A Snowy Shuffle
Last night and this morning also brought a lot of snow to Chicago. Which is definitely weird for this time of year. (It was 70 here not so long ago!) I woke up super early this morning and took a look outside and almost went back to bed. They hadn't gotten to plowing my street and the forecast said that the snow wouldn't let up until well into the afternoon.
But I thought that it might be fun after all and certainly an experience I wouldn't soon forget. So I got ready and put on many many layers of clothing and got out there! The drive to the city was pretty bad with cars spun out on the freeway every few miles. But I got there and made my way to gear check to leave my bag. The show was pretty heavy (this was around the time the picture was taken) and they were handing out plastic bags, which I definitely loved. I threw that on and was able to stay a bit warmer in the 1/2 hour until the start.
This year I was up in starting corral B which is really close to the front! (I had a really good 5k time last year from the runway race at O'Hare) I made my way into the corral and waited for the start. The corrals were full of snow and slush and just pretty nasty overall. As we all made our way to the starting line once the race began everyone's feet were just soaking wet. From standing around for 1/2 hour in the snow and 30MPH winds my feet were pretty cold.
Crossing the starting line, I realized that my feet were indeed pretty cold. It felt like I had numb bricks on the ends of my shoes for the first few blocks, but I was starting at a pretty nice pace so I quickly warmed up. The street was not well plowed at all though and it was a slushy mess the whole way with lots of giant puddles.
I made it through mile 1 in about 8:30 which was a great pace, but one I knew I couldn't sustain...especially in all the slush. But I was feeling great and kept on going! Mile 2 was a little less than 9 minutes and I was still feeling great. My feet were all warmed up and I was definitely in the groove at that point. I ran right past the first aid station...definitely not in need of a cold drink at that point!
Miles 3 and 4 were also pretty easy. I got a little gatorade at the mile 3.5 aid stop but otherwise kept moving along. My pace slowed down a bit (especially since Jackson St was not plowed at all and was a giant slush puddle for 3/4 of a mile!). But I made my way along!
As I turned up to Roosevelt with 0.2 to go, I saw that this street too was filled with slush. It was a tough "climb" up Mt. Roosevelt, but the end was in sight! I came in a little cold, but feeling great! My final time was 45:30 (9:09 pace) which was a PR for me in this event. It's amazing how 5 miles feels like nothing after having trained for a marathon a few months ago! If the weather would have been nicer, I really would have had a great finishing time!! I ran into Jen's sister in the finishing chute which was fun (and random in a race with tens of thousands of runners!).
Gear check was annoying as usual. The bib numbers go in order of start corral and so do the gear check tables. So all 1,000 runners in the 4,000 rage will finish within 5 minutes of each other and all want their bags at the same time. It's just silly to do things that way :) But they never learn!
I grabbed my free post-race beer and then made my way up to Schoolyard for beers and food with Zack and Marissa. I really love their black bean burger with hummus! Such a good idea!
Shamrock was definitely a race to remember. I've done this race in the 70s and now with windchills in the 20s with blizzard-like conditions. And it's always a good time! Let the Chicago outdoor running season begin!