Shamrock Shuffle


Yesterday Fuzzy and I ran the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K. Yeah, I know what you are thinking--it was April 7th not March 17th. Aside from that, the Shamrock Shuffle is the kickoff of the summer race season in Chicago, with about 40,000 runners. This was my first time running the Shuffle, but Fuzzy has done it a couple times before. Since I am training for the Soldier Field 10 mile in May, this was essentially a training run for me, since the distance was just shy of 5 miles. The furthest I've ever run is 6 miles last summer, so I am about to get into "every run is my longest run" territory.

Fuzzy at the Shamrock Shuffle

The weather was awesome--super sunny and 50 degrees. Now, that is still too cold for an Erica, but it's better than the 30s. I wore appropriately bundled clothes, but opted to not wear my gloves. I was comfortable for the whole run.

Our wave started at 9:15, but that meant that we didn't cross the start line til 10am. I am long over any type of pre-race jitters, so Fuzzy and I just hung out in the corral trying to stay warmed up. The plan was to start together, then Fuzzy would take off (he is faster than me) and he would watch me at the finish line. I had my tried and true running mix, which is about an hour, and my Nike+ GPS lady to tell me how I was doing. It was clear from the start that the GPS was jacked up, cause she told me I was at a mile 7 minutes in. Um...not possible. I turned off the GPS and just ran using the time on my watch and listening to my tunes.

I have to confess that I've been off my training schedule the last couple weeks. It's either been too cold, or there is no treadmill free at the gym, or I've not been able to get up early enough to run before the day starts, or things have been hurting. But I've been trying to still run when I can and adapt the schedule to fit in how it can. So I was concerned that I wasn't going to finish before the cut-off time or that I was going to have to walk a lot. With 5 more to add on before the big race in May, I've been a little inconfident.

My Nike+ estimated I would finish in an hour and 8 minutes.

Usually when I run, the first 1 to 1.5 miles hurts really badly in my hips, shins and knees. But something amazing happened yesterday--when I started running, it just felt good. I ran and loved it. My posture was good, the run felt easy. I checked my watch to see how long I'd been running without a walk break, and it was 19 minutes. And I kept running. I didn't take a walk break til I got at the 3 mile mark, at about 34 minutes in. I just didn't want to stop! I was Forrest Gump!

I walked at the 3 mile for a few seconds, and then a couple more times in the last 2 miles, but not really over 4 minutes total. I felt great! It didn't hurt! My training worked!

The course ended on a big hill, so I walked up that a bit, and once we turned the corner, there was the finish line. I looked at my watch, and realized that I could possibly finish in less than an hour. So I kicked it into high gear--and finished in 59:16! BOOM!

I am so freaking proud of myself.

I called Fuzzy, and he was surprised that I finished so quickly--he was still in the finishing chute himself! He finished 10 minutes before me, so we met up to celebrate our victories!

Team Gerdes at the Shamrock Shuffle

5 miles and going strong! Now I am not afraid of 10! I know I will be able to do it.

I did it!

Team Gerdes at the Shamrock Shuffle

I always like to get a post-race garbage can photo.

Official Times here!

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you are a badass! NICE WORK!

Lookin' good, girl!!!