Now onto the good stuff!! RACE DAY!!
Race day was insane but went very smoothly! Those of us who drove in or took the Metra Electric arrived in the city early with plenty of time to spare. Some of the F’N Runners braved the Rock Island Metra and arrived a little later and we didn’t see them before the start. Here is our early bird “skeleton” crew. See the green sparkle!
It was fun seeing a few of our friends pre-race but it was short-lived before we ran off to our corrals so that we wouldn’t be locked out like last year! The photogs had a hay day between all of us dressed up and the fact that we were also early before the big crowds arrived. I bet we got stopped for photos 10x before we made it to gear check. Me, Rachel & Lisa.
Each year, the organizers change a few things. Starting last year, they separated gear check into two locations and it was a challenge. However, this year we knew what to expect and dropping gear was easy and smooth.
In Corral B awaiting the start, we had plenty of time to chat, do some light stretching & take some photos with Maggie’s (MagMileRunner) camera since the rest of us checked our phones/cameras with our gear. Source: MagMileRunner: Maggie, Kelly (Running Kellometers), & Me.
The boys: Brian & Kevin:
The race started on time, as usual, and being that we were toward the front we were across the start line in a matter of minutes. The first mile is always a little clogged and I didn’t run as fast as I should have but it was good and exciting to see all the people waiting and cheering for us. I was trying to keep the boys in sight because I knew they would run just outside of my comfort zone. The temperature was perfect in the mid 50s and the sun had not yet broken thru the clouds so I was hoping for a good race.
All was good until the mile 2 clock when I realized I made a judgment error by wearing arm sleeves for the first time ever. They were cute, comfortable, fit perfectly PLUS they matched my ToughChik irun tank so it didn’t even occur to me pre-race that they weren’t a good idea. However, at mile 2 I was burning up and they had to come off! The theory behind arm warmers is that when you get warm you just pull them down to about your wrist and leave them “on”, or take them off and tuck them into a pocket, etc b/c they are small. I tried pulling them down but was so warm I was “kinda” freaking out. Plus they were covering my watch and didn’t look good inside out. I ended up pulling them all the way off but didn’t have anywhere to stash them so I was holding them in my hands. Then I realized the guys were gone. Ugh! I carried them until mile 3 and knew I had to ditch them. But I didn’t want to ditch them since this was the first wear! They were so cute! However, I couldn’t carry them
and am not sure how people run carrying their cameras, fuel and other valuables because I just can’t do it so I scanned the crowd for a worthy recipient. Any Tough Chiks out there spectating? It took a while but I finally saw a lady in what I thought/hoped was a Chicago Marathon half zip and she was in the front row. In a very dramatic fashion, I pointed at her and said, “ToughChik for YOU!!!” and I threw the arm warmers between her feet. I can only hope she not only keeps them but also orders a green irun tank to match. May my sacrifice bring another Tough Chik into the ranks?!?
With the arm warmers gone, I tried to refocus on the race but apparently just zoned out in the 4th mile with an 8:08 split. Not sure why, I was running, slightly distracted by a father/son interaction that was not positive from my perspective but I was pushing
or so I thought. I skipped the water stop so no excuses there, my turnover was just not as quick as it should have been but I felt good.
The goal was to make it in the 38s this year. As soon as I ditched the arm warmers I switched one of the watch stats to “time” so I could focus. I knew the 38 was barely within reach AND I still had to climb the Roosevelt Bridge. I was apparently slowing down cuz Kelly (Running Kellometers) zoomed past me like I was walking. Was I walking? Maybe. I
clawed my way powered up the bridge and jogged sprinted to the finish line to see that I had barely made it. A 38:56 finish. Woooooooop! Success at the BEST.RACE.EVER.
Lots of photos, here are a few, more to come later (like the pic with the green men!!!!) My favorite race day photo by far is of Rachel & Lisa from WI. The E. family always does a serious pose followed by “muscles”. Cracks me up, every time. Lookin’ good, ladies!
Tim & Aurelia – A couple that Shuffles together stays together!
Me & Susan:
Fun times at the Shamrock Shuffle 2012! The race was great, plenty of water stops, plenty of bathrooms, gear check in was great, gear check OUT was horrid, post race party looked awesome
although I never attend but that may change next year and most importantly, it looked like EVERYONE was having fun.
No Arm warmers while racing if above 50 degrees.
