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2016 Shamrock Shuffle 8k Race Recap

Yesterday was such a great day. Not only did I run an amazing Shamrock Shuffle 8k, but I also ran my TENTH Shamrock Shuffle 8k in a row. This race has been a staple in my life since college and I breaking tradition is simply not my style. I ran the Shamrock Shuffle before I started taking running “seriously,” so I have some finish times around 57 minutes and a PR around 42 minutes. Lately (for about a year), I’ve been somewhere in between; some days, I’m hardcore enthusiastic about running and other days, running’s just not that important. I think to PR in any race at this point, my attitude towards running would need to become more serious. For now, I feel happy to just run for the sake of running and train in order to finish strong. That’s exactly what I did this training cycle, and my efforts paid off! Race day started EARLY and it was COLD. Chicago’s weather has been all over the place lately. I do not like it. Luckily, I found an old pea coat in the closet that was perfect to discard. It will be a great donation to charity because, while I no longer wear it, someone else will probably like the pea coat a lot. I definitely got a lot of use out of it in the past. img_3498.jpg Oksana, my cousin, and I were both running, but in separate corrals. We drove downtown together, but then went to our respective corrals once we arrived to the race. I took selfies and played with my phone to distract myself from the cold. Snapchat had a Shamrock Shuffle filter, which made my morning 🙂 img_3496.jpg

Sorry for the bad lighting!

I started the race with a crummy attitude (I was exhausted and just wanted to go back to bed), but felt pretty good the entire time I ran! From miles 1-3, I pushed myself really hard. After the 3 mile marker, I spaced out and started thinking about work stuff/life stuff/my to-do list. I’m pretty sure I slowed down just due to daydreaming. It’s definitely weird that the daydreaming happened mid-race, but my guess is that I spaced out like that because I was so tired. I just wasn’t in the zone for nearly an entire mile. When I reached the 4 mile marker, it dawned on me that I only had 1 more mile left and started hustling to the finish line.

My running watch hasn’t been charged for a long time and I find MapMyRun to be way inaccurate. Due to this, I was only tracking my pace based on those huge digital clocks along the course. As I charged up that dreaded hill on my way to the finish line, I wondered what my time would be. I honestly had no idea at all. I ended up finishing in 44:52, which is about 1 minute faster than last year’s race. I’m more than satisfied with that time and feel super proud of myself! Oksana did amazingly as well 😀

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I feel really proud to have finished the race faster than last year, which was one of my goalsI strive for progress, not perfection. If I ran faster yesterday than I did one year ago, it must mean that I’m getting more and more in shape. I feel motivated to continue working on my speed and sticking with my workouts. They say the Shamrock Shuffle is the beginning of the racing season in Chicago. If that’s true, then I think I’m off to a good start!