Chicago is arguably the best running city in America… And near the top in the world. It’s got miles of amazing paths, great sites along the way, and there are enough races in the greater Chicago area you would need a second job just to pay for them all. Alternatively, you could never need training runs and just do races.
Most runners know about the Chicago Marathon. It’s one of the marathon majors. It brings thousands of people from around the world to hit the streets of the city I call home. I am beyond excited to be running it in October, and even more excited to be running it to raise money for Girls on the Run Chicago.
When I first got here last year, I had no idea that there was another MASSIVE race through the streets of Chicago. One that celebrates the love this city has for St. Paddy’s Day and big parties. The Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle. With more than 30,000 runners, this 8K race is the official start of race season in Chicago, and I just had to be part of it.
I used it as an opportunity to kick off fundraising for GOTR, and solidified me as a 2015 SoleMate, getting to secure charity guaranteed entry to the Chicago Marathon. As a volunteer, and Chicago lead for my company’s relationship with GOTR International, I love everything they stand for, and hope that my nieces have something this amazing to teach them confidence, strength, and how to relate to others through simple things, like the love of putting one foot in front of the other.
This race is about redemption. 2 weeks ago I ran through the rain! trashing my legs through what I’m pretty sure was every hill in Washington, D.C. It wasn’t the race I wanted, but it also wasn’t a disaster. Mentally, though, it stripped my confidence. Ive had a couple of good, strong runs since then, but red to get my confidence back to restart training for my races later this spring, and to keep a strong base for marathon training.
While it’s an 8K (auto PR, since it’s my first 8k), I’m thinking of it as a 5 miler. Exactly a year ago, I ran the Back on My Feet 5 miler in Philly (with the awesome Mer & Karen) and had a great race.
With that in mind, here are my race goals:
- Negative splits – This is still an area of focus for me, as it becomes more and more important as I start to mentally train for the Chicago Marathon.
- Sub- 11:20 average pace – I’d love to PR at the 5 miler (.03 off, I’m confident in not running the tangents to make this actually 5 miles) but instead am focusing on maintaining a pace I want as my max for my half in May. This goal may be voided: late yesterday afternoon they downgraded conditions to yellow from green due to below freezing conditions. Potentially injuring myself isn’t worth a time goal. Long term view, right?!
- Never give up – In DC, I had a turning point in which I mentally gave up. I’m not sure I would have performed any better if I hadn’t, but this is a theme for me when a race is tough, or feels tough. I don’t give up in other parts of my life, why let myself in a race!?
If you’re running it too, I’m Corral E and will be wearing my GOTR Singlet (Pink one on the left) over something green. Stop by to say hello!
Tips for not giving up when a race gets tough?
Ever run a big, fun race like this?
Do you have a favorite holiday race?