Monday, April 8, 2013

Race Report: 2013 Shamrock Shuffle

So it wasn't a PR (personal record) race for fact it may have been my worst-ever Shuffle. (glancing on down the right-hand side to see if I've ever run a slower 8k - hold on - CONGRATULATIONS, you've run your slowest 8k ever!) But my training for the season officially kicked off just 1 week prior and after this race, I'd run 17.96 miles in one week. From 0 to 17.96.

But back to the race report: This was the first time heading from my new northside digs to a race. It felt weird. Would there be traffic? Should I just take the train? I drove down with my running cheerleader and had plenty of time to spare before meeting Lou and my cousin Briget at around 8:30 near Jackson/Michigan. When I finally met up with Lou at Corner Bakery, come to find out she was as equally unprepared as me! But we were gonna throw caution to the wind and run. We'd been at the start line for this race many times, and we were just gonna see what happened.

So we head to the start line, stopping for a short wait at the luxurious port-o-potties , and found/chatted with Briget before heading to our corral when we heard "IF YOU'RE NOT IN YOUR CORRAL BY NOW (you suck and) YOU HAVE TO GO TO THE VERY LAST CORRAL." We looked at each other like "yeah right" and proceeded to hop the fence very ungracefully right into our corral. (Thanks for the assist, lightpost!)

Anddddddddddddd. we're 35 minutes later. Sigh. Wave starts. I think they're here to stay.

Lou's chillin. I'm chillin. We're taking it real slow. Neither of us with any timing device. Neither of us particularly ready. Mile 1 seems to come up quickly! Then as agreed upon, we stopped and walked, picking out a place ahead where we'd start running aagain. I noted that the course had taken a slight turn from previous years. I'M SO RACE-COURSE ASTUTE.

It was around here where Lou was questioning whether or not she should continue on...not prepared for the run distance, the late start/babysitter concerns for the sweet cherub at home, so she said she would dip out of the race at about Mile 2. It didn't bother me one bit...we have all been there before. Well, those of us trying to maintain a race schedule with babies at home. (Sometimes I look back in amazement that I kicked off my REAL running days while still nursing. Must of been INSANE.) Plus anyway her hubby was in the first wave of the race and was likely done before we even started. I get the wave start thing, but it has it's definite drawbacks.

So we come up to my #1 race cheerleader (let's call him BB) and he's all smiles and that made me feel good. I dug out my phone (sweet new white iPhone 5, i might add) pulled out my so-new-it's-musicless phone, dropped it and rescued it as one foot came way too close, and turned on my favorite podcast, The Steve Dahl Show. By the way, it took me FOREVER to untangle my earphones--like 2 whole blocks of walking. Very frustrating.

So between Mile 2 and about 3.5, I felt the lack of training kick in. Run. Walk. Run. Walk. Just keep going. Saw Dale, a marathoner and race volunteer cheering folks on with the megaphone...said hello and he megaphoned me. :) Walked through the second aid station for a cool sip of Gatorade...And then around Mile 4 I felt better and turned on the "jets." Mind you, "jets" at this stage in the training game mean continous forward movement over 4.5mph. WHAT?!?!?! I know that sounds crazy, especially with all my PR's last year, but I didn't even care. I'll get back there, and when i do, I'm STAYING there.

So I get to the infamous hill known as Roosevelt Road, also NOT known as a hill in other cities. But in flat-ass Chicago, we call these slight inclines HILLS. Sue us. Anyway, there's BB, waiting for me, reminding me of my promise to absolutely no matter WHAT, not walk any part of this hill. So I said "I'll see you at the finish!" And I set my eyes to the top of the hill and motored on, dodging walkers every which way. "(I've so been there! But today, I. Am. Not. Stopping. THIS will be my victory for today. This and finishing...) So I'm about halfway up the hill, thinking "I can walk after I turn the corner..." and I don't know why I looked back over to the sidewalk, maybe he said something, but there was BB running next to me in regular streetclothes, saying (or willing me?) to keep going, you got this. i don't know if I smiled outwardly, but I sure did on the inside! And then I realized I MUST run the rest, "you can walk when you're done."

And that was that. Another race done. Nothing stellar about the time at all. But I had fun. And not once did I have negative thoughts that tend to creep in when I'm unprepared. I'll get there. I'll be back. And I'll keep running till it feels better again, and I will run (or run/walk) this upcoming half marathon at the end of the month. And I will have better-no, GREAT races to come this year.

Here are my race splits, and I think it pretty much matches my story above. Nothing pretty, but it was all about one foot in front of the other for me. Next up? more training runs this week.

START 00:00:00 9:41:14 am

1M 00:12:01 9:53:15 am (pace 12:01)

2M 00:25:17 10:06:31 am (pace 13:17)

3M 00:39:28 10:20:42 am (pace 14:12)

5K 00:41:13 10:22:27 am (pace 16:23)

4M 00:53:12 10:34:26 am (pace 13:25)

FINISH 01:05:47 10:47:01 am (pace 12:58)

Avg. Pace 13:14 (per mile)

A pretty great race for a not so pretty time. :) When I got home, I filled in my Girls on the Run sticker that Says "Running makes me _____________." Wrote "WHOLE."

Glad to be back running on the road of (not TO) continuous improvement. It's not a destination, it's a journey.


Lou said...

First, I'm officially impressed that you started your running journey while nursing. I can barely wrap my head around the gym once or twice a week.

Second, congrats on the finish. Next year I will be there with you!

Anonymous said...

@Lou, I think at the time I was trying to find something that was just for ME...and running was it. But yeah, looking back (like even on my past races list) that was just crazy. Zoe was not even 6 months when I started.

Thanks, I know we'll all be back in great running form real soon. :)