Thursday, February 28, 2013

Shamrock Shuffle Strategy

Every year, it is no secret, that the Shamrock Shuffle is my favorite race. The crowds, the excitement, the Irish theme, getting to run on closed Chicago streets, fun times with my friends, and free beer at the finish line. It really doesn't get any better than this. (If you haven't run this race before, I highly recommend it.)

Last year I was gung-ho on a PR. I had run throughout the winter and I was looking to beat an old PR set back in 2009. I achieved my goal by a larger margin than I thought I would, even without my trusty Garmin.
Just past the finish line, with the "famous" green guys

Enjoying a post-race beverage
I even wore my Hunger Games shirt in honor of the movie opening that exact weekend! (Oh, and I also got a wicked awesome sunburn in the gap between when my t-shirt sleeve ended and my arm warmers began. CLASSY.)

The expo for this race is always fun too. Lots of swag, samples, and other cool things. Even if you're not running the race, it is a fun expo to attend. I also am interested to see which route they go with the shirts. Last year they went with red (??) so it looked like it was a Christmas themed race with all of the people wearing the race shirt and the green.
History of the Shamrock Shuffle shirts.
2007 (upper left) through 2012 (bottom right)

In years past, I've always tried to start off the racing season strong and bust my butt for this race. This year, however, I'm doing something a little different. One of my friends asked me if I would run with her. I know she normally is a run-walker and that sounds right up my alley right about now. Especially since the race has been moved to April again (like 2011), it may be a bit warmer than usual. (In 2011 I had to buy a green tank top the week of the race because I had nothing that was weather-appropriate to wear.) Plus, a side goal would be to try and meet my buddy Dathan again to, hopefully, get a better photo this time around. We'll see though. This year, the race is all about having fun. I've taken the pressure off myself and I'm looking forward to hanging out with all of my friends, whenever I cross the finish line! :) Have you run the Shamrock Shuffle before? Are you running it this year? Last year we orchestrated our first ever Chicago Running Blogger meetup. Hopefully this year we'll get the chance to do the same thing!

25 comments:

  1. Oh! You're making me so excited for it. I'm running it for the first time this year (I have a legitimate excuse -- I'm new to Chicago!) and I'm really excited. I love running on closed streets. Now I'm thinking I should find something green to wear...

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  2. It really is a fun race! Hopefully you can come to the blogger meetup!

    If you want to see more race recaps from last year, check out this roundup.
    http://www.chicagorunningbloggers.com/2012/03/shamrock-shuffle-8k-race-recap-round-up.html

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  3. Ooo, you do need a new pic with Dathan! Just not in the medic tent ;)

    Yay for pacing friends at races! I hope you have a blast! I still have not done this one :)

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  4. I've been at the Shuffle the past 2 years as a spectator (since my husband and best friend both always run it and need someone to hold their stuff... I mean, cheer them on!), but this is my first year running actually running it. I remember saying last year I didn't know if I'd ever be able to run 5 miles, I'm pretty excited that I'm actually doing it! My goal is to finish in under an hour, so maybe I'll see you run-walking on the course :)

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  5. I've never run it but I love seeing all of the shufflers out in their green!

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  6. They have gear check for that kind of thing ;) I'm so glad you'll be out there running this year! How exciting! Hopefully I'll get to see you out on the course at some point, if not at the blogger meetup! :)

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  7. It is a fun one! Do you have any desire to run it this year?

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  8. Haha, agreed! Hopefully I can stay out of the medical tent for this race! Those places seem to be my friend sometimes! Haha... This is such a fun one!

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  9. So sad to be missing this race!! I have a wedding the night before, and will not be fit to walk, let alone run :( I think this whole racing year will be about having fun for me :)

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  10. Britt @ Chicago Runner GirlFebruary 28, 2013 at 11:09 AM

    This is my 7th year doing it too! Threw out that tee in the top middle. I was short, bulky, and probably the worst cut too I'd ever gotten from a race. My fav is the green one. Excited to see what the shirt looks like this year.

    Been meaning to email you! How are you doing?

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  11. Oh bummer! I think racing is more fun when you're having fun. I tend to put too much pressure on myself when I get focused on a time. My PRs have come when I least expected them!

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  12. That's so funny! I still have all of the tees and I'm glad they went from cotton to dry-fit. It seemed to be a good one. My fav is also the green one! Its funny that you mention this because I've had an email sitting in drafts that I've been meaning to finish and send to you. :)

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  13. Maybe next year! I'm running Boston the weekend after so no racing for me during taper!

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  14. When looking at your pics/reading that you got sunburn, I was REALLY confused - they moved it to APRIL??? whaa? yeah, every year I ran it - in the late '90s, it was the weekend before st. pats and COLD.

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  15. Last year it was at the end of March. In 2011 it was in April and very hot. I'm hoping it isn't warm again this year!

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  16. Yup! You know I'm doing it! This will be my 8th time! The green shirt is also my favorite but something got snagged on the front while washing and it's kind of ruined. So sad!! I thought I might miss this this year if I was having surgery but since I'm not planning on surgery right now...hoping things hold up and I'm there!

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  17. Michel@BabyWeightMyFatAssFebruary 28, 2013 at 6:25 PM

    I've done it the last 4 years. I'm in the conspiracy theory fact about the last 2 tshirts. They are also the same color as the BOA Chicago Marathon the last two years. Who ever heard of a red shirt for the Shamrock Shuffle? lol. So whatever color this year is the same as the marathon my theory will be right...BOA cheap skates!! lol

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  18. I will be there! It's one of my favorite races too - and I just wore the red shirt tonight on my run! Ha!

    I love the plan of enjoying and having fun. I've started to think about times, etc and honestly, I am not sure what to do.

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  19. I'll miss it this year, but looks like fun!!

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  20. Wait- "wicked awesome sunburn" are you from Massachussets? :) "wicked" is a popular word there- just like "hella" in the San Francisco area.

    This year will be my 3rd shamrock and hopefully I'll continue my streak of PRs :)

    And I think your plan to run with your friend is wonderful. I hope to do that more this year.

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  21. One more time ahead of me! I love how they can show you the photos from previous years. So funny how much changes from year to year! That stinks that your favorite one got ruined. Hopefully everything works out!

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  22. Yes, you're probably right about that! It is a St. Patrick's theme race... Hopefully they'll stick with St. Patrick's colors!!

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  23. The Shamrock Shuffle is always a fun one whether you're out there to race or just have a good time.

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  24. Haha, nope... Just probably hanging out with my younger cousins a bit too much lately. LOL.

    Best of luck on your PR streak! With how much work you've been putting in out there, I don't doubt it!

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