Another Shamrock Shuffle done… bring on the Chicago Road Racing season! This race is a must-do for me, and I’ve signed up for it every year I’ve lived in Chicago:
2009 – I registered but did not run in 2009 when there was a lot of snow and Mike was in the hospital
2010 – I had not started this blog yet. I remember how cold it was! My finish time was: 59:11
2011 – The first warm year. I’d run 20 miles the day before, and got a special finisher’s “gift” at the end! Time: 53:19 2011 Recap
2012 – Just before our wedding! And I PR’ed Time: 45:21 2012 Recap
2013 – I achieved my long-standing goal of starting the race before Mike finished! Time: 45:25 2013 Recap
2014 – A new PR! 44:56 2014 Recap
It’s amazing to see this as a progression of my running over the past 5 years. I’ve shaved almost 15 minutes off of a 5 mile race… that’s pretty incredible! My goals going into the 2015 race are to PR again. I’d like to get a run a 9:00 pace for the 8K, which translates to a 44:44 . My garmin pace should be around 8:46 as I typically end up running this race in a 5.05 to 5.11 miles (when an 8K is really 4.97). I’m anticipating that I need to run this at 92-95% of my maximum heart rate (191).
Expo – I went to the expo on Friday and had some fun. I did not love the new expo location at McCormick Place. It’s such a b**** to get there, and the new L stop only made things a little easier. I had fun taking a selfie at the Advocate Health section of the Expo, and also at the Wellfit Tent!
Pre-Race – It’s been a relatively low-stress week (since there was no work). I went to a swim clinic Saturday morning, and hung around the house for most of the day. We went out to dinner with some family in town the night before to celebrate a birthday. While I enjoyed the evening and tried to eat healthfully, wine and birthday cake also come with the territory!
We got to the race about an hour early and ran into friends (of course, Shamrock). I also met up with the Chicago Running Bloggers group and we took some photos too! I took a Hammer Gel 30 minutes before the start, and then headed out for a warmup.
Race – I went into the race and was eager to see what was going to happen! It was cold out (32*) so I wasn’t sure if a PR was going to happen, but that’d be OK with me. Shamrock Shuffle is always a fast course, but I was a little surprised to see at 0.3 mile out that I was running a 7:20 pace. I think my fastest mile ever is maybe 8 minutes? I finished that first mile up in about 8:12. Second mile was a little harder, but I kept at it with an 8:48 pace.
The third mile got HARD when we started running into the wind. I have to admit that my mental fortitude wasn’t really there at this point. When I started seeing high 9s on my Garmin for lap pace, I definitely got a bit discouraged. I could see I was pushing myself at that 8K heart rate effort, but my speed had dropped considerably. I ended up walking for about 90 seconds, and kind of feeling sorry for myself. I mean, I’m wearing racing flats for crying out loud. They’re supposed to be the magic shoes!
Then I saw the four mile marker (only a mile to go), and looked at my watch. I’m only 7 minutes less than my PR time at this point… what?!!! I could have been running and still close to a PR! I get my butt in order and GO! But realistically, I knew a 7 minute mile was not going to be in order, and finished about 90 seconds (hand to forehead) off of my PR time, finishing in 46:22. D’oh.
Post – Post race at the Shamrock Shuffle is always fun, although one must balance fun with staying warm. Here are my tips for a chillier day:
- strip off your base layer immediately and put a new layer on top.
- Put all of your other clothes on.
- Sign up for some sweepstakes at the Jeep tent to get another T-Shirt to layer on.
- Turn in beer tickets for Naked Grape Wine.
- Drink wine/beer in a huddled mass (like the Hash House Harriers)
- High Tail it out of there when you stop feeling your fingers.
Sadly for me, that all ended more quickly than I’d have liked, but we made it home just as it was starting to rain. Glad to be out of there, and glad to have an official start to the racing season! Go Chicago!
FINAL TIME: 46:20
AVERAGE PACE: 9:39
NEXT RACE: likely Ravenswood Run, 4.26.2015