A 3 minute PR whoo hoo!
I went into this race with one goal in mind- to have fun. A smaller secondary goal was to break 37 minutes. Mission accomplished on all accounts!
I've gotten a little too doughy for my Lulu shorts.
L and I walked over to Grant Park and met up with my friend and fello Fleet Feet Cheer ambassador Vicky- since we were planning on starting together. Getting into the corral was a bit of a cluster because it was the entrance for 3 corrals and there were people checking bibs to ensure people started in the correct herd.
I soon spotted Maggie and we took a quick photo together. (Photo stolen from her)
looking back at 40,000 runners.
While in the back of corral A, I ran in place for 10 minutes to "warmup" as best I could. The plan once I crossed the start was to begin conservatively and then gain momentum and negative split the race.
Looking forward to the start.
Soon we were off on our journey through the streets of Chicago. I purposely started at the back of the A corral so I wouldn't get trampled by the faster people or get caught up and go out too fast. Since the garmin is practically useless due to the tunnel at the start, I had to run by effort- which is difficult since I'm so freaking addicted to my garmin's stats.
Obligatory pre race shoe shot.
Around mile 2 I saw Jenny and Hillary cheering complete with cowbells an vuvuzelas! Somewhere before mile 4 I saw Pete who took some awesome videos of the runners flying by.
As I turned onto Michigan ave around mile 4, the crowds were going crazy with excitement. They gave me even more motivation to keep pushing the pace harder. I flew up the "hill" on Roosevelt ave and passed more runners, and just locked onto the finish. After doing some quick math, I decided to try to run hard to break 37:00.
At the finish I met back up with Vicky who also had wonderful day of Shamrocking through Chicago. PR city baby!
Garmin Splits vs Official Shamrock Splits
I manually lapped each mile because I knew the garmin would not be too accurate due to the tunnel and buildings. At each mile and also the 5k mark, there were timing mats to record our splits. I'm not sure why the 2 are so different. But either way, I negative splitted the race! I was happy to cross the 5k mark in 23:21, which would be one of the fastest 5ks I've clocked in a while.
After I finished I went to mile 4 to cheer for L. He was having a banner day also and got 5 minute PR! On our way to brunch I stopped to spectate and hopefully catch my coworker running by (for her longest race yet) but didnt see her.
Post Shamrock Shuffle Brunch
While PR's are a fantastic ego boost and a nice way to chart progress, I was more jazzed to be around friends and enjoy the race atmosphere. Hanging with Vicky and Maggie in the corral, then seeing Jenny, Hillary and Pete spectating, and then cheering for L at mile 4 definitely added to the joy i felt taking 3 minutes off last years Shamrock time.
Now don't get me wrong, I'm happy to achieve a new milestone but I'm even more excited that for once I am healthy and have no injuries to speak of. And instead of solely celebrating a PR, I am basking in the fact I can run pain free and enjoy every step, and that I'm much stronger this year than a year ago.
Next up for me is The Soldier Field 10 miler!