Last Sunday, Adam and I woke up bright and early, met our friend Heather at the train and made our way downtown for the Shamrock Shuffle. I would describe it as a kick-off of sorts of the outdoor racing season here in Chicago and it's sponsored and run by the same people as the marathon and the course is basically the downtown portions of the marathon, except you never leave downtown and it's only 8K (thank goodness!!).
I'm telling you it's basically the Chicago Marathon when it comes to crowds as well! And 35,000ish people is fine when you are running 26.2 miles and there is time for the crowd to finally thin out but much more challenging when you are running only 4.97 miles. Plus, this is probably the first time in several months that many of the people were running outside (other than my 5K in San Antonio in Feb, it was my first time too) but FOR REAL, if you are not conditioned and cannot run from the start line, please start yourself in the back!
Anyhoo, it was crowded, which made me semi-cranky and my bladder was making me mega-cranky because I kept having to pee! Adam and I ran together until sometime after the 2 mile marker in which case I decided that I wasn't going to finish and I'd just meet him at the beer tent. Easier said than done, apparently, because I got yelled at by a course official to get back on the course and at that moment, I turned a corner and spotted the 3 mile and 5K markers. At that point, I figured I'd quit being a chump and get my full bladder back out there. I actually ended up running a much faster second half. The last bit of the race is exactly like the marathon, up "Mount Roosevelt" and around a corner to the finish. Mount Roosevelt is the closest thing we have to a hill in Chicago and while it's pathetic, it's still a hill and at the very end of the race. The whole time I was moving up the hill, I was cursing the people that were walking in the middle of the street (grrr!) and wondering just how on earth I'd conquered it after more than 25 miles in October!
Heather and Adam finished a few minutes before me due to my unfortunate almost wimp out and we all met up at the beer tent for the trademark Shamrock Shuffle debauchery.
Oh and I almost forgot to mention, it was SO FREEZING COLD and kinda rainy/misty. Blech! It was especially sad when you consider that it was in the 60's and sunny on Thursday and Friday but at least it wasn't dumpy snowing like Saturday so we can be thankful for that.
***AVON WALK UPDATE***
I decided to try and add about 10 miles of extra walking a week, in addition to the gratuitous amounts of walking I do just getting around the city and to my regular gym schedule (that I am actually trying to follow again). Adding 10 miles sounds so easy but I forgot that walking just takes a long time! Last night I had 48 minutes on the treadmill before my yoga class and only managed about 3.5 miles. UG! So this week I'm at about 5.5 but my schedule was a little crazy at times so I'm going to work really hard to get all 10 miles in next week.
If you are a reader in San Antonio, please come and join Brooke and me at Taco Cabana on Blanco and 1604 for dinner on April 11th (6-8 p.m.)! They are donating 20% of all receipts from people that come in for us to our walk funds. I need less than $200 at this point so every little bit will help me reach my goal!