No Knee High socks
even cute ones with Shamrocksif above 50 degrees.
Need more focus in the middle miles.
Early arrival is good!
Special shout out to LaurenRuns for stopping to visit after the race. Thanks, Lauren! Great to meet you!
The End of Shamrock Shuffle 2012, at least until more photos are published!!
Happy Running, Amanda – TooTallFritz
Hilarious recounting of ditching your arm sleeves! Great time too! Well done!
I’m a fussy runner….don’t like to deal with the extras. No ipod for me. No hat unless it’s pouring rain. No sunglasses unless I’m totally blinded by the sun, then there is a good chance those too will be pitched into the crowd. See my post on sunglasses if you want more laughs.
I like the story about the arm-warmers! Think of what you’ll do next year, hopefully in more weather-appropriate clothes! I enjoyed meeting you too! Hopefully we catch up again at a race sometime this spring or summer!
That would be awesome! Any chance you are running the Rock n Roll?
Sorry we missed you, Kristi, Jackie and I were in Corral B with you…but when I finally saw you, you were too far back in the Corral and too many people between us to go say hi before the start…..we saw Aurelia after the race but had to go cause we had to go run 13 more miles for our marathon training (18 mile weekend) Ugh it was hard after race. It was a nice change to run the lakefront instead of Yankee woods. Congrats on your great time!!
Sorry I missed you! I bet the extra 13 was brutal but yes,, running on the lakefront is awesome! Great job!
Ya, it got a bit warm out there after first 2 miles and when the sun broke out. I really don’t need Gatorade or water at 8k distance, but when I hit some water stop (past 5k?) I slowed and got some water, but poured most of it down backside of my neck.
I started this race with lingering injuries and knowing I lacked the training to run all-out fast and was hoping to post slightly under 36, but had to settle for ca 37:10. To run 5k or 8k to your maximum ability you have to be able to tolerate running “red-zone” or at 95-100% HRmax. It is possible to run that distance at that level intensity, but for me it is a very uncomfortable feeling and probably more mental than physical challenge. Have to practice training and running at that intensity to learn to tolerate it. It’s a long story that goes back to my days in HS running the mile on the track that probably accounts for my lack of tenacity to tolerate that kind of intensity, and spend so much time training to run marathons, that just more accustomed to running that 80-85% HR intensity, somewhere just below lactate threshold.
To run you maximum fast in a race like Shamrock you have to train “puke-yar-guts-out” interval and stamina workouts regularly. I guess it is not that important to me and just ran that Shamrock race like it was one-long, tempo/threshold workout! Good enough for me. Ya didn’t miss much at post-race party other than a bunch of runners talking running…many drinking Michelob Ultra Light (yuck!), and way too crowded and noisy. So…probably wise that you just regroup with your F-N’ gang outside the post-race area, then take off for home or elsewhere in the Big Windy City!
It was a great experience running Shamrock for the first time ever, but I doubt I will sign-up for it next year on the assumption there will be some nasty March weather. Much rather run those shorter-distance 5-10k races in the warm weather, like Tinley-Stars-n-Stripes or Short Run on a Long Day.
From the pics and the story, looks like all of you had a great time. And ya stood apart from the herd with your “sparkle” skirts!
Hurt or not, your still a kick ass runner. Stay postive, the injuries will pass. And I know I didn’t run hard. I was never uncomfortable and I need to learn to push harder. I am going to resume speed work this week. At least I’m making progress and feeling more fit!
Total bummer about the arm bands!!!! Now every time you see a lady wearing them, you are going to wonder if it is the woman who kindly accepted your “donation”! Wouldn’t it be so cool if you two were to meet up some time? Running karma works like that some times. I hope she finds the matching shirt online cause that was one cute outfit!
I just hope she keeps them and doesn’t just pitch them. That is why I looked for so long for the “perfect” person to give them too. I was “recycling” them. 🙂
Loved the race recap! You weren’t slowing down at all, I think my old track skills were kicking in… You were motivating me! Once I saw you, I couldn’t believe it. I would have never dreamed of finishing in the 38s and your motivation helped get me there! It was a great day filled with lots of PRs and fun times! I’m working on my race recap as we speak! 🙂
This is a hard race to recap. I want to tell EVERYTHING but it’s impossible to squeeze it all into a realistic read. I’m still excited about the race! Great job!!!
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