Well, this year was new and improved because we weren't standing in 2 inches of slush at the Shamrock Shuffle like were were last year. The weather wasn't great, especially since it had been in the sixties the few days prior, but at least it didn't rain on us. Also, it's easy to stay warm when you are surrounded by 25,000 of your closest friends.
This year was a little different in many ways. One, my sister-in-law came with us this year. This was her first organized race (nothing like jumping into one of the biggest of the year as your first) but she works out all time, so it wasn't a big deal in terms of mileage. No, we are not going to compare hers and my times. Just drop it.
Also a first, we finally got to meet up with Mr. Unfocused before the race. We met here online about two years ago, and have been at some of the same races, but this was the first time we managed to get the timing and place to match up. We didn't get to talk a whole lot, mostly because he's an awesome runner and was way in the front of the pack, but we got to talk some at least. It was good to finally meet him in person.
The race itself? Well, it wasn't too bad. I did run much this winter, in fact I hadn't run more than four miles all winter, but I did okay anyway. I beat my time two years ago by about 40 seconds or so. I could have done better if my calves didn't lock up in the first 100 yards. It's never good to have to pull off the side that early to stretch out your calves. I really thought I wasn't going to be able to run at all. But, they loosed up after a couple hundred more yards and I was able to finish.
I had a plan this year. I brought my watch to make sure I took the first mile easy and not get caught up in the hoopla and be wiped out by mile two. I actually hit the time I wanted for mile one right on the nose. I was very proud of myself. The problem came in the next two miles where I actually went slower than mile one. That was not planned. But, I was able to pick it up on the last two miles and have better times on each of those two miles. So I can't complain too much.
The end of the race was kind of a mess. This year they had the largest crowd actually show up to run the race. Since the weather wasn't terrible most people still ran it and didn't wuss out like they did last year. That meant the end of the race was a mass of people trying to get water and a banana. They actually ran out of bananas, so it's obvious they expected more people to drop out due to the uncertainty of the weather. Never count out us hearty Chicagoans!
Finding Jenn was a big problem this year. I think every racer was on their cell phone at the end of the race so the circuits were jammed. Luckily Jenn was able to get a message through to me and tell me where to meet her. Otherwise I would have had to leave her behind. Hey, I had the keys, someone had to get the kids. We never met up with any of our friends, or relatives, at the end. t was too much of a madhouse. We just headed to the car to go home. Of course, when we got to the car someone had double parked behind us. Lucky for her she left a number for us to call and she'd move it. Otherwise I would have seen if our car had enough power to push hers out of the way. I'm kidding of course, I would have had it towed. I wouldn't want to ruin our paint job.
So, I sit here today, nursing my still aching calves (I'm doing a good job milking that, no?) and watching the dogs sleep off the fun they had while being boarded. Seriously, they are wiped out. We never seen them this inactive. It's a nice change of pace.
Speaking of change of pace, on Saturday I got home from work to a totally empty house. Jenn had taken the dogs to the place where they over nighted, then was out by her parents for a birthday party and then dropping the kids off at her parent's house for the night. I came home and didn't know what to do with myself. I had nobody to take care of, and no dogs to let out, or anything. So I sat at the computer and watched a show on Hulu and had dinner. Yes, that is kind of sad, but it was a quiet, yet slightly odd, night.
So, that was my weekend in a nutshell. Hope yours was good.
By the way, this is my 666th post. That can't be good...