The Leprechaun is going to beat me by a wide margin and it’s both expected and okay.
For those who don’t know, The Leprechaun Race in Reno to benefit the Terry Lee Wells Nevada Discovery Museum features a speedy Leprechaun who starts the race, when it’s live, a little bit after everyone else. Usually, the Leprechaun is a good runner, so even at my best, I wouldn’t be beating her. And that’s okay, because for every person the Leprechaun catches, an extra donation is added to the pot for the Discovery Museum.
Last year I was actually coming into the race in pretty good shape, and was close to hitting my target of running a 5k under 30 minutes. But this was the first race that fell to the pandemic and they canceled it, though I ran my own version anyway. I was hopeful it would be one of the first races we could run live again, but next year, eh. Still, organizers have decided to run the good race and this year it’s going virtual, and the Leprechaun will also be running!
Well, I’ve been preparing for this event for the last three months as best I can but I’m nowhere near where I was last year. I’m now 50 with the back and hips that go with that after too many years of not taking better care of them. I’ve tried to reverse these troubles with some success thanks to stretching and yoga.
Despite this, my times are super slow but it’s not the back or hips to blame. Nope, it’s the stomach, or rather some bad dietary decisions brought on by some anxiety during these times. The good news is that every time I’ve dove into a bag of chips or a bigger bowl of ice cream than I should of — or cried in the dark while eating a peach pie straight out of the pan with fork and, no, don’t ask — I knew why I was eating. It still didn’t help, but at least I understood the cause. But despite the anxiety and tension and depression, and the back and hip aches and pains, I have been able to get out on the street and run.
And I’ve been consistent with my times and even started to bump up the mileage. I’ve even dropped a couple of pounds this last two weeks, so I will be slightly lighter heading into the race this weekend. You can run it Friday, Saturday or Sunday.
And though it’s improbable that I’ll hit 30 minutes, I’ll still be running. I’ll still feel my legs move, breath the clear morning air, hear the sounds of my neighborhood as it wakes up. I’ll see the sun rise, chasing the shadows off Peavine Mountain and, after all this last year has thrown at us as individuals, as a nation and as the human race, I’ll be thankful. I’ll feel pretty lucky to see a day when a Leprechaun gets away from me.