Sunday, March 30, 2008

Race Report: Shamrock Shuffle

Mike and I participated in, and more importantly, finished Chicago's Shamrock Shuffle 8k today.

Given my inconsistent training of late, my goal was simply to finish without killing myself. Once we arrived though, I thought I would be one happy person if I finished under an hour. Yes, I know I'm slow.

Waiting in the corrals, we met up with my friend Jon. Haven't seen him in awhile since we don't work for the same company anymore, so it was good to see him. Jon recently started training and worked up to 4 miles, although this was to be the first time running outside (Damn Chicago winter.) Cousins (and fellow Chicago Marathon '07 participants) Keith and Kim were in the corral ahead of us, so given the hoards of people, we didn't meet up. My sister and Jeanine and her boyfriend Sunil joined us right as we started moving toward the start line as corral was too full once they arrived. Interesting that the two people living closest to downtown were the last to the corral, isn't it? :)

Jeanine pointed out that she ran a few miles on Wednesday, and once in January. Before that, October. Jon didn't feel so bad about not running outside at that point.

Took us about 30 minutes to reach the start line (so the 1st place finisher actually crossed the finsh line before we crossed the start!). At the one mile mark, I realized that I felt much better than I did in the extreme heat of the Chicago Marathon. Mike and Sunil were long gone already, Jeanine was somewhere in the vicinity and I still had Jon in my sights until I slowed down to a brisk walk to whip off my hat and fix the ponytail that was already irritating me.

Around Mile 2, I realized how much my pace was all over the place and I started to lose some focus. At Mile 3, the image of a turtle came to me (since I felt like one) and I thought about starting a running clothing company featuring turtles . . .for the slow runners like me. I kept my mind occupied by thinking of sayings for the running shirts like "slow and steady finishes the race" and "Turtle Proud."

Somewhere along Mile 3 I passed Lou Mitchell's and wondered if anyone was out there passing donut holes to the customers waiting for tables. I abandoned turtle thoughts and wished I had a donut.

At around Mile 4, I spied Jeanine ahead of me. My original plan was to copy Berhane Adere's come from behind sprint to overtake a completely unaware Adriana Pirtea in the 2007 Chicago Marathon and just follow Jeanine and fly past her at the finish. After a minute or so I thought that would be mean, especially since Jeanine was nice to slow down for me during the the '07 Marathon and plus, there was no way I was going to keep pace with her on the Roosevelt hill.

Speaking of the hill on Roosevelt, I think Jon said it best when he said, "Whose idea was it to put a hill at the end of the race?" I should point out that this was a hill by Chicago standards, not sure that it would rate as a hill per se in less-flat cities. Sidenote: Reminds me of when Carlos, Chicago-bred husband to my friend and California native Suzanne said (upon arriving in Cali years back), "Look at those mountains!" to which Suzanne replied, "Honey, those are hills."

Turns out that I didn't quite make my hour goal, I finished in 1:00:06. Dammit. Maybe if I finally start eating right and lose these extra pounds I will pick up some speed! Curious to see the marathonfoto photos from the finish since I started sprinting with everything I had to try to beat the clock. Guessing they're not too pretty :)

I placed 20,636th out of 22,558 finishers. So 20,635 people didn't train like assholes :)

By the way, thank you to Rob & Amy Koziorowski for their donation to my American CancerSociety marathon fundraiser. Appreciate your support! And Rob, I'll wish you luck for the Marathon now because I know you'll be wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyy ahead of me during the race!


Unfocused Me said...


Running Jayhawk said...

Congrats on the finish with minimal training. :)

The shuffle kicks off the running season, so no worries about being undertrained for the race. But ya gotta wonder...will they be doing a similar start for the full marathon this year?

Jeanine said...


My 53 year old boss finished in 38 minutes, 10th in her division. That will be our goal when we are in our 50's, instead of this 'finish in under an hour' in our 30s.

Jesse said...

Congrats on your finish!