Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Shamrock Shuffle "to do" list aka my "cat" does cat things.

The Shamrock Shuffle is this Sunday! Yippee another race!! This will be my 4th shuffle- (2011-2013) only missing last year's Shuffle because I ran a marathon in Tennessee.

With great anticipation for my 2nd race back from the great Cankle (peroneal Tendinosis) disaster of 2014, I am excited and anxious and pumped to hit the roads and push my limits again. Also, I must maintain my PR streak in this race.

My "to do" list includes:

•What to wear (prob the most important thing)

•What music to listen to, if any

•Pacing strategy

•Where to get brunch afterwards

For "what to wear" I know I'll wear my Mikkeller Running Club shirt with arm warmers. The forecast is looking to be around 35 deg with 20mph winds. (And I'm hoping the rain/snowy stuff stays away!)

But now comes the most important aspect of race day wear: bottoms.

Do I go with my trusty Nike Pro booty shorts?

*Due to the cold I am leaning against it. BUT I can check a bag and just deal with the freezing temps and have warm legs waiting for me. I don't mind my legs being cold, but if my neck is exposed I freeze.

Or my Track n Field crazy leggings?
*These are pretty thick compared to the Nike legs. I've only worn them once for our MRC 3 miler. I'm leaning against them because they are thicker and a bit more snug.

Or my Nike leggings?
I've worn these for 2 5ks when it was around the same predicted temperature (low 30's) and I felt good. They aren't too thick so I don't get over heated too quickly. Leaning towards these because I'll have more opportunities to wear my booty shorts as the temps increase.


In my last 5k I didn't run with music and I didn't miss it at all. BUT I'm wondering what would happen if I put "Can't Hold Us" on repeat with some "Lose Yourself" mixed in. Would it give me an extra pep in my step??


If I plug my recent 5k 21:13 into the McMillian calculator it predicts my 8k time to be 34:58. (Avg 7:02) if I plug 20:30 Into the calc (a time I think is conservatively achievable at my current level of fitness because the 5k was not under optimal conditions) I get a predicted finish of 33:47 (avg 6:48).

I feel 34 would be a good number to shoot for, but pacing will be my biggest issue because the garmin won't be accurate in the city & mainly because I haven't been able to practice pacing myself to lock down what a certain pace feels like. The cold will also negatively affect me. I'm still relatively new at this shorter distance stuff and it's hard to know if I'm going out too fast so early in a race like this. I'll just shoot for low 7's and try to negative split the shit out of this race.
My "cat" decided to do cat things and check out what I was doing because that's what he does. He knows no boundaries.


I've thought of a few places but haven't decided on one specific place yet. But I know that first beer post race will taste sweet because of the PR I will run and because I am beyond the injury! And post race brunch with friends is always fun.
2011 Shamrock Shuffle 42:082012 Shamrock Shuffle 39:582013 Shamrock Shuffle  36:59 (PR)

It was fun to go back and see my Shamrock Wear "through the years." Sparkle skirts the last 2 years... My running "style" has come a long way since 2011! I am a firm believer in "if you look good, you feel good, and run faster."

I'm excited for the Frozen Shuffle this weekend, mainly because I'd be kicking myself if I didn't run it. It's one of the "low hanging fruit" races of Chicago for me because I can walk to the start in 10 minutes. Doesn't get any easier than that! Although I do hate the crowds... It will be fun I keep telling myself!


  1. Yes, negative splits are a very sound strategy for this race. The two times I have done the Shamrock, I have had slight negative splits and still passed a ton of runners in miles 4 and 5 that are fading. Perhaps they thought they could keep a 5k pace for 8k or they just got swept up in the excitement? Wow, here's hoping that wind forecast is wrong, or at least it will be blocked by the buildings at the stretches it should be in our faces! Yay for brunch! :)

    1. But how do you keep from starting out too fast!?!? The last shamrock I negative splitted slightly too. It certainly is a boost to be passing all those folks after 3.5!

