Sunday, March 20, 2011

2011 Shamrock Shuffle 5k RR

This past Monday I registered for the 10th Annal Shamrock Shuffle 5k in Lebanon, NH. It is typically a very family friendly late winter event. I have heard really good things about it in the past, but have never participated. I hesitate to say "raced", as none of the events that I enter are 'raced'. They are run, but let's face it, I am never going to be...ok. Maybe 'never' is the wrong word. Shall we start over?
This past Monday..blah blah blah....
So i trained as hard for this event as i do for all events. Wednesday night I had a HUGE bowl of mint chocolate chip ice cream with caramel syrup. Friday morning, as many of you know, I had a nice, healthy breakfast at the golden arches. If you hadn't heard, feel free to scroll down and read all about it.
Saturday morning we went to a pancake breakfast fund raiser for Z's class trip to Quebec City. It was good fun, decent coffee, and too many pancakes. Yea. So i only ate 4, and was done eating by 945. Should have been ok, even for a 5k.
Since i am a man of science, I went with what i know works and took 2 immodium about 45 mins before the race. I prolly won't have to use the bathroom for a week. But when i do....YOWZA! anyone planning to strip paint or wallpaper in their throne room soon? I'll be right over.
Due to some unfortunate circumstances, my cheering section couldn't make it to the race. Lemme tell you, it is not much fun for me to race alone. I almost didn't go, actually. I hemmed and hawed about it, and finally Tracey basically kicked me out the door to go. Good thing they couldn't go, too, as it was FREEEEEEZING cold. Ok, maybe not as cold as that, but hey. FRIDAY we were in the 50's. Race day was closer to 30. And windy.
When i got to the locale, mobs of people were hanging out near city hall. As it turns out, they weren't hanging out, but rather waiting in line for bibs and shirts.
It took me at least 15 minutes to get in the door. Brrr.
Once I got inside, there was still a mob in the lobby. Eventually they split the line into A-K and whatever the next letter is through Z. That simplified things a bit, and we moved rapidly along. From outside, we could hear a megaphoned voice announcing that there would be about a 15 minute delay for the start of the race. After I got my bib and shirt, i saw signs letting us know that the bag drop area was on the 5th floor. I imagined a logistical nightmare (in keeping with registration) for retrieving my bag after the race, and dutifully left my bag in the room. I considered running in my warm up pants, but as i deliberated, i started to get too hot, so i stripped down to shorts, a thin long sleeved base layer top, and my bright yellow Brooks jacket. Oh, and of course, let's not forget my hat! 
Like those chins? yea. i have been working on those, but not in the right direction.......I wish that someone had told me that the hat was a bit off center. pooie. Anywho, I followed the herd across the street to the park in the middle of town. Lebanon (pronounced NOT like the place in the middle east. Accent on LEB, substitute an 'i' for the 'o'. Some locals pronounce it "LebaDIN", which makes my skin crawl.) where was I.???? OH, RIGHT! Leb (as others of us call it) has a green or a common in the center of town. this is very typical of many towns and even cities in New England. It is something that i really like about our region of the country. So the mob walked across the green and then stopped. I don't know why. Herd mentality totally took over. It was a psychologists DREAM situation.
Off to our right, about 100 yards away, maybe less, was the intersection that served as the START. A smaller  mob had gathered there as well, but our tribe seemed content to just stay put. It was odd. I half expected one group to start chanting, "We've got the Spirit, yes we do! We've got the Spirit, how 'bout YOU?!" and back and forth we'd go...
Are we there yet???
But that never happened. What DID happen, though, is that I met up with a friend of mine who I blame for getting me into these things in the first place. it was she who got me to run a leg of a half marathon relay, and then it snowballed from there. we chit-chatted a bit, and then suddenly our group was moving! YAY! we were on our way!!!!! Or so we thought.
All we did was jog over to the actual start line. Not knowing that at the time, I snapped this pic of Suzan and I, glad to finally be moving and on our way.

Can you see that rectangular thing, almost in the middle of the picture? It says "start". It is on a pole attached to a wooden base, plunked in the middle of the road. Yea. Ever watch the Tour de France highlights where cyclists smack into similar poles? well, the only saving grace here was that since it was at the start, we were barely moving when people tripped over it. HELLOOOOO!! put the sign in the air next time.... 
The first mile went by waaaay too fast, but it was still fun. I have to learn to start closer to the front, thought. lots and lots of pinballing around other runners took some extra energy, and caused met to nearly step in potholes and puddles and such. The course took us around some neighborhoods. Volunteers were available at each turn making sure that we didn't get flattened by traffic, and there was a water station at mile 1.9. I could have used one at mile 1.7, but it was worth the wait....
I did walk during the 3rd mile. I just didn't have it in me. I walked for about 20 yards three times. I owe it all to my extensive training regime.
Here's the elevation profile from garmin. not very impressive, is it?
But when you change the scale, it looks like this. WOW! Good thing i have some rock climbing experience! On belay!!!

Even though i am not really all that fast, my first mile was much too fast. The average shown includes the first quarter to almost half mile of pin-balling. 
There were some times that I looked at Teri (Garmin) and noticed that I was running close to a 7:10 pace, which is waaaay too fast for me. I tried to slow down, but found it tough not to get caught up in the fervor of the race. I really need to run more often. 

Congrats to everyone who ran this weekend. So cool to be part of this community.


  1. You'll soon have your sprints when it comes time to make your bathroom deposit. Gross and awesome recap man.

  2. You DO need to run more often. This is a good time for a slacker effort! Nice report.

  3. I read this yesterday but posting a comment on Blogger from an iPhone is like trying to tie your shoes on a roller coaster.

    Just wanted to chime in real quick and say you're the man! Sweet "outfit" (or is costume more masculine)! Either way, looks like it was a good time even if you froze your tuchus off.

  4. TMI! TMI! ;)
    I couldn't believe how cold it was on Saturday after Friday's 60ish temps. Glad it was ok for you, though. I hope I can run this one next year. I've been looking longingly at the bare patches of sidewalk/trail and am hoping to finish my Couch>5k program this spring so I can run a few this summer.

  5. GEEEENNNOOOOOO!! I think you rock!! (-: It was so wonderful to get to be silly with you pre-race! It really took the sting out of the chilling air! You are too funny! I just got a look at this as I have been in Philly this week for AORN Congress. I'll fill you in next week! Til' then...behave