Watertown Shamrock Shuffle – When the “Hill” is not the real “Hill”
The Warm Up
Saturday morning and another breakfast of Old Fashioned Oatmeal (not a fan of the Instant variety) and a cup of tea.
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!
Back out to the car to drop off my swag (a cool coffee mug), pop in my headphones and scoot around for my 2
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!
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!
I placed 3rd!
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
ittoll. 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