Sunday April 10 was a big day. I had just finished my 20 mile long run and then ran the Shamrock Shuffle the next day.
As you might have heard, I finished my 20-miler with some knee pain. I wasn’t sure how much running was going to take place for the Shamrock Shuffle. The morning began early, getting ready. There was definitely some having to figure out the outfit at the last minute since it was so warm out – high’s ended up being 80+ degrees that day! I wore my green Puma shorts in honor of the Shamrock Shuffle (even though it was April). I was a little rushed, and ended up leaving the house without my Garmin, although I did have my fuel belt since I was still recovering from my long run the day before.
My friend Heather, a Chicago Princess, came over and we went with M to the race from there. We had fun going around the Grant Park area, playing around & taking pictures near Buckingham Fountain. Heather & I were going to start together, although we knew we’d split up since I was still recovering.
Heather and I dropped off her bag at gear check (I had just stuffed mine into M’s to put at his gear check… my own personal gear check valet ), and then headed over to our starting corral “E”. We had fun chilling out and taking pictures.
We ran into Julia, a friend of mine from CES Spring Training. She was completing a half marathon over a 24 hour period!
All three of us started together when our corral finally began – 24 minutes after the starting gun went off! The Shamrock Shuffle is a huge race: 40,000 participants. I did improve upon last year’s starting time of 35 minutes. Although my knee had hurt a little in the morning getting ready, it seemed to have gone away from walking and moving around.
When I started, Heather sped off. I, however, was hobbling along. My knee began hurting a lot more than when we’d been standing around, and I considered bowing out after 1 block. I decided to continue running, and I could always walk back if I needed to. As I kept running, it dulled a bit. I took some walk breaks. I took some photos. And then I ran! I kept running, until I finished! I actually felt pretty good at the end, and impressed with myself by passing other runners. I was on mile 24 for the weekend at that point!
I finished and I was incredibly happy! I hadn’t done my fastest 8K ever, but an improvement over last year’s Shamrock Shuffle. I finished in 53:14, or a 10:43 min/mile pace. I took a banana, 2 bottles of water, and a bag of potato chips at the finish, and made my way back to Buckingham Fountain to meet up with friends.
I got to Buckingham Fountain and saw Jenna, Adam, Mike and some other people I didn’t know. Mike suggested that we take a photo, so I took off my fuel belt & we went to pose.
Well I thought we were going to pose. Instead, Mike turns toward me and kisses me. I was thinking “Let me put my arm around you for the photo!” (and then maybe eat that banana) Mike started talking and then he got down on one knee and proposed!