On Sunday I ran my first race of the year–The Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle.  It is one of my favorite races.  I love the course and the camaraderie.  The course begins and ends the same way as the Chicago Marathon.

I was in bed before 10pm on Saturday and woke up Sunday morning a few minutes before my alarm was supposed to go off at 6am.  I got up, made coffee, and changed.  I was out the door at 6:30 and drove to the train station and then made my way downtown.

I saw a friend of mine and we chatted for a few minutes while also walking over to The Congress Hotel for the CARA Shuttle VIP Experience.  It was cold and windy so I was happy with having a warm area to hang around before the race.  I did not stay too long because I was meeting a few of The Chicago Running Bloggers at 7:30 for a photo.  Then I chatted with a few of them before heading over to gear check.  I had left mine at the hotel but still tagged along.

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Around 8:10 I made my way over to Corral C.  For a moment I warmed up because the sun was out but then it decided to be cruel and hide again.  Oh well, I knew I would start running soon and would warm up.  I had compression socks, shorts (don’t ask me why I wore shorts, because I don’t even know), sparkly skirt, short sleeve shirt, two long sleeve shirts, and a mylar blanket.  The plan was to toss the blanket as soon as the race started and one of the long sleeve shirts once I was warm enough.  I did the former but not the latter.

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Finally it was time to run.  I always start off too fast but somehow did not do so this time.  In fact mile 1 was my slowest one (11:48).  Now I know why I was feeling really good.  🙂  It wasn’t as crowded as it has been in previous years.  I was fearing for the wind but cannot remember when I first felt it.  I just remember it being BRUTAL!  I stopped for a few seconds to catch my breath and then moved along.  My plan was to not stop at all but instead to slow down.  For the most part I was able to do that but there was a slight incline with more wind around mile 3.5.  I walked again and felt much better.

I stopped one more time after mile 4 but knew that I had to keep on running because I was so close to the finish line.  I managed to run slowly up Mount Roosevelt, then made a left, and saw the finish line.  I ran as fast as I could and was finally done.

Overall it was a GREAT race.  It was windy but I am glad it did not rain.  I got my medal and went back to The Congress Hotel to warm up and get my bag.  There I saw Tiffany and her fiance, Harry.  It was great catching up with her.

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Next race: Live Grit Lakefront 10 Miler, April 18.

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