No secrets here…as the title suggests, I had an awesome race this weekend! I feel like the term PR is a little fancy considering this is only my 2nd or 3rd 8k race, but I blew away my time from the 2011 Shamrock Shuffle. And considering 2011 was a fast year for me, I was quite excited! What makes this even better is that I had a totally relaxed and uncharacteristic race prep. Saturday, I took a tough spin class and then went walking around downtown at the expo before spending Saturday night at a housewarming party drinking red wine.
This picture of me eating an apple and trying to smile is hilarious! I did get to sleep before midnight and had a tasty race day breakfast (recipe coming soon), which I’m sure helped. I also have to give some props to the speed training I’ve been doing because I kept a steady pace throughout the race and felt GREAT the rest of the day! In the spirit of being honest…after walking up and down the ramps and stairs at Wrigley Field and then getting stuck in my car battling traffic out of the city, by Monday night, I was pretty sore!
Sunday morning, I dragged the BOY out of bed really early (6am) and we were on the train with Starbucks in hand by 6:40.
We spent Saturday night at my bro’s, so it was easy to ride the brown line down to the city early Sunday morning. We arrived downtime way before the race, so the BOY took me over to use a big, clean, bathroom at his law school. Can you say ‘best pre-race bathroom EVER’?!
You’ll appreciate this picture if you are a runner! If not, I’m sure you think I’m nuts! Then, we walked east towards the lake. People were just starting to filter into Grant Park, but for the most part it was quiet.
The BOY and I hung out on a bench chatting about the morning while runners warmed up, stretched, and ran circles around us. With about 15 minutes to go before corrals closed, I made my way to the bathroom one last time and made the final decision on what to wear. The weather was so unpredictable with strong winds coming off of the lake and a hint of sun emerging in the sky that I wasn’t sure if I would need a long sleeve layer.
I went without it, which was the perfect decision. I said goodbye to the BOY and found corral B towards the front of the line. The corrals were close to closing, so there was a mad rush, but I found a nice little space to stretch and jump to stay warm for the 20 minutes before I got to cross the start line.
I crossed the start line, started my watch, and found a comfy pace. I saw the mile 1 sign at 7:40 and moved along through the streets of Chicago enjoying the crowds. After mile 3, I had a flashback to my last shuffle where I crashed during my last mile and half. I had a steady pace going and felt strong, and was hoping to be able to keep it up. At mile 4, I was feeling light with the lack of expectation for this race and realized that I was just 8 minutes away from a PR!
I crossed the finish line in 37:25, almost 2 minutes faster than my last shuffle. I was shocked at my time and shocked at my energy levels as I located the BOY and the post-race party.
The negative of being in such an early corral was that we had a long wait before the second wave (with my friends) started. But we had plenty of time to enjoy the beautiful day and post run beer…again comfortably seated on a bench!
A little before noon, we decided it was time for food and walked south on Michigan Ave to Yolk. As expected, the wait was long, but totally worth it when I sunk my fork into this unbelievable veggie omelet and seasoned potatoes.
The BOY and I have been wanting to try Yolk for a while and we were not disappointed with our lunch! With finals approaching, the BOY needed to head back home, but I followed up lunch with a pedicure, some post race R&R, dinner with the family, and then a Monday Chicago Cubs game.
It was a jam packed race weekend, but I wouldn’t have it any other way!
I truly appreciate all of the support and encouragement posted across the blog this weekend. I was super excited to share my race and weekend with you guys (which is why I stayed up extra late to do so)! Since I got home so late Monday night, there is no meal planning (and probably not a lot of meal making this week), so this race really is the blogging highlight of my week. If it is any indication, the 2013 race season is going to be a fun and speedy one!!!
2,539 of 33,259
504 of 19,248
121 of 4,233