A little late, but here it is:
The couple weeks leading up to the Shamrock Shuffle I was really hoping/wishing I’d surprise myself. You see, I haven’t raced since October and have only been doing a little speed work the last few weeks so I had no idea what to expect. My coach has been great about slowly increasing my fitness level since January so I knew I was fit aerobically, but speed wise, I had no clue what I could muster.
With my mom in town, we were fortunate to leave the kiddos at home and lodge downtown the night before. Dinner included roast chicken and a couple of adult libations at the Spiaggia Cafe as it was a date night too. I certainly questioned whether or not to consume any alcohol, but this was a C race (just part of training), and well, I do like to chill sometimes. At least I got to bed by 9pm, a couple hours earlier than normal for me.
Since our hotel was only a mile away, it was perfect to run over to the race for our warm-up. Our corral gate was slated to close at 8:15am so we planned to arrive by 8 am, which we did. However, there were a few hundred people trying to get through the narrow opening so by 8:13am, the entire group of us were being shoved forward. I felt like cattle being herded, but I was shoved so hard, I felt my back seize up. Great! The gate was almost closed as we squeezed through. Some who didn’t make it even jumped over a fence to get in.
Of course, there was plenty of space once were inside. The weather was perfect (low 50’s) so we weren’t shivering waiting for the race start. At this point though, all I could think about was my back and how/if I could race well.
Off we went and fortunately, within my first several steps, my back was fine. Whew! Now, all I had to do was focus on the race plan. In any road race, I know to hold back a little at the beginning otherwise it’s bonk city. Well I not only did that well, I did it a little too well. (I’d rather go out a little too slow than a little too fast though). I picked up the intensity some and found myself quickly passing many by mile 2, many had gone out too fast and were already bonking, same with the next few miles. I was ecstatic that not one woman passed me after mile 4, and, I was still passing some! It’s perspective here though, it’s not that I ran super fast, I ran super smart.
In the end, I did surprise myself and ran a best time, by over a minute. Scott had a PR too. Go team Bradbury!