This past Sunday I ran the Shamrock n Roll 5K in Newark Delaware. It was sort of a last minute decision— registration closed the Thursday before, I glanced at the weather for Saturday and it was forecasting 60 degrees. Woohoo! Sounds good to me.

Turns out I’m an idiot and can’t read a calendar.

The race was SUNDAY and the high that day 40 degrees. Insert sad trombone. (Plus if it had been Saturday I’d have been perhaps “lucky” enough to see the infamous display of dumpster love that took place. Ahh, UD, keeping it classy.)

Two days before— Friday— I went to my Rivfit class at CrossFit Riverfront. I don’t have a photo of that workout, even though I had my phone right next to me recording my heart rate info. That’s how you know how freaking wiped I was by the time I was finished.

Here’s the heart rate data (pulled from my iPhone app, synced to an Armour 39 device I was sent by Under Armour). This is a pretty typical result for me, which means either I’m working hard or I’m about to have a heart attack.


armour 39


Anyway, the workout. First we had to do a tabata of pushups: 20 seconds work, 10 seconds rest, 8 times. Then it was 15 minutes worth of progressive rounds of jump squats (squat, then jump up) and slam ball deadlifts (start with ball on ground, squat, stand lifting ball up to standing chest height, then back down to ground and repeat).

If I’d taken a picture of the board it would look something like this:


squat jump deadlift wod

I think. I might be off with the 15 as the starting number. This is why I usually take a picture of the board.

Jump squats are killer. You look at 20 jump squats and only 15 minutes and think it’s not going to be so bad. Then about 7 minutes in, realizing you’re only halfway through, you want to lie down and be taken home on a stretcher. Add in the deadlifts and I basically did 300+ squats in 15 minutes, most of them weighted.

On Saturday my legs had turned into two tons of petrified wood. They only hurt if you touched my quads. If you touched my quads I involuntarily screamed bloody murder.

On Sunday it wasn’t as bad, stiff mostly, but getting out of bed was work. Putting on clothes was work.

But there are a limited number of days in the year when it’s socially acceptable to wear shamrock socks, dangit, and I wasn’t about to miss out.

Jeff drove me to the starting line and I decided against any mile/time tracking. I was just going to run easy, make the best of it. I thought a time of 35 minutes would be acceptable given my complete and utter lack of training.

The course was pretty flat and wound through a residential area, an out and back. I felt more comfortable going at a pretty quick pace then plodding along and passed a number of people in green shirts and leprechaun costumes. I kept that up for about a mile and a half, then hit a hill. Decided to walk the hill, take it easy for a bit as my ankles were starting to complain, then run the last bit in hard to finish strong.

My quads didn’t feel bad at all. Maybe it was the below freezing temps.

At mile 2 my right foot started to go numb.

At mile 2.5ish my left toes started to go numb too. The right was almost completely numb by this point.

And… that was that. Afraid of landing wrong on unfeeling feet and hurting myself, I walked the rest of the course. 5K in a frustrating as hell 37:49.

Putting that in perspective, the fastest women’s time was a little over 20 minutes; my fastest 5K time ever was 31:28. Given that I walked the last mile, that time isn’t awful; I’m pretty sure I’d have made 35 minutes if I’d kept running at least a little of it.

The point is I DIDN’T and I’m not sure what happened and if it’s fixable for next time. Possible culprits, according to Dr Google:

  • Sheer impact. The fact that I haven’t run at all since last September, other than short sprints on a cushioned gym floor, means my feets just aren’t used to stress of pounding pavenment.
  • Shoes. I’ve run in these shoes many times before without issue, but I’ve switched to more minimal types since then. Could be the heavier weight, maybe they’re ready to be retired, maybe they were laced too tight and when my feet started swelling circulation was cut off.
  • Some sort of nerve problem. This is worst case scenario. Repeated impact is hitting and damaging a nerve in my foot.
  • Tightness/contraction of other leg muscles. Um, this would certainly make sense.


By a happy miracle, my friend Penny found me at the finish line as I was massaging feeling back into my poor feets. I walked to the hosting bar with her and her friend and claimed my celebratory Michelob Ultra Light.


shamrock n roll de

Pics, no matter how unflattering, or it didn’t happen


Many days and many hours of foam rolling later, I’m feeling fully recovered from the experience but ohmigod. In retrospect it was such a bad idea gift wrapped in a comedy of errors.


Want to totally jack up your body
AND have a humbling race experience?

Here’s how NOT to run your first 5K of the year:


  • Who needs training? Forget Couch to 5K, I’m going from bed to starting line.
  • Breakfast? Hydration? Pshaw. I can hydrate when I’m dead.
  • Warm up? Nah, I’ll have hubby drop me off at the starting line and then fiddle with my playlist instead of getting some blood flowing in my legs.
  • HAH! Oh yeah, my legs. They’re totally trashed. I’m walking like a toy soldier, but sure, I’m totally cool to run. Nothing better than a 5K with no training on wasted legs after inadequate recovery time.
  • Start out fast! As fast as you can go! No need to pace yourself. You’ll totally have something left in the tank in spite of your lack of fuel, training and motivation.


Right. So to recap, I am dumb, and I’ll be starting over with Couch to 5K like a good girl.

But I did it, and 37:49 is an easy enough time to improve on, and starting is the hardest part, right? Nowhere to go but up!


shamrock n roll 5k newark de

CrossFit hoodie (with thumbholes!) sent to me by Reebok,
YMX by Yellowman dragon shorts (doesn’t look like they carry them anymore, sorry, find yer own booty shorts),
Pro Compression Shamrock socks, Wave Riders sent to me by Mizuno 2 years ago. 16s I think? 


Jeff via text: “Why are you the only one wearing booty shorts?” Answer: I hate hate hate being aware of my shorts or the feeling of sweat running down my leg under capris or leggings. It’s got to be Siberia outside for me to run in anything but short shorts.


Tell me about your running so far this year…
or your feelings about short shorts…

or about something that, in retrospect,
was not your smartest hour.


Ever experience tingling/numbness on a run?



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