After 8 weeks of training and a tiny bit of self-doubt, I PRed at the Shamrock Shuffle!
This race was definitely not a walk in the park (though it did start in Grant Park, haha…). It all started at 7am when my uncle picked me up. I stayed over at my parents’ place because my uncle lives down the block, which made it easier for us to coordinate everything (side note: growing up near cousins as an only child was one of the best parts of my childhood). We also have a secret free parking spot downtown, which was more convenient than public transportation for us.Gotta love the Chicago skyline in the morning 🙂
We walked just under a mile to the start line, checked our gear, and then went to my uncle’s corral. My uncle and I wanted to start the race together, which meant that I dropped from corral D to corral J. The wait to begin running was ridiculously long. I used to be a very patient person, but somehow that has changed recently (I probably need to work on that as an aspiring counselor…). Waiting in the corral for an hour nearly killed me, haha! At least the view was pretty. I took some vanity shots to show off my tutu because of the Self Magazine debacle. I tossed my old dog hair covered jacket to the side once we started running. It was COLD that morning! To be completely honest, I was NOT in the mood to run. I briefly considered making the Shamrock Shuffle a “fun run” instead of gunning for a PR, but my competitive spirit took over almost immediately. The first mile went by so quickly; I was absolutely flying. I wish I could say the same for the rest of the miles. Mile 2 wasn’t too bad, but I felt like I had to drag myself all the way to the finish line once I hit mile 3. Mile 3 involved a horrible cramp running up the entire right side of my body. Luckily it went away by mile 4. I don’t know if I had anything left in me by the time I finished the race; I was spent! I kept the sound off on the Map My Run app because having my pace announced every mile really gets on my nerves. Looking back, I can see that this was an A+ decision because Map My Run claimed that I was going super fast compared to my normal race pace. If the app said I was going 8 minutes per mile, I would have gotten scared of burnout and slowed down. My official race pace was different (an 8k is actually 4.97 miles; the distance was a little bit off on Map My Run). As you can see, I reached my original goal by the skin of my teeth! I wanted to finish in 42:59 or under and I actually finished in 42:58! Crazy how that worked out! I wasn’t even tracking my pace during the race (Map My Run was closed and muted, but still running so I could meet my Pact for the week 😉 ); I pretty much left whatever I had on the course and hoped for the best. I’m absolutely exhausted after truly pushing myself. You guys reading Mel’s Miles certainly played a part in my performance in the Shamrock Shuffle. Not only did your support help me keep up with training and try my hardest during the race, but it helps to know that other people will read about my life. I want to be an inspiration rather than someone who gives up when the going gets tough. Even if my Shamrock Shuffle time makes no difference in your life (obviously it doesn’t, HAHA), the fact that you read my blog makes a difference in mine 🙂