#Kuuto8k: Shamrock Shuffle Sweet Success!

#Kuuto8k: Shamrock Shuffle Sweet Success!

Well, friends, it happened. I ran my very first 8k race — the Shamrock Shuffle!

Leading up to this event, the past 7 weeks of training included some highs and lows, such as the struggles of running on a treadmill, being extremely sore for days, waking up before work for an early run, and making healthier choices in what I eat and how I spend my free time. In the beginning, running was really painful. I’m happy to say that running is a lot less not as painful since my body has gotten used to it. I will even go as far to say that I feel great during and after runs, both physically and mentally. Truth be told, my body’s now craving physical activity. Who would’ve thought?

kuu_selfie

On the morning of the race, I experienced a mix of several emotions. I was excited, but extremely nervous. There was never a point in which I was worried about finishing the race. My real concern was questioning how long it would take me to actually run the race, not because I wanted a great time, but mostly because I was worried about being bored! The thought of running for 40+ minutes just seemed so repetitive. How would I be able to last? Once I started running, it was a great way to experience Chicago’s loop in such an intimate way. It was beautiful to see such a large group of people running together in what is typically a very chaotic environment. I had two goals in mind while running the race: 1) to finish the race in under an hour, and 2) to run the last half mile of the race through to the finish line without stopping to walk. Keep in mind, the last half mile is uphill and terrible!

READ  Annie's Health Journey: Cardio, CrossFit and Chronic Pain

I’m pleased to say that I hit both of these goals and could not have done it without the support of Team Matchup! This was our first team race run together and we all did exceptionally well. It was great to run most of the race with Grace and Andy as they really pushed me through. I knew that if I slowed to a walk that they would too, so I tried to avoid this as much as possible.

Running up the hill and across the finish line was an incredibly rewarding experience. Shout out to the lady belting the words to Eminem’s song “Lose Yourself,” which was both extremely amusing and motivating! Once I had about a quarter mile left to go, I pushed through and sprinted to the end. The feeling of crossing the finish line was absolutely incredible. Filled with adrenaline and on a “runner’s high,” I was congratulated by my teammates and we even received medals (they double as beer openers, a major bonus)!

shamrock_shuffle_chicago

As I reflect on this experience, “Kuu to 8k” hasn’t always been about running the Shamrock Shuffle. I’ve realized that this project is about committing to a healthy lifestyle and exploring opportunities to become more physically active in a way that not only fits my personal lifestyle, but is also attractive (and realistic) enough for me to stay engaged in. For the first time in my life, I’ve found that I’m getting excited about my weekly workouts and runs. Although the Shamrock Shuffle has come and gone, I’m feeling strong and looking forward to kicking off our new Catapult running club!

Furthermore, the timing of the race couldn’t have been better. Training for the race makes me feel physically prepared to continue to be active as we enter the spring and summer months. I’m looking forward  to continuing my regular outdoor runs, biking more, and trying out new fitness activities with the team. We’re even planning to join an intramural sports league together!

READ  #Kuuto8k: Never Have I Ever

Thank you to all of my friends and family who have been extremely supportive throughout this entire process. Everyone’s personal anecdotes and words of encouragement have been a true game changer. Next up on my list: The Color Run!

 
Facebook Comments
Stridekick
"Follow Us"

Stridekick

Stridekick is an online and mobile platform that allows individuals to create and join fun fitness challenges regardless of which wearable device they own or level of fitness. Join a community of other health minded individuals in stepping towards your health goals today!
Stridekick
"Follow Us"