Thursday, April 11, 2013

Shamrock Shuffle 8k Race Recap

The Shamrock Shuffle... One of my favorite races of all time. This race is nostalgic to me for many different reasons. This was my 7th time doing this race! It is crazy to think that much time has gone by since my first Shuffle so long ago.

This year, however, my "race" strategy was quite different. I didn't plan to run the whole thing, I just planned to finish. I had changed my goals a few times and in the end I decided to run 2 miles, walk 2 miles, run the last mile. I've run 3 miles before and felt fine so I thought that would be a good strategy for the race.

The expo was held at Navy Pier as usual. Maggie and I were unexpectedly late for our blogger meeting at the Bean with Eric. He was gracious enough to wait for us so that worked out well. Why were we late? We were stuck by a drawbridge, no joke.

We finally made it to our destination and took a few quick pics (obviously).

Expos really aren't what they used to be. Perhaps it is because the sport of running has become so popular? Either way, I always have such high expectations for the freebies at this expo. And the past few years just haven't been the same. I did get some frozen keifer (yum) and I got to try a few flavors of Nuun and Clif bar... but nothing really outstanding. We did run into a few FNRC members there, go figure!
Maggie and I outside the expo

Later that day, I had been texting my friend Kate discussing my race "strategy." She was debating not doing it because she has been feeling under the weather. I asked if she wouldn't mind sticking with me at my pace (as she is usually much faster) and we can keep our streak going. (This was her 6th Shamrock Shuffle.) Kate graciously agreed so I was happy to have a buddy to share the race experience with!

Sunday morning, Maggie came to my house and we carpooled downtown together. We parked in the typical $2 lot and headed to the Hilton to meet up with the rest of the FNRC. (Can you spot fellow local bloggers Amanda and Amanda?)

Ready to shuffle in my Oiselle singlet and Sparkle Skirt!

I said goodbye to all my Wave 1 friends and wished them luck on a great race. Kate met me at the Hilton soon after and we hung around there before heading to our start in wave 2.
Kate and I, in wave 2, waiting 45+ minutes to start the race!

I have to say, I was really glad I had a buddy in the corral with me. We waited a long time for the race to start (over 45 minutes) as we were in J, the 2nd to last corral. Once we got rolling though, it was fun to be moving! I don't think I've ever started this far back in a race before and I felt like there were definitely some big differences. I did feel a few times that I might get run over by someone that was doing the "sprint and walk" method of racing. When we were walking, we moved to the side to not inconvenience the other runners, and for our own safety. We actually ran into a few other friends on the sidelines and running the race! Its crazy what a small world the running community can be! I didn't run into Anne at all, who was also in corral J. But with such a huge race, I guess I shouldn't be surprised. We kept to my strategy and I had to tell myself not to kick it into high-gear as we were heading down Michigan Avenue, near the end. Lol. Kate and I smiled for the finish photo and hopefully it is a good one!

Now that the race was over, it was time to find some of my other friends that were running the race! I met up with Maggie and ran into local fastie Nicole. They both ran PRs and had a great time. It really was beautiful weather and a great day for a race!
Photo courtesy of Maggie

And then, it was time for brunch! Thanks to all my friends that supported me and waited for me as I was out there! I had a fabulous time and will definitely be back again next year!! :)

21 comments:

  1. 45 min is CRAZY! I can just imagine being nervous and siked up for a race and then having to wait 45 to cross the start line...

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  2. I'm just glad it was a BEAUTIFUL day! If it was any cooler, I would have been uncomfortable. Not to sound like a jerk or anything, but it was quite a different experience starting in the back versus the front. I had fun either way you slice it!

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  3. I love your outfit! You look so cute! What a beautiful day to be doing this race with your friend, too :)

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  4. I was also in corral J, and waiting for the race to start was sooo frustrating. My husband was out on the course and expected to see me pass him before we'd even started! But once we finally started, I loved the race! I'd never done it before, and now I'm looking forward to starting a streak of my own.

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  5. Thanks so much! Maggie and I had unplanned matched purple hoodies. Yet another reason we are BRFs. Lol

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  6. Great pictures, congrats on the finish. It looks like you had a blast. As I was leaving the race, after spectating for over 1/2 hour at mile 4, I saw runners still arriving for the race! It is massive.

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  7. I'm glad you had fun at the race! It really is a great one!


    For next year, I would highly recommend checking out the start times for the various corrals to see where you fit best. If they assign you to a place that doesn't seem to work, you can get it revised by sending in a qualifying 5k time. :)

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  8. I'm getting a lot faster and had a PR this weekend, so hopefully I can move up to wave 1 next year!

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  9. Congrats on the PR! Best of luck for next year!

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  10. I love your realistic approach to running while pregnant! Sounds like you had fun and that's all you care about. Love that!

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  11. Thanks so much! Anne brought up a good point a few posts ago that I shouldn't be afraid to ask people to go at my pace if I don't want to run alone. It is all about moving at a comfortable pace for me. I was happy that I got out there and finished it at a pace I felt comfortable with. :)

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  12. Melanie@SeeMommyRace.comApril 11, 2013 at 10:32 AM

    great job keeping the streak going! next year you will be coordinating a babysitter to go! #motherrunnerproblems ;-)

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  13. Wait...$2 parking lot?

    I as in a corral G last year and I don't recall it being set up as waves, so I know how that 45 minute wait feels. I had a pre-running playlist for this time. :p

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  14. Thanks! The hubs has 0 interest in this race so hopefully he'll be able to stay in with Baby Wilson while I'm out racing! Unless, I want to be like that mom that Maggie saw in Corral A with a jogging stroller!

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  15. Haha, yes. The secret $2 parking lot. A pre-running playlist is a great idea!

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  16. Thanks Pete! Yes, this really is a huuuuge race! Good luck at Boston on Monday! :)

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  17. Congrats on keeping your shamrock streak alive! I can't imagine waiting that long... I figured I finished the race around the time my BF started in the first corral of wave 2. BUT glad they hold the corrals otherwise those race would be way too crowded. :)

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  18. Thanks! Yes, I completely understand the corral system and the NEED for it! Just with how far back we started, it might have made more sense to have a 3rd wave so we didn't have to wait around 45 minutes after the corral closed to get to the start line. (We got into our corral about 15 early anyways.) It was just A LOT of waiting around. Loved the race and had fun either way!!

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  19. Will you be able to push a stroller in it next year, or will Baby Runner have to work on its cowbell-ringing skills?

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  20. Haha, I'm registering for a jogging stroller but I know those aren't allowed in the race. I expect Baby to be fully versed in cowbell-ringing by then. ;)

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  21. Fantastic. I look forward to reading the kid's race reports.

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