Watertown Shamrock Shuffle – When the “Hill” is not the real “Hill”

Join me for another Finish Line Friday. This week it's a race recap of the Watertown Shamrock Shuffle that took place on March 9, 2018. Spoiler Alert - there was a giant hill in the middle of the course!

The Warm Up

Saturday morning and another breakfast of Old Fashioned Oatmeal (not a fan of the Instant variety) and a cup of tea.

Oatmeal – It works for me!

I had a slight freak out before I left for Watertown as I could not find my race registration confirmation, so not knowing if I already had a bib or would have to pay “race day” prices.

It took me about 40 minutes to reach Watertown, and after several circles around the neighborhood, I headed inside the Polk Elementary School to pick up my bib.

Luckily – I found my name on the list of pre-registered runners! Score!

Watertown Shamrock Shuffle Course Map

Back out to the car to drop off my swag (a cool coffee mug), pop in my headphones and scoot around for my 2 mile warm up – which actually got me sweating a bit. Back to the car to make a game-time “glove or no glove” decision (I decided on wearing them) and then back to the school to wait for the start of the race.

I had not run this race before but apparently, it’s pretty popular (although maybe it was because of the post-race party at the local watering hole).

After a bit of confusion – the start actually had to be pushed back – we were off!

Setting pre-race jitters with a photo op!

The Work Out

Coach had told me that there was a downhill to start and end and a hill in the middle of the race.

Sure enough – we started downhill which was great and really opened up my legs. The course continued and we made our way up over what I thought was the hill just prior to Echo Lake Park.

The day was gorgeous and as I made my way through Echo Lake Park I thought I had it made in the shade (so to speak).

As I exited the park and took a left onto Echo Lake Road – I think an “Oh Shit” might have escaped my lips as what lay ahead was a BIG ASS WINDING HILL. I had two options – 1. Run up and stop no matter what or 2. Run as much as I could and when my legs started to scream take a little “walk break”. However, at that moment two things happened 1 – Don’t Stop Me Now (Queen) started playing and 2 – I knew that it was tough and I was going to slow down but I would be damned if I was going to stop!

So- I trudged (and possibly almost puked) my way up the hill until I finally, breathlessly reached the top, and at that point I made a right and was greeted by one of the best downhills I have ever had the chance of running. I stepped on the gas and headed to the finish!

The Cooldown

After that it was time to get some water, take a photo (or 2), and check to see how I did as compared the other participants

I placed 3rd!

AG Win (3rd – 40-49 F)

As I waited for the awards ceremony – I completed my cooldown and headed back to pick up a cute medal AND a water bottle (since runners cannot have too many of these!

So what did I take away from this race

  • Hills are hard work! I ran the Colchester Half Marathon a couple of weeks ago – but for some reason, my legs really took a beating in the Watertown Shamrock Shuffle. Maybe it was the sharp uphill and downhill that took it toll. I see more hill work in my future!
  • Watertown was a new Connecticut town for me – 20 down only 149 to go!
  • My weekly yoga sessions and “post run” workout routine I have been incorporating has been helping. I felt I had better leg turn over during the race – even up that hill

SO what’s next – well the O’Hartford 5k this weekend BUT I am running it as a workout so it should be interesting.

I have to learn to make sure the time is right prior to taking a selfie.

Stay tuned!



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