Sunday, March 29, 2015

Race Report: Shamrock Shuffle 8k (subtitle: Run #21)

8k (4.97 miles); 1:07:23; run/walk my 4:00/2:00 ratio, but walked twice for 4 minutes in the wind; pace 13:33. 32 degrees (wind chill temp of 23) and winds between 20-30mph, gusts up to 40mph.

Slept not so great last night, slept a lot in the evening and then was up for a few hours in the middle of the night. Set my alarm for 7 and said "f it, just go do the race."

Gear: running pants; tank top; long sleeve running shirt; zip up hoodie i bought in NY when I realized it'd be cold and windy; dunkin donuts fleece hat that they passed out at NYC when they realized it was gonna be cold and windy.

Other non-wearable gear: Garmin (which is still a challenge to use bc it's broken); fitbit (gotta make those steps count; fully charged iphone; earphones; pink armband

Getting there: In a new twist, I decided it was fine to leave the girls at home. I leave them now for shorter bits of time, they'll be cool. I drove over to the train (it's only 6 blocks but I didn't wanna be cold on the way back.) no parking spot in sight. So I drove down to Belmont and there was plenty of street parking. The irony, as Lakeview is a thousand times more crowded than my neighborhood. Pay parking spots don't start til 10, but with the city's handy app, I could set my alarm to remind myself to pay. (Did that in one of my walking breaks!). Best thing I EVER did, the train was so quick, and no long lines to get outta downtown.

Corral: in my sometimes present anti-social corral behavior, I wasn't chipper. I wasn't all pre-race chatty. I put my earphones on but wasn't listening to music--just the people around me. I listened to a teacher talk about a student who's been skipping class almost since January and her mother just found out.

I listened/watched some dude who was clearly "personal space challenged" hop all around and talk about his race strategy to his girlfriend. In my head, I punched him in the face several times. Hahahahahaha!  A few times when the wind blew, my hands felt really cold, but for the most part, the wind was holding off. I got to my corral at 8:45, corrals closed at 9am, and Wave 2 started at 9:15am...only they started us a few minutes early.

Mile 1: I was a bit concerned about the temps since I hadn't run outside and since cold air can jack my lungs up. And we're off...cue the Eminem playlist. The first 4:00 my lungs were breathing. My legs were burning on the slight incline that I hadn't afforded myself on the treadmill. "You're going to fast! Your legs are like lead" We went under that wacker part where it cuts over tonLakeshore drive my Garmin wasn't the same again. Pace? What's that? Said my pace was at 1:30/mile. (Biggest side eye glance EVER.) I struggled to tell how fast I was going because my lungs and legs were reacting to different conditions. Walked and then ran again when my interval setting beeped. At the mile 1 course marker I was at 12:00 on the dot time wise, so I knew I was running a bit faster, since my run walking to date has been between 12:50 and 13:00.

Mile 2: kept on doing my thing, time was falling away, that "hill" (hill is a funny term in Chicago...we call slight inclines "hills" here in flat country.) anyway, that hill on state as we head towards the bridge was a little rough. Ran right past the first aid station. Hit Mile 2 at about 25:45, so my second mile was slower.

Mile 3: I kinda zoned out in here. For the first time in i don't know how long, I paid no attention to the crowds. I didn't find any one person to pace myself with, it was just me. I don't remember much at all about this mile, other than walking an extra 2 minutes. I hit Mile 3 at about 40:00, which means despite the extra walking, I was just a minute off of my 13:00 run/walk pace.

Mile 4: so we're heading south on Franklin and as if to rebut the claims that Chicago's Windy City nickname comes from its "windy" talking politicians, the wind whipped up something fierce, we were running head on into it. It was draining! I stopped and walked more. I couldn't win. This south facing running stretch was windy all the way from Randolph to Harrison. I reached Mile 4 well after 52:00 (which is the 13:00 pace), like somewhere around 54:00-something. 

The last .97 mile: As we got closer to Michigan Ave, I started seeing people who'd already finished. It didn't bother me at all. I was in a "these 4 minutes" mode. Just finish. I was moving pretty slowly now. My two minute walking stints were more like 2:10, and I wasn't walking as quickly, either. When I turned into Roosevelt, I said "you can run up this hill, Lindy." And so I did. Slowly. Finally there was Columbus and the finish line. It seemed to take forever to reach it.


Apparently there were only 22,847 finishers. There are normally 45,000 that register, it's the country's largest 8k. Well not today, apparently. The only smaller showing (to my memory) was in 2009 when it was snowing/freezing rain and like 15,000 and some change showed up.

Post race scene: Mariano's hooked UP the post race vittles. Took all of it and ate none of it. (Gave it to the girls later.) got my "medal," only its not really a medal but a bottle opener, so I'm ok with that. (Not a big fan of medals for short distances.) my phone was at about 56%. I went to FaceTime Jada and tell her I was heading home and my phone went dead. If there was any thought in the back of my head about staying with iPhone when my contract is over, it died with my battery life today. Anyway....

Post-post race: got chocolate milk. Got back to Belmont at which point it started sleeting. Whew! Glad we dodged that bullet! Went home...had a few coughing issues today from that cold air...the whole train ride, and a few times this afternoon. I've also had a fever for most of the evening. 101.1 sounds like a radio station.

This is why I didn't eat my post race food though: 4-berry bliss pancakes from m.henry, with mascarpone creme. 

Other stuff: I gotta hand it to Bank of America. I have been dogging them for years now about their plainer than plain race t-shirts and lack of freebies...especially because LaSalle Bank had it down to a science. (I have bottle openers, coasters, nice shirts and hats, etc.) This Chicago skyline and bottle opener medal is a serious come-up for Bank of America. 

Now no backsliding, BOA. We've seen you can do better!

And that's that. The running season has officially begun. Now if only the weather can behave appropriately.

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