I love the Shamrock Shuffle. I almost skipped it this year, for the sake of saving money, but this really is a great event. The expo is great, the course is great, and post-race is fun too. I’m glad I ended up doing it.

Kelly and I went to the expo together yesterday, meeting up with fellow blogger Eric at The Bean and heading to Navy Pier where we met up with my former co-worker Megan. (Who I didn’t photograph, I’m bad at this blogging thing sometimes.)

Sail boats are heading to the harbor Bloggers in The Bean

Kelly and I got delayed on our way to The Bean because the bridges were up to let sailboats head to the harbors … another sign of spring! PS – who has a sailboat and wants to be my Boat BFF?

This morning Kelly and I drove up together again and met up with our running club at the Hilton for indoor bathrooms.

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Then I headed off to the start with the other Wave 1 folks. I checked my bag and got in the port-o-potty line but gave up before I got through the line (I really only had to blow my nose) because I didn’t want to have to scale a fence to get into my corral. Once in my corral, I found some friends:

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Shamrock shuffle with @xaarlin in corral A

Local pal Nicole, fellow bloggers Maureen and Xaarlin. By the way, Nicole ran the Lincoln Presidential Half Marathon yesterday.

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I snagged this pic of the start from Nicole. 40,000 runners. I’m in the square.

Coach Vera reminded me that this isn’t my goal race, but it seems she arranged my training for this week so that this is my speed workout. And she told me I could run it at a pace that would be a PR for me – about 7:45. I decided to just run it by heart rate, and keep it around 10K rate to 5K rate near the end.

The race itself was pretty expected. I ran my pace. The sun was shining. There were lots of runners but it wasn’t over crowded. I saw a woman with a jogging stroller on the course – uhh, are those allowed?

Pete was spectating and got some video – here I am in action. Also I think I need to dub my gait “The Elaine” because I seem to run with my thumbs sticking up.

 

I finished in 39:10, which was a 25-second PR over last year and a average pace of 7:53. Pretty close to what I planned to do and what my coach was OK with. My heart rate was right around 10K zone.

After the finish, I ran into Nicole and Maureen again and hung out with them and some of their friends waiting for Kelly to finish. Because I finished and got through gear check, and she still hadn’t started the race. Excessive amount of waiting, yes, but that keeps the course manageable for runners. This is the largest 8K in the world.

post Shuffle beers

Past race’s mylar blankets make good post-race-beer-drinking blankets.

Post shuffle

Perfect day

Shamrock Shuffle

Eventually Kelly finished and found us.

Anyway, so my lesson learned today – you love the Shamrock Shuffle, don’t fight it, just register.

Do you have a super fun local race that you do every year? Also, do you ever drink Michelob Ultra when it’s not acquired via a ticket on a race bib?