Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Shamrock Shuffle Race Recap

**First things first, have you entered my latest charity raffle? A pair of the Mizuno Wave Rider 15s!**

I debated the night before how to best get to the race. I ended up carpooling with Amanda's caravan to downtown Chicago. It was great to get down there early and have time to gear check, stretch, and use the porta-potties (TMI?). We met up with a large group at the Hilton for a group photo.

Then, we headed to our corral (B). When charging my Garmin the night before, I wasn't paying attention and didn't realize that it was frozen. When I went to turn it on before I left, the battery was dead. I was heading to the race with a time goal and no way to track my time. I didn't want to run with my phone so I was just going to wing it. Maggie said "Watch, without your Garmin, I bet you'll do awesome and knock that PR out of the water." I doubted it but had no choice but to give it a try. I started the race with Amanda and Maggie but Amanda quickly was speeding ahead. I tend to start off too fast so I wanted to be comfortable yet pushing hard. My goal was to break 40:00 and I knew if I had splits under 8:00, I would meet my goal.
Hanging out with Maggie and Amanda in Corral B before the start

Maggie was so kind to say our splits out loud at every mile and mile 1 was 7:55. The first mile my legs felt tired but I knew I was off to a good start.

Mile 2 the split was 7:40. The speakers were blaring LMFAO's Party Rock and hearing lyrics talking about shuffling while running the Shamrock Shuffle can be pretty motivating (or nerdy, however you want to think about it).

I didn't want to run out of steam so I slowed down a tad for mile 3. I knew most of this mile would be in the sun so I was happy when Maggie announced our mile 3 split of 7:55. At this point I felt great. There were less than 2 miles left and I knew I was going to meet my goal. I started to pick things up during mile 4. I turned and Maggie was no longer with me. I just kept moving and kept pushing towards the finish line.

Right after I passed the mile 4 marker, I spotted Amanda up ahead. I knew she was aiming for the 38's so I started to think either a) I'm having an awesome day or b) Amanda's not having a great day. Even though I was running towards Amanda, I would have never dreamed to be in the 38s. I just kept moving and realized I was gaining on Amanda. I tapped her on the shoulder as I passed and gave her a wave. She shouted "Go Kelly!" and I just smiled and waved. I wanted to conserve energy for the Roosevelt hill so I didn't say anything in return. Sorry Amanda! I wasn't trying to be rude. :)

I ran up the hill and it didn't seem to hurt as much as much as I remembered. I guess that means my hill work in Palos this winter is paying off! I saw the finish line and sprinted to the finish. My name was one of the few announced as I was crossing the finish so I hope the photog got a shot of me with my arms in the air shouting, "That's me!"

I finished and started to look for Amanda behind me. Since I didn't have my watch, I had no clue how I did. She was excited because she met her goal of being in the 38s. I looked at her in disbelief. If she was in the 38s and I crossed the finish line before her, that meant I was in the 38s too. Jumping and cheering ensued and I am still on the runners high from it! Maggie was right behind us and finished under 40:00 too! We saw Nicole Fritz soon after and stopped to say hi.

And snap a pic with the green guys too.

It was now time to enjoy the fruits of this race and drink some post-race beers. Some folks gave us their beer tickets so we were of to a great start.

Amanda soon joined us and the party continued.

More friends stopped by to say hello too!
L to R: Jenni, Nohemy, Mandy, and me

I didn't see everyone I would have liked to and we didn't get our obligatory Kate Kate Kelly photo. I obsessively checked the website afterwards for the official results.
That is a 38:44. Previous PR: 40:49... I couldn't be happier with my time! Another great Shamrock Shuffle in the books!!

As I mentioned before, this was my 6th year completing the race. There were quite a few complaints about the shirts this year. Can you see why? Here is a history of the swag.
Which one of these is not like the others?

*Special thanks to Nicole, Maggie, and Amanda for letting me use/steal their photos!


  1. I knew you would PR!!! I need to run my next goal race Garmin-less ...

  2. Thanks Maggie! I couldn't have done it without all the help and motivation of all my running friends along the way! I'm so pumped for more races this year! I think a 22:xx 5k is def doable!! :)

  3. Awesome job on the race!!!

    Also, I'm still baffled by the red race shirt. Really? Red?

  4. Haha, I know, right? Red shamrocks = don't make sense. The race looked like it was Christmas themed with so many people wearing the race shirt and then plenty of other folks wearing green.

  5. Awesome post!!! Love, Love, LOVE! And I really like the shirt history photo. The 2009 and the 2011 Shuffle Shirts are my favorites. Great race! I don't think I have the 2008 shirt. How is the possible? I can't imagine why I wouldn't have ran.

  6. Thanks! The 2010 one is my favorite and I'm bummed I got a giant oil/laundry detergent stain on it! Oh well, I still wear it to the gym because I just can't seem to part with it. I love the color green too much!

  7. Way to go on the awesome PR! You really kicked butt. Since you are the only one who did not say the hill was hell, I need to hear more about it... it can't be that much of an incline, right? I must find this hill.

    I never thought about the fact that without a stopwatch you would have no idea how long the race took since they start the clocks for the elites!

  8. It isn't that bad, it is just a steady incline for about 0.25 miles. The thing that is a killer though, is that it is ALWAYS at the end of the race. You're pushing with all you got and you're not going as fast as you want because you're trying to go uphill! I think that is what makes it not so fun, is that it is near the end, always (Chicago Marathon, Shamrock Shuffle, Hot Chocolate, etc.)

    Yeah, I crossed the finish line somewhere around 41:00 but I had no clue what that meant about my time. I had some anxiety about not having the watch and an obsessive need to check it. It is kind of like when I forget my cell phone at home and keep wanting to check it. Lol!

  9. I checked my Garmin stats from the Shuffle and compared them to my Monday night group runs in Palos Heights and the Turkey Trot course (which is part of the route Kelly runs on Saturdays I think). That Roosevelt "hill" has NOTHING on the hills in Palos. I think it's just the placement (at the end of races, particularly the marathon) and I'm sure there are a lot of people who train ONLY on flat trails/paths/routes. Which is not a good strategy.

  10. Amazing time! Congrats! And I love the shirt pic - I thought about the same thing when I saw those red shirts!

  11. Congrats Kelly- awesome run! Love the shirt timeline.

  12. Thanks! I wear all of them all the time so it was a miracle that they were all clean when this pic was taken. :)

  13. My sister lives in Chicago and just ran the Shamrock Shuffle, her very first race!

  14. It really is a great race, one of my absolute favorites! Did your sister have a fun time?