I have not run much at all this winter so I was super worried I had lost my conditioning and thought for sure I would be back at square 1, but instead I have great news! Sound the trumpets! I’ve got a new 5k PR, 28:39, earned at the Irish Jig Jog this past Saturday! This race was definitely the confidence booster that I needed to get back into the swing of things after this horrible winter took my mojo. The Friday before the race I stopped at Performance Running Outfitters for packet pick up and was chatting with the store manager, Anne. I told her how out of shape I felt and just felt sort of unprepared for the whole thing. I said the Jig Jog is either going to be surprisingly good or dramatically awful. Boy, was I right, surprisingly good it was! As far as the race itself, the Irish Jig Jog was an inaugural race and it was well prepared and organized. I have zero complaints and trust me I am Miss Picky when it comes to running. The field was pretty small, only 521 runners/walkers, and the age groups were pretty large (mine was 30-39). It was A LOT colder than I had planned for and there was a little bit of ice still out on the course, but there is not much a race organizer can do about that. There was an initial bottle neck at the beginning of the race but that isn’t unusual for races that start on bike paths that are on the narrow side. If it hadn’t been so frosty with remnants of snow, runners could easily take to the grass but the little heaps of snow left on the grass caused a bit of a problem. Some runners were running through/over them but I am not willing to injure my foot/ankle for a 5k PR. All in all it was a nice St. Patrick’s Day race and BONUS it benefitted MS Run the US.
When I get ready for a race I have all of these rituals. I pick up my packet early, I lay out my clothes (in the order I will put them on), overpack my bag, set my alarm, set up my playlist on my ipod and charge my Garmin watch. Ok, so that list is pretty standard, then I go over a million times in my head the last possible minute I can sleep until and still have time to shower, take care of Sasha, stop for coffee and get to the race with plenty of time to park and warm up. I also like to foam roll and stretch the night before and paint my nails and give myself a facial. All of this race prep takes my mind off of being nervous because if I am nervous I can’t sleep and I HATE not sleeping. Well, for the Jig Jog my rituals went to the wayside and my morning ran anything but smoothly. I forgot to set my alarm but I work up, thankfully, without it. I spilled Sasha’s medicine all over the counter, me, and the floor. The cats were out of food. All of my rituals were done really half assed. This was a good thing, it taught me that I can still have a great race even though everything else goes wrong. Gotta roll with the punches.
Sunday, I ran down to Crossfit 312 in Chicago’s West Loop for the Nom Nom Paleo book signing. Since the Kenosha Metra runs a limited schedule on the weekends I drove down to Waukegan and hopped on from there. I did almost miss the train because of the stupid road construction, as the Waukegan exit doesn’t look like an exit at all. So I ended up taking the tollway and lost nearly $3 on that first toll only to exit almost right away. I contemplated driving all the way in but didn’t want to hassle with parking and pedestrians. Plus, the last time I drove to Chicago I got pulled over by a very arrogant, rude cop. Anyway, I made it to the signing in time, got my book and got it signed. I admit, I was super nervous when I met Michelle and was pretty shy, after all I have only met a couple of celebrities and most have been athletes. Athletes for whatever reason don’t really leave me star struck, maybe because I have had more close encounters with them?
As much as I love to read, I cannot believe this was my first ever book signing. When I met Michelle, I told her I was the nut who came all the way down from Milwaukee to get the book and meet her and she gave me this:
After all of the excitement of meeting a celebrity my good friend picked me up and we headed for a quick lunch at Grand Lux Café. He forced me to eat beignets. FORCED ME! Ok, maybe not forced me but he was definitely my enabler. They were well worth it, so, so good. I need to get down to Chicago more often now that I live out in the sticks I miss the hustle and bustle of city life, especially in the summer. I grew up a Milwaukee girl through and through. Growing up my backyard was all concrete and you will have to pry my 414 area code from my cold dead hands. Living out in the sticks is weird for me, don’t get me wrong it’s nice but sometimes a city girl like me longs for noise and pollution.
Next weekend I am going down to the Third Ward to Splash Studio with my in laws, all the ladies, no boys allowed! I am very unskilled when it comes to drawing and painting but last time I was there for girls night out it was a blast, plus the studio has an old Nintendo and I can score some original Mario Brothers time. It is crazy how your hands never forget the controls, it is almost like riding a bike.
The next race on deck for me is Sweet Home Milwaukee on April 27. I am assuming the course will be very similar to the Irish Jig Jog and I plan on training for this one so I can get my next PR!
Have a great week!