It wouldn’t be fair to title this a “race review” since I’m clearly in love with the race. I do understand that it’s not for everyone; however, it is definitely a tradition for me! I love everything from the family friendly expo to the fast paced race thru the streets of Chicago. Add in the green sparkle skirts, green men, and the amazing atmosphere and it would be hard to keep me away. The Shamrock is really a weekend event for me, not just a race. I have friends who come from out of town and locals who go with to the expo for a full day of downtown shopping. The expo was good this year with lots of stuff for the kids: a magician, balloons, noise makers, sunglasses, candy and snacks galore! There were a few things for the parents too from great deals on gear/shoes to naked men models from the Women Rock Chicago calendars. (L to R: Me, Pam, Mr. April, Amy, Mr. July & Nicki)
Aby even made a shoe painting with Nike Free’s!
And we came home with lots of loot.
Sunday was race day. The expo & downtown walking/shopping, plus my marathon training took its toll and my legs were definitely tired. I knew this. What I didn’t know was how that, plus my lack of speed training, plus my extra 6 lbs would effect my race time. I can honestly say that this is the first event in a long time where I toed the line having no idea what to expect. So I ran by feel. Can’t trust the GPS watches downtown anyhow because one minute they say your running a 3:50 pace (right, I wish!!!) and the next it reads a 16:50 pace. Total confusion. If you “need” your watch, then go with a foot pod. The course was particularly crowded this year, possibly because I was running slower. I did lots of weaving around. The course had a detour, due to a jumper on one of the bridges over the Chicago River, but the course change was imperceptible and seamless. As always, the Shamrock organizers did a fantastic job of running us thru the city streets as fast as possible. I loved every minute of it and although I never ran particularly fast, I felt good, had zero foot pain and just enjoyed the moment. Last year I run just under 39 minutes even with a bit of a wardrobe issue. I should have been faster. So yesterday, as I was entering the 3rd mile, I flipped over to my time view in an effort to get under 39 minutes again this year. I didn’t make it. I finished in 39:23, officially a 7:56 pace although my weaving gave me a lot more real estate than the normal 8K distance so my Garmin pace recorded a 7:35. Does it matter? NO! However, I was unofficially shooting for a 7:30ish average and to be honest, the race felt a lot more controlled that last year so I’ll take it as a win. My official goal for the 2013 Shamrock was to have fun and get a photo with the green me. Guess who I saw as soon as I crossed the finish?
Hell, yeah! Mission accomplished! Let’s go grab some of that free beer now! Thanks ladies for hanging downtown with me and sharing those beer tickets! I had a blast. My fellow lushes Shufflers from L to R (back): Meg, Dawn, Michelle, Nicki, & Kerry. Front: April & Me.
Apparently we looked like we were having an amazing time because fellow Shufflers were giving us their unused beer tickets as they were leaving the Green Men found us again and took another photo with us.
And they gave us their card. Find the Green “Guys” on Facebook and “like” them cuz I know you already LOVE them. Fun times!!!
Until next year, keep on Shuffling! ** ShamROCK Chicago ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **
Other Shamrock Shuffle posts & photos hosted by the MagMileRunner blog hop:
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