Expo – Skipped. Mike was kind enough to trek to Navy Pier for me! Instead I was
napping digesting a sandwich that looked like this:
Pre-Race – We are in upgrade season at work (I work in healthcare IT) and things admittedly have been a bit busy, including an upgrade that we were working on for this weekend. As a project manager for the project, I wasn’t directly doing the work but trying to stay updated on everything that was going on. I did eat a good dinner but got to bed a bit later than planned and was up early to check on if there was anything for me to do before heading out for the race.
Stir Fry was an excellent pre-race dinner, and I ate leftover rice with soy sauce for breakfast the next morning. I got in a 45 minute ride & 15 minute run on Saturday morning (pre-brunch) to shake out my legs. I was not too sad about missing the 2 hour ride that was originally on the training plan.
Race – We got to the race pretty early, and like previous years, I hung out with the A Corral peeps until they had to leave. I was in Wave 2, Corral E (I think I was in Corral D, Wave 1 last year) so I then headed out to do a warm-up. I got in about 15 minutes of warm up and then headed over to get into Corral E. It was crowded as Wave 2 (E & F) and Wave 3 corrals all entered from the same spot, but it seemed like things were moving until we were closer and then heard that they’d closed the corrals. Rumor had it that the race volunteers would open the corrals up after those already in E&F had moved toward the front, but that didn’t seem to be happening.
So I hopped a fence.
It actually wasn’t as bad as I’d thought, and I’m glad I did it when I did as the race officials then started DQ-ing people who jumped the fence about 20 seconds after I jumped and then blended into the crowd.
Then the race started. My plan was to run at a 9:00-9:03 pace for the first mile or two, and then to pick it up as I felt good. I felt strong and my pace was initially at that 9:00 pace. After getting through the first underpass and then rounding the corner to see the one mile marker, I was incredibly surprised to hear the beep with an 8:38 pace! I wasn’t pushing all out, but that is much faster than my 5K PR pace.
I kept strong for the next mile, and got a bit tired during the third mile. However I was keeping these mile laps at sub 9-minute miles, although I did see that my Garmin miles were consistently shorter than the real mile markers. (Note to self: Maybe it’s time to turn off the auto-lap feature at races?) I did feel particularly proud that when I finished mile 3 I could tell myself: “Push it. You can do anything for 18 minutes” and know that this was pretty much true. I pushed myself harder and kept it up.
I finished in 44:56 and was proud that I did not need to stop or slow down at any point during the race! This is a real indicator of fitness for me, as I have historically taken a walk break during my 5Ks even. In comparing my results to a 20 minute all-out run test I did for Ironman training last month, I held the same pace over 45 minutes, and had a lower average heart rate for that time.
Post – Post race at the Shamrock Shuffle is always fun, although one must balance fun with staying warm. On a chillier day like yesterday, this was a bit of a challenge even though I brought many layers. But I did drink multiple beers!
FINAL TIME: 44:56
AVERAGE PACE: 9:03
NEXT RACE: New Orleans 70.3 Relay, 4.12.2014