    2. Since you negative splitted the last race, it sounds like you've got the negative split thing pretty much figured out. Maggie's tips are both very good. For some reason my HRM has given me too many incorrect readings for me to trust it during a short race (maybe I need a new one?). So, here are three tips, which you can throw out the window if you'd like: 1) Turn the music down for the first mile or two. Check your breathing every so often to make sure it is relaxed. Smile when listening to the huffing and puffing of those around you. You can then look forward to cranking the volume up at mile marker two. 2) I have the "just hold back" mantra I repeat to myself over and over during the first two miles that helps me to slow down slightly. 3) Trust that you will light the world on fire with your speed during that last mile. Mile five will go by so fast that it will more than make up for the handful of seconds "lost" in the first two.

    3. Well..., I haven't run many races lately so I fear my negative splitting abilities are rusty :( the 5k was something like 6:30, 6;50, 7:00 or something hideous!

      I read somewhere that HR monitors are not accurate after a few yeas. I'll have to research and get back to you. I never train my HR but instead by feel... But not being able to be outside and get the complete package has hindered me so far with pacing.

      Excellent idea about not having music for the first mile or 2! I know it can amp me up too much- so that would be a good pick me up for the middle-end of the race.

      Yep. Mile 5 I like to pass people. Especially that "hill" lol. I also know my mental game is weak outside. I'll hit paces on the tread because I won't back off on pace. I'll fly off the back of it first! But outside I start making excuses and lose my mental edge. (Admitting it is the first step, right?) :)

  2. Oh geez, I remembered that the Shuffle was 3/29 but I failed to connect in my brain that it is THIS Sunday. Haha. Thankfully I don't have any super crazy Saturday night plans. (Possibly going to my first roller derby match!!???) Pretty sure this year is going to be a PW, but who cares!

    Anyway, those tights! Where did you get them???? They are amazing.

    As for pacing and not starting out too fast, I always did two things ...

    1. Run by heart rate. I usually tried to ramp up my HR throughout the race, so the first mile or two were around the low end of my target HR for that distance, and I ramped up to my max HR by the end. It took a few races to really figure out how to start and the pace at which to ramp up my HR.

    2. Start in the very back of your corral. Don't get swept up with everyone else starting out too fast. I assume a lot of them either a) don't know what pace they can maintain [as Pete points out maybe they think they can hold their 5K pace] or b) they try to run the same pace throughout the entire race instead of steadily getting faster or c) are cocky jerks who want to show off. Start behind all of them so you don't get swept up in their poor pacing decisions. Focus on your goal splits and/or goal heart rate.

    Good luck!!

    1. Haha it seems a lot of people
      Haven't really realized the race is this weekend :) must be the weather or something.

      The roller derby match sounds fun!! Are you spectating or participating!?

      Those are great suggestions! I read somewhere that the HR monitors are not accurate after a couple of years (need to read more on it) but I also haven't trained with HR for a long time... I'll have to work on it for a future race since people have success with it.

      I usually start in the back of the corral for a different reason- I got tripped by some asshole in the first 400m of the Chicago marathon who was weaving between folks. I need to also remind myself to start slow and not try to pass folks in the first K of the race. As you mentioned this is a great way to not get caught up!

      Good luck to you too!

    2. The tights: the rainbow dot ones are from a Brasilian athletic wear company called "track & field" bought them in Brasil jn November. The others are Nikes that I bought 2-3 years ago.

  3. Love those crazy tights! Where did you find them?

    I also believe that you run better if you like the way you are dressed. I love the evolution of your outfits and how much faster you have got!

    Good luck I can't wait to read all about it!

  4. I think you can totally go for 34. But! Maybe aim for 35 so you can keep the PR streak going next year? Ha ha, just kidding :)

    Your running club shirts are fun! I think the Nike leggings are appropriate, especially with the green in them! :)

  5. I LOVE the crazy leggings, but would probably go with the nike ones for comfort. Go out slow...it's going to be difficult, but you can do it. Keeping my fingers crossed there's not a lot of wind for you!