My relationship with the Shamrock Shuffle is funny. I love that so many people do it–nearly 45k people allegedly, making it the world’s largest 8k–but at the same time, oftentimes I dislike doing it because I think it’s a lot of money (around $50) for the distance (4.97 miles), even if the course does let you zip through the Loop’s streets.
Looking at my history with the Shuffle will make you think I’m a bit of a flake with it, too. I can explain.
- I ran it in 2007, the year I got into marathoning, and as much as my memory maintains, I think it was my first road race.
- I cheered for participants in 2008 with Team in Training. I even remember the street corner where I stood with TNT signage.
- In 2009, I signed-up to do it but flaked at the last minute, since I had run 20 the day before (Boston training) and since the morning of the race, the city got hit with a huge snowstorm.
- In 2010, it conflicted with the March Madness half, so I did the half instead. Harder course, longer distance, cheaper, and thus, more worth it in more ways than one.
- And finally, in 2011, though I had signed up for it, knowing I’d be 30+ weeks pregnant, up until a few weeks before the race, I thought I’d be running it. My lower SI joint had other things in store for me, however.
So basically, 2012 should have been the fourth year I’ve run the race, but interestingly–and much to my surprise–it was only my second. Going into the race, I had few expectations but actually, a lot of excitement since I was in the A corral, in theory allowing me to start directly behind the elites if I so chose. Having run 20 the day before, and still getting over my illness, I told myself I’d be happy running 8s.
I’m finding that the lower my expectations, generally, the happier I am with the results. My legs were tired, though I felt pretty well otherwise, and the tree trunks held on long enough to let me post a 36:51–a 7:24 pace. I’ll take it. In retrospect, I made some pretty stupid novice mistakes, like having horrible pacing and going out much too quickly, but the experience was worth it.
The other thing about this race was its significance: in particular, this race will be my last until my marathon, the Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon in downstate Illinois, on April 28. I’m definitely excited to see what I can do in late April, but of course, I’m a barrel of nerves about it as well. Knowing that the date is approaching is pretty f’in intense.
Finally, I had a good time playing tour guide and narrating my experience pre- and post-race, so enjoy these video ruminations, courtesy of the Nexus. 🙂 They’re in parts, so here is part one: Ruminations #1; part two: Ruminations #2; part three I somehow can’t seem to upload to YouTube, so we’ll pretend that doesn’t exist; part four: Ruminations #4; part five: Ruminations #5; and finally, part six (post race!): Ruminations #6.
I should win the award for the world’s biggest nerd, but hey. I’m multimodal, baby.