Dawg, I don't know. You went up there, you did your thing, but it was just all right for me. It was kinda weird, dawg; I don't know. I'm not mad atcha, but I'm not jumping out of my chair, either. You know?
Okay, Randy Jackson might not have said those exact words, at least not in that order (and has anyone else noticed that if Randy is forced to give an opinion first and can't just agree with one of the other judges that he's reduced to a lot of stammering, "dawg," and "How do you think you did"?), but the point is that he could have. And I could have said that about my experience at the St. Patrick's Day 5K.
The St. Patrick's Day 5K is not a race I've run before, but I figured, what the heck. For one thing, as I've discussed before, it's only 5 kilometers long. And in perhaps the most kick-ass job benefit of all time, New Workplace has a program in which they sponsor 50% of all of my race fees. Yes, seriously: I run a race, they pay for half of it. Yes, it is awesome. I know. Yeah, I know: awesome.
Anyway, I arrived in plenty of time for the 9:00 AM start... only to find out that the giant 9:00 AM on the entry fee and on the website referred to the children's races, and that my race did not start until 10:00. That kind of sucked, because I could have either slept for another hour or done some work around the house. But whatever; I hung out with my running buddies and watched the kids run.
When it was time to line up at the start, I discovered some weirdness about the course. It was an out-and-back... kind of. We had to walk about 200 meters away from the finish line to start the race. We then ran to a turn-around, and about 100 meters away from that turn-around was the actual half-way point of the race. It wasn't a huge deal, but it was a tad disconcerting. The course had some rolling hills, which made it more challenging. I followed my usual technique of running up the hills saying to myself, "I am really strong on hills, and I tend to catch up with a lot of people on them," which I swear to Yoda makes it true.
Also annoying was the fact that after the finish line, you had to walk about a quarter of a mile (up a really steep hill, by the way) before you could get to the water and post-race food. True, I hadn't exhausted myself to the point where I couldn't go that far, but it seems not only inconvenient but potentially hazardous for a beginner who might really need a water and a banana quickly after the race.
And you guys, the t-shirt was LAME. It's a long-sleeved white cotton tee with a little shamrock on the front where a pocket would be. On the back is nothing but sponsor logos in black. Bo-ring.
The positive? I freaking rocked this one out, you guys. I finished in 23:44. At first I thought that was exactly my previous PR, down to the second... but then I looked more closely and saw that I shaved a full minute off of that time. It was good enough for third place in my age group. I need to investigate how I can pick up my trophy, because I believe that it is actually a beer mug. Kind of makes up for the lameness of the t-shirt.