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!! :)