Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Shamrock Shuffle 8k 2018 {Race Recap}

On Sunday I ran my 7th Shamrock Shuffle!

TL;DR version- I PR’d and ran a great race despite tired marathon training legs. 

We went to the expo on Saturday to get our bibs. I was shocked at how few vendors were present. I kept thinking- where’s the other room of booths? I remember when the expo was full of booths way back in 2011- I’d imagine if people only want free shit, and never buy anything, that there’s no incentive for vendors to return. 

Race Morning:

I woke up early to run 4-5 miles pre race. Boston training doesn’t stop for non goal race shuffles. I felt good, albeit a little rusty since I ran 16 miles (with a few hard miles) the day before. The 4 miles helped me feel a bit less rusty pre race. 

We walked over to the start area and took a group photo with our MRC team. We had a record 6 teams, and 27 people running for us this year!

Best run club ever!

I got to see Anne!

We made our way to the bag check area and I took off my jacket and pants and just ignored the fact it was cold and windy. I could complain incessantly about the weather- but that is mentally exhausting. I was here to run a decent effort and not let dumb stuff out of my control get in my way. 

I ran into Pete in the corral and hung out with our MRC team for a few min pre race.  I got my iPod ready and took a caffeine SiS gel 10 minutes before the start. Soon, the gun sounded and we were off. My goal was to try to break 35, so running high 6’s, low 7’s was the pace I was trying to hit. We ran together as a group for the first mile- which I clocked at 6:46. I felt fantastic.  

Eventually my MRC teammates pulled ahead and I just kept a steady effort. I was feeling good and didn’t want to push too hard since this was not my goal race - I just wanted a good, simulate the last 5 miles of the marathon, dig deep, kind of feeling. 

Photo: WolfpackChi

I got to the 5k in 20:59, beating my stale PR from 2015 by 1 second! 
I was trailing behind my MRC peeps by 20-30’ for a while and by mile 4 I decided to try to catch them- but they also sped up! The headwind on Michigan ave didn’t help me scoot faster. I never caught them- they finished 20 seconds ahead of me. 

I was ecstatic that I had just finally broken my 8k PR by 1:30 AND unofficially broke my 2015 5k PR by 1 second. On tired legs. 

We took another group photo post race and waited for everyone to finish. 

Obvs not this photo- this was from the expo. 

I had a beer in the park and then we went to Kaiser Tiger to refuel. I had one more beer there before swearing off beer until Monday afternoon of April 16. 

I feel like I executed this race perfectly. I was also incredibly encouraged to see all my hard work pay off- I wasn’t training for an 8k and at the bare minimum hoped I would run low 7’s and break 35- but I did even better by averaging 6:47 and breaking 34!  

I put the 33:42 into McMillians running calculator and it said a comparable marathon time would be 3:19. (Which I would be more than happy running in a few weeks) Had I run on fresh legs, I’m sure I could have taken 15-20 seconds a mile off of my time- which would have put me at the equivalent of a 3:10 marathon. 

It’s also crazy to think I’ve taken almost 9 minutes off of my time since I first ran this race in 2011! 


Oatmeal a few hours pre race.
SiS caffeine lemon gel 10 min pre race. 
No water or anything during the race. 

Wore long sleeve + MRC Shirt, shorts and racing flats. Temp: 33, wind 20+mph. 


  1. Yayyyyy so proud of you!!! Congrats, my friend!

  2. Yay! Great job and congrats on the PRs!!!! I am not surprised by your paces at all!!! (And I still really want you to race a 5K - ha, selfish). I'm so excited for you to run Boston!

    That is awesome you guys had so many teams. Did you win any team awards (do they do that)?

    I wonder if expos getting smaller is a trend, like you said, cause people mostly just want free stuff. They always feel way too overwhelming to me when they are TOO busy.

  3. Still amazed that you set two PRs the day after running 16. The wind/temps were not conducive to running speedy times and you defeated them both!