Crossing my fingers for a PR! For both 8K AND 5K distances!
Let me start by saying I was feeling pretty pessimistic about this race. After walking around Chicago all day yesterday in terrible shoes and then having people partying outside of my hotel room until 4 a.m., conditions just didn’t feel right for a fantastic race when I woke up this morning.
My alarm went off at 6:15, but I didn’t get out of bed until around 6:30. When my feet hit the floor, I could feel it — tired legs and my foot (the one I’ve had PF issues with) acting up. Thanks to the Keurig in my room, I made a cup of coffee and enjoyed it along with a Picky Bar and a lovely pre-race playlist of Taylor Swift, Stone Temple Pilots and Flo Rida. I used the What to Wear Tool and decided on shorts, a T shirt and compression socks. I pinned on my race bib (at some point in my life I got REALLY bad at putting on race bibs. Does anyone have any tricks to not having one side way higher than the other?) I stuffed my ID, room key and some cash in my SpiBelt and headed out the door. Not a half a block down the street I started to doubt my outfit choice. Other runners who were walking to the start line we wearing jackets and tights. So back to my room I went. Once I got there, I decided that I didn’t want to deal with gear check and that I was going to trust “The Tool.”
Nearing Grant Park, the crowd started to thicken and we started being herded into our start corrals. I got there just before 8 a.m. and the first wave corrals closed at 8:15. Perfect.
I must say that I could get used to qualifying to be in certain corrals! I can’t even imagine how cool it’d be to be in the elite corral.
Mile one was pretty uneventful. There wasn’t TOO terrible weaving going on — again, thanks to the staggered start. The weather was pretty perfect for racing and the streets near the start were lined with spectators. I grabbed a quick sip of water at mile 1.8.
What made things really hard for me mentally was when I looked down and my Garmin said we were at 3 miles. Cool — over halfway there, I thought. Then, a few minutes later, I see the mile 3 marker. I knew my stats were going to be WAY off because I looked down at my watch and I was running 14 mph and was at 3.3 miles. However, there was a separate mile marker at the 5K point and I switched screens on my Garmin to see my overall time which was somewhere around 24:30 which would be about a 20 second PR for me!
The next mile or so was a total mental battle where one minute I’d tell myself this just isn’t my race and I’d slow down my pace only to psych myself back up the next minute.
Yesterday at the race expo, I was warned about the “slight uphill” right before the end of the race. Um — OK to me that was no “slight” uphill. Granted, my legs were shot by this point and I was crabby, but that was NOT fun. And you didn’t even see the finish line once you got to the top. Finally, after turning the corner, the finish line was in sight. I wasn’t able to kick it in the gear I normally like to finish races in, but I did have a little left in me to pick up the pace.
The Shamrock Shuffle was probably the most organized race I’ve ever run (besides the TC Marathon). I’m feeling so lucky right now to be a part of this awesome Verizon Health and Fitness Voices program to have gotten the opportunity to run this race. And now I’m going to want to run this race every year!
After the race I skipped the post-race party and made a beeline to Starbucks for a latte and an egg white/spinach/feta wrap. Some legs up the wall and a shower once I got back to my room was pretty great.
Now I’m off to do some more shopping before our blogger dinner tonight and drinks with my cousin! Will post official time once it’s been posted 🙂