Monday, March 30, 2015

Shamrock Shuffle 2015

Time: 35:17  (a PR by 1:42!!)

AG: 52/2785 (1.87%)
Women: 204/12847 (1.59%)
OA: 1080/22877 (4.72%)


We went on Saturday morning to the expo for our bibs and swag- it wasn't too crowded at McCormick place which was nice... We also ran into Emmers and walked the expo with her.

There were a lot of vendors and races present- I found a few races I hadn't heard of before which sounded interesting- mainly the Tiki Run.

Shamrock style...

We took it easy on Saturday night and had tacos.... And margaritas. And a couple of beers. Because of course we had to have a Mikkeller beer.. Might not have been the smartest to have a 17.12% abv Mikkeller beer the night before, but I'm sure it helped us sleep well.

We woke up to a gorgeous sunrise sunday morning. I wish that was an omen for good weather... But it was super cold and super windy.

We got to grant park and met up with some of our Mikkeller run club teammates as well as some Chicago running bloggers. It was nice seeing everyone!

We had 12 folks on 2 teams running for our Chicago MRC chapter. Spoiler alert: we ended up 8th and 24th out of 58 teams!!!

L and I bummed around grant park for a bit before I bag checked my puffy jacket.

We were pretty cold.

Race expectations:

I threw any real expectation out the window for this race because of the weather. With it being low 30's and 20-30mph gusts, the feels like was just too damn cold for me. If this was a non race day, I wouldn't have run outside because I don't fare well in cold conditions. My plan was to take the first mile easy and slowly negative split the race. Also, I knew I would PR because of all the quality workouts I have completed over the past few months...


I got into the back of the A corral and immediately saw Eric and Mo. Those badasses ran a marathon the day before!! We chatted a bit and I "warmed up" by doing a few half assed strides in the back of the corral. But I was really cold, especially after I shed my old jacket.

I took off and slowly started passing people. My garmin was hovering around 7:1x before the tunnel and I felt good. I saw Kimmie and chatted with her for 10 seconds before continuing on my way.
*i manually lapped the splits *

The first 4 miles felt really easy. Like thinking about it now, maybe I should have pressed a bit more. BUT I walk a fine line in the cold with running- I go from being able to breathe to almost hyperventilating very quickly. I kept expecting the wind to be bad but it didn't really hit me until mile 3.5 near Willis- but since the course turned a lot we were fortunate not to experience that strong blast of wind too long.

I passed the 5k in 22:04.

At mile 4 I decided to pick up the pace more and consequently had a really difficult time breathing. Add to that was the strong headwind while running south on Michigan Ave. mile 5 was slowly sucking the life out of me.

Post run I was shivering as I walked a long way back to bag check to get my puffy jacket. I got my PR beer mich ultra and hung out with a big group of friends while waiting for L. By then I was shivering so bad the beer was barely staying in the cup.

Post race thoughts: I was really happy with how I ran given the circumstances of shitty weather. I had a lot of fun singing along to the 5 songs I put on my iPod for the race. I think the music helped keep my energy level up because I tend to get pretty defeated in the wind and cold. Also, starting out slightly conservative and passing people the entire time was also a big boost for me. I never found the course to be over crowded or anything. Yeah there's people running alongside you unlike any of your training runs, but it was far from brushing shoulders with them.

We went to Kaiser Tiger post run for brunch with friends. It's always nice to celebrate races with friends, beer and brunch.

By the evening the effects of running outside had caught up to me and I was feeling the usual headache/fever/funk I get when I run in the cold. Add to that incredibly achy calfs and I was a joy to be around! I took some aleve and called it a night.


I wore: owl head hat, Nike ear warmer headband, sunglasses from the expo, MRC shirt, armwarmers, my Nike tights, swiftwick socks, Saucony A5 shoes, Saucony Mitten/Gloves.

I brought a small bottle of Osmo with me during the run and took sips as necessary.

I ate a small bowl of oatmeal before the race.

Yay for another fun race!! I've taken the train to PR City and am not looking back! Yay no injuries!

Next up: a 5k in Copenhagen unless I find something else in Chicago first.


  1. Congrats on the huge PR and nifty negative splits despite the conditions! Even though the last mile was not much fun, it looks like it was still your fastest mile, which is awesome. As soon as the weather warms up, you should find your groove and then watch out! Also, the brunch was loads of fun! :)

    1. Thank you!! :) I wish I would have started the kick at mile 3 and had 2 faster miles, but overall it went really well. As you said- watch out when the weather warms and I finally get into a good groove :) so excited and pumped to run and continue my trip to PR city after these last few races!!! So glad you got to our meet up and brunch afterwards.

  2. Yay! Congrats on the PR and nice splits! You kicked butt! Your team did really well, too! Why did you decide to bring Osmo for an 8K? Just curious!

    1. Thank you :)

      I bring the osmo because my mouth gets really dry and especially in cold weather it makes me start coughing uncontrollably. I can't take water from the aid station when I'm running that fast because I'll inhale the water and also start coughing.

  3. Congrats on the PR!!! I'm with ya in regards to cold weather running. It sucks the life out of me.

  4. Congrats on the PR! I'm glad you kept going and pushed it home! I was not a happy camper once we went into the wind either. How are you liking the Osmo? I noticed that it sounds like that is your new sports bev of choice!

  5. and it's a bowl of oatmeal pre race for the PR win! Congrats on the PR! so speedy! This makes me really excited for my 5 mile race coming up in May. Dang the wind! and the cold, it was super windy here Saturday but by Sunday morning it was only breezy and we didn't have to run into the wind much

    Great job with the negative split, so fun to start a little conservative and then punch it in at the end.

  6. Congrats on the PR! I was freeeeeezing after the race. I feel bad for the volunteers.

  7. Rock on, Xaar!!! You are a BEAST!!! Still blown away at how you've PR'd on a hilly course, and now a windy/cold day. We must celebrate your amazing accomplishments!!!

    So great to see you and L at the expo, as well as pre-race! Brunch soon!!!