head.  And on a particularly spring-like day in March, I did just that. 

Perhaps being born and raised in America's "Heartland" taught me more than just how to navigate unmarked/unpaved roads in the middle of nowhere; it taught me how to cure my boredom with simple tasks.  Like memorizing lyrics to songs.  Only to randomly remember them some 15 years later.

So on a brisk, spring-like Saturday morning in March, I jogged to the start of the Philadelphia Leprechaun Run.  A five-mile race is not a popular distance, but I was eager to see how fast I could run, considering my training has consisted of zero speed work and an average of 20 miles per week.  I clocked the first mile in seven minutes flat, and it didn't feel that fast.  But I always go out entirely too fast in races.  So I focused on remaining consistent.

At the half-way turn-around I silently counted as the leading women passed me on the opposite side of the road.  I was number fifteen.  HOLY SHIT!  At this point, I knew I could break into the top ten. 

Although anxious, I continued to hold my pace.  Instead of focusing on the negative (thoughts like: my entire body hurts or why does that guy next to me keep blowing snot rockets? Ew.), I thought of something calm.  Something I could focus on for the remaining 2.5 miles of agony.  And that something was George Strait. 

Well, that's not entirely accurate.  Strait's song, "Run," for some reason or another, crept into my head.  And I passed one runner.  Then another.  Until, after a 7 minute and 14 second last mile, I crossed the finish line with a personal record of 36:52 and the twelfth woman overall.

As any competitive runner, I've had time to reflect on the race - what I need to improve/what I did well - and although self-satisfaction is sometimes hard accept, I do believe my days of navigating country roads somehow led me to the roads I face today.  Some are bumpy and some are smooth, but instead of running from them, I'm running with them, occasionally taking a beating now and then.  But every once in awhile, coming out on top, cutting my own clear path in the process.


  1. Congrats on the race! Running can be a struggle and I am so glad you were able to manage it.

  2. Way to go, girl! There's nothing like a little George Strait to get you through a tough time. I come from the South, and like the heartland, we love us some country.