Monday, March 30, 2009

Snow Shuffle

We've already welcomed the start of spring 2009 but that didn't keep the snow from falling across the Midwest Sunday morning. And snow it did...the sky spilled the white stuff as fast and as hard as some of the major storms that ripped through in January.

Talk about bad timing. It was also the morning of the 30th running of the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle in the Windy City. And the first race of my season (if we can call it that since it was also the only race I signed up for) which also marked the first time I'd be running since December's California International Marathon. What a greeting! The cold was bad, but the snow made it even more difficult to convince myself that it was time to end my running hiatus. I checked the race website, hoping, praying that I might find the race status updated from yellow to red, maybe even black (note: this is a system the race organizers put into effect after the hot 2007 marathon) so that I'd have more of an excuse to skip the run and spin at the gym. I'd totally take a race rescheduling--like Jenn at Fit Bottomed Girls whose half marathon was postponed until next weekend due to weather--but of course that's a pipe dream in Chicago.

Yes, I was one of the majority--32,500 entered the race, only 13,741 finished--who opted to skip the shuffle. I missed Deena Kastor running to victory on the women's side and Emanuel Korir for the men. I didn't get to recount my race morning like Roman Modrowski of the Chicago Sun Times did on his blog. Nor could I post Facebook status updates such as: "Just finished the shamrock shuffle...in the snow! Love the Chicago weather!!" I don't have any snowy pictures of the race, just what I took from my balcony as I justified staying indoors that morning. And the only Facebook updates I reveled at were those who had my mindset and stayed home; I laughed when my friend posted this one: "Race season was supposed to start this morning...something about 5 miles with 3 inches of snow already on the ground and more on the way doesn't seem right."

I hand it to anyone who braved Chicago's streets for five miles yesterday--it was slushy, snowy and all-around chilly. What do those runners have that I seem to be lacking right now? Is it motivation? Is it knowing that you paid $40 for the race so you better get your money's worth (that thought did cross my mind but I STILL decided to pass) and run? Is it the bragging rights that go along with running through undesirable conditions?

If you were planning on running yesterday, did you make it to the start line? What crossed your mind that morning and either helped or hurt your decision? Let us know in the below poll or by commenting. Meanwhile, I'll be selecting another race to start my season. It's almost too appropriate that my photos managed to disappear and not make it onto my memory card so here's a picture grabbed from Metromix by Chuck Berman. Posted by Kate

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