I’m Shamrock'n It — Are You?

lsBy Erica Root

Last Thanksgiving I ran my first 10K. While the light training I had done in preparation hadn’t endeared me to running, it had succeeded in making me want to pursue something a little more challenging: a half marathon. I briefly mentioned this interest to a few co-workers and before I knew it, we were signed up for the Shamrock’n Half Marathon, taking place here in Sacramento on March 16.

I’ve been running several times a week since that conversation in early January and in less than two weeks, I will find out if all that time and effort has paid off. Running a half-marathon isn’t  an original idea, not even remotely. Ask anyone in Sacramento and there is a high likelihood they or someone they know is training for this same race. In fact, a recent Buzzfeed article about “30 Signs You Are Almost 30” jokes that when you are almost 30 your Facebook feed is littered with baby pictures… and marathon times.

This is definitely true for me. But just because a lot of people are going to be running the Shamrock’n Half Marathon, doesn’t mean it’s not a big deal.

For those of us who aren’t seasoned runners, this is a challenge of a lifetime.

It is as much a mental game as it is a physical one. My biggest fear is that the Map My Run app has been lying to me through my training sessions. How much would it suck if those eleven miles I thought I ran last weekend turned out to be substantially less impressive?

One of the things that surprised me the most throughout this training process is how automatic it is for me to workout. Having a set goal and deadline has eliminated most of my internal ‘should I or should I not work out’ debates. It’s honestly amazing. Choice is no longer a factor. I HAVE to log mileage. I HAVE to go to Zumba or grab those weights to cross train. Not working out is no longer an option. Frankly, I will do anything I can to minimize any potential suffering come race day.

And for me that means training my ass off.

That also means practicing with all of my gear. Sure, I must look ridiculous with my Amphipod belt and iPod arm band. Most of the serious runners I see out there on the road seem to keep the gear to a minimum. Not me. I’m ignoring all aesthetics and focusing on making my runs as easy  and appealing as possible. If that means chewing on a Gatorade energy gummy after mile 4, then so be it. You best believe I savor the opportunity to replenish myself on my higher mileage runs with sips of water and bites of a Power Bar. I might not be the classiest runner out there on the 16th, but at least I’ll be prepared.

For all of you who will be running with me on the 16th, I wish you the best of luck. All we can hope for is that the time, energy, and sore muscles will all be worth it once we cross the finish line at Raley Field.

Guest blogger Erica Root works for a nonprofit  in Sacramento. In her free time she enjoys reading, dancing, traveling and drinking a nice glass of wine.


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