Welcome back strong legs.
The YMCA Shamrock Shuffle takes place each year near St. Patty’s day and is hosted by the Summervile Y. This race is much closer to my house than a lot of the races in Charleston so I was pretty excited that I wouldn’t have to travel far. All the proceeds from the race go directly to the Y and I’m happy to participate because this is the location that we take Fiona to for her swim lessons. It’s always nice to help out a place that you are fond of and spend time at. Although, someone needs to tell Fiona to stop being a booger about swim lessons and jump in the silly pool!
This race had a 5k and 10k option but with the Cooper River Bridge Run 10K staring me in the face in 3 weeks, I wasn’t about to race a 10K just yet. Instead I was eyeing a comeback from the Bosch 5k and was crossing my fingers to see 22:xx on the board. Based on my speedwork I knew that there was no reason I couldn’t manage to hit the 22’s but for some reason it hadn’t panned out that way the week prior. I had a plan of action set up in my head. I had given myself the two days prior to rest my legs, stretch, hydrate well, and focus on being strong for the race. I got to the race early enough that I did a long warm-up. Mentally I kept telling myself I could do it. I had no doubts before the race started that I had the power to reach a 22:xx 5k.
I found Reyna and Lily and did a nice secondary warm up run after my mile and a half I did on my own. I’m starting to realize just how important the warm up is for me. It gives me a chance to really get my legs warmed up, muscles firing, and notice the turnover I need in my feet for the pace I want to accomplish. Reyna was running the 5k with me, while Lily was gonna tackle the 10k. After our warm up we headed to the start line which was a few blocks over from the finish. I made Reyna get up front with me at the starting line, which based on the picture, I stick out like a sore thumb. I just don’t own green you guys. I look horrible in it.
I looked around at the start line and immediately saw Caitlin, our fast lady of Charleston. She is so inspirational and I just love to see her run. She finished first in the 5k for females with a time of 18:35. Holy guacamole does that girl have some speedy legs. If you look up above in my picture, she’s to the far right. You can see me admiring her from a distance, ha.
My biggest mantra lately has been not to start off too fast. If I find myself going out too hard I dial it way back and allow myself to catch back up to the pace I want. This has been working for me as to not let myself die out before I finish the race. So as usual, I took off and within the first 1/4 mile I checked my watch to see 6:20, time to slow way down. I got myself down to about 7:45 and then pressed it back up again. By the end of mile 1, my watch said I did a 7:04. That alone gave me a huge boost of energy. I’m working on getting down to under 7 minute miles and to see myself clock mile 1 away at a 7:09, I was freaking out that I would pay for that later in the race. Going into the race I just wanted to stay above 7:25’s so that I could break 23 minutes. Mile 1.5-2miles is always my biggest struggle. I tried to keep that in mind and repeat over and over again, don’t let this determine your result. Mile 2 ticked off at 7:11! I was so sure after the Bosch 5k that I was not going to keep this pace up for another mile but my legs felt loose, my body felt great, my breathing was on point, and I knew the race would be over soon. I had two females close to me that I just focused on staying on pace with. They eventually took off ahead of me and gained a hundred yards or so but I kept in step with them as long as I could and then I hit the mile 3 marker, 7:23. I had stayed above my goal pace the entire race. I could see the finish line and it was just a short uphill. I could see the clock in the 22’s and I could hear Anni screaming at me to push it. When Anni tells you to kick it into gear, you listen. To my absolute shock and pleasure, I crossed the finish line in 22:19!!!
Now it’s on to trying to see 21:xx!
Post race party included getting a massage from the massage school students in the area, a donut from the dunkin donut’s tent, bananas and danishes from the Y, a picture backdrop where they were printing the pictures right away for you, and some music. My only complaint was that there wasn’t a ton for kids. This was the Y and they had a kids run, I expected there to be jump castles in the parking lot or even a balloon animal person, something.
The awards were very nice. The overall finishers got cash awards, 1st in age groups won a beer glass and $10 to the foot store, 2nd & 3rd place age groups won medals. They even had trophy’s for the costume contest. I ended up placing 1st in my age group which I am super proud of. Although there were 3 different races going on in the Charleston area, so a lot of the speedy girls were spread out over the races.
I loved this race and will definitely be back next year. Maybe next year I’ll take the leap to do the 10K. Although, I saw their faces at the end of the hot and humid race and I was not jealous at all of the 10k’ers.