Monday, April 11, 2011

Jenn: Shamrock Shuffle Race Report

Before I get into the Race Report, let's give Suzanne a minute to gather herself. I wouldn't be surprised if she just took a peek out the window to make sure pigs aren't flying overhead since I'm finally back to blogging like a good blog partner should :)

This weekend was Chicago's Shamrock Shuffle, the annual start to the Chicagoland racing season. Or as I like to call it, an annual reminder of how much out of shape I truly am.

I wish that was a joke.

Mike and I have done this race for three years in a row, and it's a lot of fun. It's a big race - - they bill it as the "World's Largest 8k" -- and the atmosphere is great. The organizers were well-prepared for 30-some thousand runners. Historically the weather has sucked; maybe that's why it was moved to April this year instead of late March. How much has the weather sucked? Allow me to present Exhibit A:

This was 2009 and what I remember most about that Shuffle was getting pelted with sleet in the face and not being able to feel my toes because we were standing in slush for 40 minutes waiting to start. Last year's race was just downright cold.

This year, we had better weather - - but too hot, an 83 degree day. I think it was in the high 70s when the race started but it was humid. I don't run well in hot and humid. We were hoping for grey skies, cool breeze, 55 - 60 temp. Not too hot, not too cold, just right. We didn't get that this year; maybe next year.

Waiting in the Start Corrals. If you look really close you should be able to see the red START banner up there.

Misting fans at the Finish:

I'm a turtle to begin with but add on the heat and humidity and my chances of finishing under an hour were slim to none. Throw in somewhat inconsistent treadmill training with no outside runs (ankles ow!) and my chances of beating my best time (1:00:06) were zip. Instead, I finished with my worst time, (1:04:something something). Egads. I have a lot to do before Suzanne and I run together.

That said, I still enjoy this race immensely. It's a good chance to catch up with friends, and a hotel stay downtown sans kids and dogs provided for a very relaxing race morning.

Me, Mike and my cousin Kim before the race:

View of Chicago's famous Water Tower from our hotel room:

I am grateful for two positive things coming out of this race:

1) I've been bit by the running bug again. Finally! One reason I haven't blogged in months is because it's kind of hard to blog when you hate running. I can't point to anything specific but I was in a real running funk. I did run some here and there, but nothing that helped me get excited for races coming up.

2) The pre-race photo was another wake-up call for me (actually it was a "holy shit who the hell is that" slap in the face) to get my ass in gear and get focused on losing weight. I am an expert in losing and gaining the same 5 - 6 pounds. Over and over again. I'm sick of running these races carrying the extra weight and quite frankly, I'm sick of lining up to pick up the running shirts in the "women's large" line. Someone (Oprah?) once said that you need to fail 1,000 times before you stick with healthy eating/exercise habits. Don't know if that's true or someone's excuse but I've failed about 1,186 times and I'm done. As luck would have it, my gym just started their 90 Day Weight Loss Challenge. I signed up, got my "before" picture taken today with a goal of losing 24 pounds (or two pounds per week) by July 9. The gym has several events and activities for partipants so the first one is a 5k (outside) tomorrow morning, 6 a.m.

So another race report will be coming this week or, as Suzanne might be thinking, pigs fly and hell froze over in the same week :)

Are you on Twitter? Follow me @jennrunschi.



  1. Welcome back Jenn - good to have you back! Congrats on the Shamrock Shuffle and good luck with the 90 day challenge and training. Can't wait to read all about it. :-)

  2. You're alive!

    Congrats on getting back out there and running. Good luck with your challenge. I seriously should do something like that, too. I might feel all cute and tiny when I am running alone - then I go to a race and realize I'm the short, chubby runner and it sucks!

  3. I am a married mom of 2 little girls working a full-time job outside the home as well. I got back into running last year, and I can't even begin to tell you how much running has helped me. I have reclaimed a part of my former self, I have been able to manage stress so much better, and I have been able to get into better shape and finally shed some baby weight. However, it is still a struggle to make the time. The kids get sick, we get sick, work deadlines, home stuff, etc. I have gone through funks too and have been struggling to stay consistent. I keep at it even if I just run once a week. Running is too valuable to me now to let it slip away. Sometimes my running goal is to just get out and run 2 - 3 times a week even if it's only for 20-30 minutes. The goal is really to just get out there and keep it going. Thanks for your blog post. I totally hear you! Glad to hear that you are back running again!

  4. Thanks everyone, appreciate your support. Fruitfly, I know what you mean. My image of a gazelle does not hold up once when I'm in a race.

    Laura, thanks for your note; very motivating!


  5. Great job on the race!! :0) Love the pictures!


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