enjoying every second of life and running


2012 Chicago Shamrock Shuffle 8K – 37:01

I gotta start somewhere.

That was the post-race motto assessment on my part. Of course I would wanted for a faster race, but my legs just wouldn’t have it. I’ve lost fitness and I have to work to get it back, so I have to start somewhere, but let’s start at the beginning.

Rob and I did not stay in Chicago the night before the race. Instead we choose to stay home and make the drive up in the morning, which without any traffic is just over 2hrs. We got up at 3:30am and got ready and were on the road by 4:45am.

I added some green to my running outfit to be festive. I had my green gummy ring that lights up, Zensah green compression calf sleeves and green adidas adios.

My stomach as been rock solid normal now for coming on two weeks. It has been crazy good. I really hope that my stomach troubles are behind me. My doctor did advise me to try taking an Imodium on race day just to see if that ensures that things stay good during the race. This was just under a 5 mile race, so it wasn’t a big test, but things did go well in that department.

The drive was relaxing and easy with the traffic being so light. We got parked in Millennium Garage off of lower Randolph Street with no issue. We then made our way over to Starbucks on Michigan Avenue that is between Monroe and Randolph. We got a couple tall soy mistos and took a seat at the window and chilled for 45 minutes before making our way to the car one final time and then to the start corral. Something funny that happens it seems every time we go to a big Chicago race is we run into our friends without even planning it. I don’t think we could plan it better if we tried. Ryan and Melisa were there to race, Ryan as an elite no less and Mike and Erin (also runners) were there for race support for them. Such a rockstar group and so good to see them before getting into the race.

Rob and I didn’t get into much of a warm up before we were lined up and ready to go. The weather was outstanding for the race. Overcast, mild temps (50s) and the lightest breeze. Ryan gave us the great advice of making sure to start slow for this race. He warned that even more than other Chicago races like Chicago Marathon people take off super fast and drop off after mile 2 or 3. He warned that it’s a tricky distance and many people go all out like it’s a 5K. Rob and I took the advice to heart. In my case, I’m out of shape so I would just start off easy and then try to add speed if I could find it.

The race did move quickly and with 8 turns durning less than 5 miles the time flew by quickly. Here are my mile splits to show that I have a lot of work to do.

Mile 1 – 7:35 pace (this is in the range that I planned)

Mile 2 – 7:23 pace (okay at least I picked it up, hope I can the next mile)

Mile 3 – 7:20 pace (okay, faster, but not I felt like my effort was harder so I was hoping for better)

Mile 4 – 7:39 pace(uh oh, I feel like I’m adding more effort, but clearly I am not)

.97 – 7:03 pace (I tried to force myself forward and it worked, even with the incline that’s before the finish. Just need to keep working at it)


7:27 Pace

Rob had a great race and ran exactly as he had planned. He finished with 33:50. PRs for both of us, since this was our first 8K! I’ll take it! 🙂

Only wish for this race would be a finisher medal. It wouldn’t need to be anything major, but for the price of the race a little something is nice. I like having a medal to wear around the city to explain why changing clothes and wiping my face is about the only cleaning up I will do before heading out to have a breakfast or lunch. It seems like people are more forgiving of a runner’s appearance when you have a medal draped around your neck, plus I love me some running bling. 🙂

I would recommend this race to those who plan to run Chicago Marathon or other Chicago races. It gives you an idea of the logistics for the morning. Since this race has two waves make sure to have a meet up location selected ahead of time with any friends or family. The barricades are different than other Chicago races we’ve done because of the multiple wave start. We never saw a “family meet up area” with the letters on pillars (A-Z) for people to find each other so I’m glad we had a meet up plan ahead of time and we had no trouble finding each other.

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Deer Run – 8K Euro Cross Country – 52:07

This race was a challenge for me because I have a cold and probably shouldn’t have been out running, but missing a chance to race was enough to get me out there. Weather conditions were 33 degrees with 29 mph winds gusting to 35 mph. I had never done this race before and would rank it in my top most challenging so far. Perhaps because I’m not much of a trail runner and also because I’ve never had to manuever up and over barricades (steeple chasers) before. The ground was uneven and muddy, but luckily not icy. I had my secret weapon thanks to this month’s Runner’s World article and my husband. We turned my last pair of running shoes into trail shoes by screwing in cleats (sheet metal screws) into them, very cool! I plan to use these bad boys on the snowy road as I train this winter. I’m so happy to have completed this race injury free and just hope my head cold doesn’t punish me more later.