I generally don’t like running short races. If I am going to train for something, it has to have Substance. Distance. Pain.
I learned very quickly after moving here that this city likes 8k races. Especially for holidays. There’s one for Halloween. Thanksgiving. A couple for Christmas. And then there’s the Shamrock Shuffle. The kickoff to Spring racing season in Chicago. Of course I had to do this. But since it was a short, “fun” race, I couldn’t do it myself. So I recruited the Husband. And then a couple of friends.
The week before the race, I realized I had to go to Portland for work and would be arriving home late the night before race. Long days. Time zones. Airport food. Everything was adding up to not ideal pre-race conditions. My layover dinner ended up being a Larabar and a chai tea latte. Real smart.
And then, miraculously, it was warm and sunny on race day. I was the only one who thought it was warm, apparently, as no one else was wearing shorts in our corral. And I was mad I had chosen a long sleeve shirt instead of a tank once the sun started peaking through the skyscrapers. My Garmin, however, hated the city buildings. The first mile I lost signal and just decided to go for it and see what happened. I didn’t really have a strong goal. I wanted to keep with the Husband, who was convinced he could run my pace. By mile 3, I had lost him so I just booked it to the end, weaving through the walkers and tutus and green. My watch logged me at 5.41 miles in 49:19 which would have been amazing if it were accurate. Official time was 49:06 for the 4.98 mile course. 2 minutes faster than the Husband. Despite forgetting our IDs we managed to snag a free beer to share and downed a banana and some Sun Chips. Considering I hadn’t eaten a real meal since 10:30 AM the day before, I was a bit hungry. By the time we met up with friends for brunch after the race, I inhaled a plate of hash browns, oatmeal, and coffee. A perfect way to spend a Sunday.
I have to say, Chicago sure knows how to organize a race. Yes, there were 40,000 people there. But the bag check was super easy, bathroom lines were short, post-race food was easy to grab. After this, I am definitely looking forward to a Spring full of more Chicago racing!