The Friday before the race I headed down to McCormick after work for packet pick up. It takes a little longer to get their from my new place, but it's nice that the green line has a stop nearby now. I'm also glad I paid attention to where people were coming from since they moved the expo into a different hall than it normally is in. Packet pick up was pretty painless and then I wandered around looking at vendors before bumping into Harry and Tiffany. Not long after I also ran into Luis and Charlyn.
The next morning was the monthly meet up of the Mikkeller Running Club. I had planned on taking it easy and just getting loose before the Shuffle. Well I did the running nice and easy no problem, but then I might have gone a bit overboard with the drinking. I apparently got a bit drunk. Untappd says I drank 6 beers with the last one being 12% alcohol. Oops. I did manage to make it home with a pizza by 5PM so I had some time to recover.
Race morning came far too early. I was slightly hungover and it was far too cold out. I made my way down to the start area. I met up with some of the usual suspects, but needed to use the facilities and wandered off. I did bump into Charlyn in time to head to the corrals together where we found Pete and watched the elites warm up. Pete soon headed off to the front while we stayed near the back of A corral.
Once the race started I got sucked into things. I was running stiff and could feel myself over striding. It's hard to correct myself in a short, fast race like that. I decided to just hold on the best I could even though it isn't very efficient. I hit the first mile in 7:02 which was just a touch slower than I had hoped for. Mile 2 was more of the same and a similar split.
The middle miles turned into bit of a drag. We had a couple stretches where we had to fight the wind. The inefficient stride was also wearing on me and I slowed closer to 7:15ish splits. During the last mile we turned back onto Michigan Ave and I tried to pick up the pace a bit knowing the end was near. I caught Charlyn passing me so I had a new target to keep up with. We turned up Roosevelt and were nearly to the homestretch. I got stuck taking a wide turn around a slower runner who also took a wide turn. The hilly fall marathons must of paid off because I was able to power up the hill pretty well. After that final turn towards the finish I was able to pull together everything I had left and finished pretty strongly. Charlyn wound up a few yards behind me. Final time was 35:27 which was good for a 7:08 pace. While it was a PR, it was still slower than the 6:46 pace I had during my 10K last fall. I guess that's what I get for running hungover.