For a five-year span during my late elementary/junior high years, we lived in Columbia, Missouri, where my dad was over marketing for a local hospital. (I think. After all these years my siblings and I still don’t know what my dad did back then, except compose a lot of poetry on the job.) But when he wasn’t composing poetry, he was organizing the annual St. Patrick’s Day 5K.
This was a big deal in our house. Dad designed the race t-shirt and unveiled it every year over dinner. We oohed and aahed over the design. The year he made the shirt long sleeved, with a purple-tinged shamrock, I thought there couldn’t be anything more lovely.
I kept a copious journal back then, and every year, about a week before the race, I would start to record my detailed training plan, which usually included no sweets, a salad, and a couple jogs around the blog. We are a family of relentless procrastinators. I think my brothers trained the day before the race. But no matter. Race day was always a fantastic. One year I threw up my glass of orange juice at the finish line. Another year, when the weather was absolutely horrid, I got second place in my division, and was beat out by a girl who would go on to skunk me in every junior high track meet.
Yes, racing on St. Patrick’s Day is in my blood.
So it’s only fitting, given my familial history, that I would come into the Get Lucky 21K a little rusty. After a month off due to foot pain and wisdom teeth surgery, my training hasn’t been the best. Then I had the audacity to go out the day before the race and buy new shoes, which I broke in on the race course.
Still, there’s something about racing in a sparkly green crown with a whole sea of runners dressed as shamrocks, on a March day that is eighty-two degrees, that just makes you want to smile, even if you don’t best your personal record.
Especially when you have an entire clan of little green leprechauns to greet you at the finish.
And fantastic running pals. Diann keeps us on pace and fueled. Sheila (who is 100 percent Irish Catholic) is running Boston in just a few weeks. Go Sheila!
And in keeping with my feathers theme from the previous post, a bald eagle soared over our heads at mile 9 1/2, waved his little wing at me, and said, “Go Tiffany go! And don’t throw up at the finish line.”
I did as told. With a little borrowed luck from the Irish.
May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind ever be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
And the rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again.
May God hold you,
Ever in the palm of his hand.
–An Old Irish Blessing