First race of the season, check!
Despite considering myself a Chicagoan in every other sense, I’ve never run the Shamrock Shuffle until this year. With over 40,000 people coming out to run, the Shuffle is easily the most popular non-marathon race in Chicago. Everyone I saw was excited, and the energy was contagious. Personally, I knew that I wanted to flat-out sprint the race. I ran from my house to the start line (about 3.5 miles) to warm up, and I questioned that strategy a couple of times (most notably while I was freezing in cold sweat waiting for the race to start, and for the first two miles of the race). The course, which starts and ends in Grant Park, is flat and fast- until you cross Michigan on Roosevelt and see what amounts to a hill of terror for Chicagoans who are accustomed to flat running. Luckily, that hill is basically the last thing before the finish line, so I just put my head down and kept my feet moving. I felt pretty good throughout the race, save for a moment or two during the second mile, and I killed my per mile time! I’m not sure if that pace was sustainable for much longer, but who cares! PR!
Afterwards, my friend Heather (above) and I headed back home to get ready before Nike’s NTC Resolutions Crews wrap-up celebration at Rockit Bar & Grill downtown. Members of all the Crews came together to celebrate five weeks of setting goals and kicking ass, and since many of us were fresh off the Shuffle finish line, some serious eating was in order.
Each crew’s Nike trainer (remember, the Crews were Sculpt, Stretch & Balance, Move More, Run a Half or Set a PR) took a few minutes to highlight their crew’s experience. No joke, these people were doing cool things- groups worked out on the Field Museum steps and in other awesome locations around town, and I love that Nike challenged us to work out around the city rather than get stuck in a gym rut.
Another exciting surprise came when each trainer chose three members of his/her crew as MVPs- people who came to almost all of the events, tried their hardest, and inspired others to do the same- and those lucky MVPs got some sort of prize! Some girls got FuelBands, yoga mats, or studio wraps. Kate was nice enough to choose me as an MVP of her group (I think mostly because it’s one of her favorite stories ever how much of a mess I was when I showed up to one of our Sunday morning group workouts yet I stuck it out…) and I’m so excited to say I won an entry to the Soldier Field 10 Mile race in May! I love that race and had been debating signing up for it, and now I’ve got no excuse! See y’all at the 50 yard line!
The Nike trainers all spoke about how proud they were of our transformations throughout the five weeks and of everything we had achieved as a group. While I definitely have to agree with that sentiment, I think it’s also important to note how the NTC Resolution Crews helped us build communities. The best aspect of the crews, in my opinion, were how they made me look forward to working out, because it meant I got to see my friends. By pairing fitness and friendship, I think the NTC Resolution Crews really helped us to meet our goals and have fun along the way. I can’t wait to see what NTC Chicago has up their DriFit sleeves next!