So this morning started my Shamrock Shuffle epic day! As some readers may know, last year’s Shamrock Shuffle had a special surprise at the end. So this year part of my rationale for running was not only to try and bust a PR, but also for the sweet memories! I’d had some issues this week, and didn’t get a chance to run until Saturday, so I wasn’t sure how my running would be on Sunday. I set my goal to be 46:30, a PR although not quite as serious of a goal as I’d previously envisioned.
I made it to the race pretty early for my Corral E / Wave 2 start (@ 9:15), as Mike was slated for Corral A & an 8:30 start. We wandered around a bit, met up with my friend Lilian, and after depositing the both of them at their corral entrances, I went to warm up a bit. I found some other friends (Hi Joanne & Amy!) at Gear Check, and then headed over to try and see the start of the race.
The start was not quite as picturesque as I’d hoped behind a chain link fence and 3 foot barriers, although I did get to see Amanda and Maggie pass by in the outfits that they’d announced ahead of time! I headed back to get into my corral as soon as I saw the C’s starting to pass through.
After shaking it out, and stretching it out in Corral E, I watched the minutes tick down to 9:15. Finally – we got to start! The course was pretty much the same as in previous years, so I was feeling pretty familiar with knowing where we were going. I ended up doing my first mile in 8:51, about 30 seconds below my target pace.
Mile 2 was also below target pace, and I was feeling pretty good! However by mile 3 I was starting to get the “why do I do this?” feeling, and noticed myself struggling to keep up those faster paces. I was happy to complete Mile 3 in 9:19, and Mile 4 right on the 9:21 button.
At the 4 Mile Marker, the race turns south on Michigan Avenue for the final stretch. I sped up to finish, although my body wouldn’t have it! I got a side stitch (the bane of my finishing 8Ks), and walked it for a few moments. When I started up again running, I couldn’t get the speed back as we were turning up the Roosevelt hill toward the finish. I did what I could to make it up the hill, and then sprinted when I turned in toward the finish chute.
I crossed the finish line with an official time of 45:21 and am happy to have cut off over three minutes off my previous 8K PR (48:48)! I truly am appreciative of my body, my friends & family supporting me, although I’m also starting to wonder why I’ve been conservative in pushing on my last two (shorter) races. Maybe I should push hard on my next one? Oh wait, that’s next Sunday at the Chi-town 10K.
Post race, I wandered around, let photographers take my picture, and met up with friends for some sunny beer drinking near Buckingham Fountain. It was such a gorgeous day all around!
Photos to come later!