It feels like quite a long time since I’ve written one of these recaps. My life used to be consumed by running/racing, but now it’s consumed by grad school/my internship/work. All I have to say is that running the Shamrock Shuffle yesterday reminded me of who I am. I had so much fun. Racing is exactly what my life has been missing during this ridiculously hard year. I realize now that I need to make racing a priority from now on. I don’t know if any of you have ever run the Shamrock Shuffle in the past, but packet pickup was always at Navy Pier. So, after a long (actually horrible and I wish I could blog about the ridiculousness of what happened) half day at work on Saturday, I dragged Andy on the train and then a bus to Navy Pier. AND THEN WE FOUND OUT THAT PACKET PICKUP WAS AT MCCORMICK PLACE. I HATE MCCORMICK PLACE. It’s seriously the worst. Obviously, this snafu was my fault because I didn’t read the packet pickup email in full. This was my 9th Shamrock Shuffle and packet pickup was always at Navy Pier. But, anyway, we made it to McCormick Place by taking another bus/train and had an hour to spare. Crisis averted! Race day was cold. Really, really cold. It was in the 20s, but the weather felt even colder than that to me. I was tired. But I had Andy with me! I wore my heavy winter coat and had my wonderful boyfriend there to hold it for me during the race. This post will lack photos, though, because my phone couldn’t tolerate the low temperature outside. It died pretty quickly during the race. Luckily, it didn’t rain until after I finished running, though.
My goals for this race were left undefined. Every year of the Shamrock Shuffle, I’ve PRed by around 2 minutes. Last year, I ran in 42:58. My training was way better last year. I mean, I trained a little bit for yesterday’s race, but nowhere near enough to run a PR race. I was aware of that and accepted it. Instead, I set my sights on a time around 45 minutes. I suppose I sort of succeeded, right? I’m OK with this time. It’s only 3 minutes off my PR and felt relatively effortless. The Shamrock Shuffle was just so much fun for me. I felt really warm after starting to run, despite the freezing temps outside. The spectators were enthusiastic – they kept their energy up for the entire race, they were still going even after I crossed the finish line. People can be so incredibly kind and supportive. Running just felt so good for me at the Shamrock Shuffle. I have to admit that I didn’t push myself as hard as I could have, but some races are just not about that. For most of the race, I used a girl in a yellow vest as my pacer. I wanted to complete my final mile faster than the other ones (due to the Nike+ Chicago Marathon contest, which I was unable to complete anyway due to my phone dying mid-race), so I passed the yellow vest girl at the last mile. Overall, I’m proud of my performance and feel so much more confident about marathon training. To me, that marks a successful Shamrock Shuffle experience 😀
Don’t judge me for the purple jacket, green shorts combo. It’s a rain jacket and it was supposed to rain, haha.
Andy was a great spectator! We both took a 2-hour-long nap after the race, though. It was a hectic couple of days!
Have you ever gone to the wrong place to pick up your race packet?
Where is your next race?!