The three days following my completion of the Pikes Peak Marathon were some of the most physically painful days I can remember. On Monday, it took me fifteen minutes to walk the two blocks between my parking spot and my office at Ruffato Hall. Even the slightest bit of decline from the sidewalk to cross the asphalt street induced ‘ouch’ noises under my breath.

During the day at work, I got up from my chair by leaning forward, then pushing off of the chair with my arms to best capitalize on the momentum to a standing position. I estimate it took me an extra minute to walk just around the corner to the bathroom, about a mere hundred meters away. That might not sound like much; but when you drink as much water as I do, it’s pretty significant.

For those few days, I held my breath every time I had to do anything that meant either getting to a standing position or standing itself; and my entire body sighed with relief once I sat down again.

I had planned to take a couple of days after the race off; but with as bad as I was hurting, I wondered whether or not I’d be able to walk without pain – let alone run – come Snug run Thursday. Late Thursday morning, though, I could walk both up and down stairs with no pain whatsoever. I’ll just run the course super slow. I don’t care what my pace is tonight.

You know what? I did only run the regular course – and no extra laps – once, but not because I couldn’t have run an extra lap or two. It was raining pretty steady most of the run, and I didn’t want to be too drenched. Had it not been, though, I may have gone a little further.

You know what else? I ran much faster than I expected I would, and even faster than my last handful of easy training runs. I was BACK, baby!

Plus, it didn’t hurt that running a faster pace = getting back to the bar sooner = admiring the gorgeous copper color of a cold brew in my hand.

There was only one way to celebrate our first Snug runs since Pikes Peak. If you’ve been reading the past few months or know me even a teensy bit, I’m sure you can guess what such a celebration might entail. If you haven’t been reading or don’t know me at all, I’ll tell you.

A proper post-Pikes Peak celebration in my book includes three things: (1) Irish car bombs at (2) my favorite Irish pub and one of my favorite spots in all of Denver – the Irish Snug – and, of course, (3) the newest additions to our technical race tee collections:

Bottoms up!

Bottoms up! Guess who finished first. . .

There’s no better way to toast!

I’m guessing this won’t be the last of our post-race celebrations. . .

Melissa Mincic, Ph.D., a long-time road and trail runner, conducts applied child development research and works to influence child development policy at the University of Denver. Follow Melissa on Twitter at @nerdinrunshoes.

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