This was my second race for the year and it was the first race for Eric. I had signed up for the Shamrock Shuffle in 2011 but had to take a DNS due to a cold. I was excited that I would finally be able to run this race.
Now, it should come as no surprise that I really wasn’t ready for an 8K since my longest run to date had only been a 5K. So I was comfortable with the fact that I was likely going to run/walk the race. Hoping that I would be able to run 3 solid and then deal with the last two in run/walk fashion.
Eric and I met up bright and early on a really beautiful spring day. Luckily, the heat that the Chicago-land area had been experiencing in March had broken and it was a cool morning but not too cold. As a race newbie, Eric opted against bag check… mostly on my advice since I still had this thing about doing bag check (I eventually got over that). We had a TON of time to kill and spent most of it chatting in the start corrals. Eric was in the corral in front of me so he was off before I was. You will have to ask him how his race went.
Eric and Me Before the Race
I was at the “rope” of my start corral so I was lined up right at the start line. This was pretty exciting for me because, as a slower runner, I am rarely at the very front.
Shamrock is very well run race so it wasn’t too long before we were off. I had been on a portion of this course before when I ran RnR Chicago in 2010 so I was at least familiar with what was coming.
I was feeling decent but not stellar… I really just wasn’t physically prepared for this race. I was coming off low mileage in February and not much better mileage for March up to this point. I knew there was no way I was going to be able to run the entire race.
I started run/walking and for the most part just enjoying the scenery and the people around me. However, once I was near the 4 mile mark, I saw something that still makes me shudder… a man on the ground and someone giving him CPR… the chest compression kind. It was RIGHT after a water station so luckily he was able to get help quickly but I found it disconcerting.
Oddly enough, I also found it to be my motivation to run… so I took off. Once I got to MI Ave, I knew what was coming… a straight away then a turn onto Roosevelt, up a big hill (Mt. Roosevelt), one last turn and the final stretch to the finish.
Once I got to the sun exposed portion of MI Ave, the sun got to me quickly… I was a tad overdressed for the race and very much overdressed for being in the sun. I allowed myself to walk a bit in the sun.
After making my way up the hill (I HATE that hill… and I say it every year), I took off for the finish line.
Before starting the race – I wanted to finish the race in under an hour – Based on my watch, I was pretty sure, I had succeeded.
I found Eric relatively easily and we hung out for a bit… After all, he was enjoying his beer. But soon hunger took over and left in search of food.
Eric and Me After the Race (don’t I have lovely hair?)
Official Time – 58:55 for a pace of 11:38
This was my first 8K and that is a thought that didn’t occur to me until writing this post… so… it was an automatic PR… A thought that didn’t occur to me until over a year later…