Jenn and I ran in the Shamrock Shuffle again this weekend. One thing about having a race this early in the year in Chicago is you never know what the weather is going to be like. Two years ago we ran in a blizzard. So this year the race was pushed two weeks later and what do we get? Near record heat. Yes, I know I shouldn't complain about warm weather in April, but I'm going to. See, I haven't run outside in temperatures about 55 so far this year. It's not that easy to all of a sudden shift like that. Especially as you get older and don't prepare the way you should.
Let's backtrack a bit first. Jenn and I were smart this year and went downtown the night before to make it much easier, and less stressful, to get to the race. We had won a night's stay at the Park Hyatt last year in a silent auction so we used it for this race. It worked great, the hotel was super nice and we had a great view.
We walked around downtown a bit and grabbed dinner at Mity Nice Grill in Water Tower Place. We noticed a million cops walking around as we walked to the restauarant. We weren't sure why, but we thought it might have something to do with it being the first nice night of the year and the cops expected undesirables to come out and try to swipe stuff. Who knows? Whoopi was also in town, maybe they were protecting her. (I'm kidding about that.)
Since we had to get up early we didn't walk around much so we'd be well rested and ready to run. Because we are professionals you know. (What?)
The next morning I put on my favorite nerdy running shirt and we headed downstairs to catch a cab to the starting line. Hey, we were about a mile away, we didn't want to burn ourselves out before the race!
We met up with Jenn's cousin, Kim, and waited a long time for the race to start.
It took so long to start because we are slow people and they let all the good people go first and release the rest of us losers in waves. I think it took a little over thirty minutes from the start of the race until we actually crossed the starting line. Those good people up front are finishing the stupid thing before we even get to the start. That's what happens when you have over 30,000 people running at once.
So, since it was warm and humid, my plan was to start of slow and take it easy. So, of course, I took off in the beginning and totally screwed myself up. I was hot and panting way too early and I never really got my groove back. It probably didn't help that I was wearing a black shirt. Idiot.
I finished though. I don't think it was my worst time, but it was nowhere near the time I wanted. After the race Jenn and I made a pledge to be better prepared and not slack off so much during the winter. Sure, we make the same pact every year, but this time we mean it!
We decided to walk back to the hotel so we wouldn't cramp up after sitting in a cab. We walked by the famous Chicago Magic Bean. I don't know if that is it's official name, but what else would you call a giant chrome kidney bean?
After we cleaned ourselves up we went across the street from the hotel and ate at RL, better known as Ralph Lauren Restaurant. Jenn told me she read that the resturant served Jennifer Aniston's favorite burger in Chicago. So, of course, I had the steak sandwich. Jenn had the burger and said it was good, but she also mentioned that Jennifer Aniston should probably go out and try more hamburgers in Chicago.
Now, I don't know why, but after the race when we got to Jenn's parent's house to pick up the kids I felt like crap. I just wanted to sleep. And, actually, I did drift off for a few minutes while we were there. I chalked it up to not being ready for the run and going a bit too hard in the beginning. But then I felt lousy the next day and Jenn was feeling ill today and stayed home from work. I think someone put something in the water. That's probably why I ran so poorly as well. That's my story and I'm sticking to it!