Sunday, March 27, 2011

Race Report: Shamrock Shuffle 5k

2 weeks ago today was the Shamrock Shuffle, a race that has always been near and dear to my heart. I mean, what's not to love about a run that celebrates St Patty's and has men in kilts playing bagpipes on the course? Not to mention the last time I ran the Shuffle I PR'd the 10k and felt great doing it. But that was so not going to be the case for this year.

Last race I did was the half-ironman where I fractured my foot. That was June 2009. Since then I have done a whole lot of nothing. PT, surgery, R&R, and more PT. Just about the time I was able to start running in December I went back under the knife for more surgery, which put me back at the R&R and PT. Needless to say I was super stoked when my PT said the Shuffle was a go!

I knew I could cover the 5k distance because I had been doing it for weeks at the gym, but I certainly wasn't going to do it very quickly. And the time thing was almost enough for me to not to do the run. I've never been a fast runner, but the thought of running 15min miles was daunting to me. I'll say it, I was embarrassed at the prospect of a 45min 5k on my race record. I wrestled with that until just days before the 5k when I decided to just get over myself and do it. We all have to start somewhere, and after a year and a half of injuryI decided this was as good a time as any to restart my running

Saturday night I laid out my outfit and I pinned on my number. I dug out my Garmin which has been packed in a box for well over a year. It took me a bit to remember how to use the damn thing. After some swearing, and instruction manual reading, I figured out how to set my pace alerts: no faster than a 12min mile, no slower than a 16min mile. I figured with that would give me a generous window to run in and walk in (as my PT would want it).

W and I headed down to State St and who did we run into, but a coworker of ours and his girlfriend. Now this coworker of ours is fit. Like built for speed, negative body fat %, animal on a bike, FIT. He has just recently taken up running as a way to stay in shape with all of the travel he does. I was not happy to see him. It's one thing to suck it up at a race, it's whole other thing to have to suck in front of a coworker. I'd be lying if I didn't think about trying to hang with him at any cost. Screw common sense! Screw the prescribed run/walk intervals. I just wanted to with this coworker. Shit.

We head into the start corral and that's when I decided that I needed to keep this run about me. Not my coworker, not the other runners, me. As soon as we started shuffling our way across the start line it hit me, I was running. Its been a long, hard process, but I was running. And it felt GREAT! It wasn't fast, it wasn't pretty, but I was loving every minute of it. And I was tearing up. Yes, I was that girl trying to nonchalantly wipe tears off my face. What can I say, I never thought I would see this day again.

Did I mention that I was running faster and for longer than planned? Being out there with all of those people it was hard to slog along at a 14min mile, so I ran how I felt comfortable. The plan to run 4/walk 1 was quickly replaced with walk the hills. We clipped along at a 10:30min pace, which is pretty much what we kept for the duration, the exception being Observatory Hill (which is just CRUEL to make people run in the first place), a short flat by the Horticulture building, and a portion of the hill by the Lakeshore dorms.
Photo courtesy of the talented people at Focal Flame

In the end W and I finished in 37:37 and had a great time doing it! And yes, that is W over my left shoulder looking a little more, um, rough than me. :)

Next on the schedule is the CrazyLegs 8k.

1 comment:

Belle said...

It is so great you can run again! I'm happy for you.