Albuquerque · Running

Race Report: Shamrock Shuffle 10k

I knew the hills would be beastly. I knew this, and I still walked away from that finish line with renewed respect for them. Not to mention renewed humility.

I had run Albuquerque’s Shamrock Shuffle several times. Unlike many of the city’s races, which are in the Rio Grande valley and mostly flat, this one takes place across the river — technically, in Rio Rancho — in a neighborhood blessed with long, steep, rollers.

What can I say? I was craving a challenge.

Race morning dawned cool and clear. It was the first day of Daylight Savings, so I’d made a conscious effort to get to bed a little earlier than usual the night before. I didn’t have much trouble waking up, but I can’t say for certain if that was due to my bedtime strategy or old-fashioned pre-race jitters.

My support crew (Robin Hood and Ann) and I made it to the race site with plenty of time to hit the bathroom, find the starting line, do a warm-up trot, and acquire a fan club. *Ahem.* That would be Ann who acquired the fan club, because hey, everyone loves an adorable coonhound who wags her tail a lot and doesn’t poop directly on the race course.

Anyway. The race.

The 10k launched down a gently sloping downhill. That ended pretty quickly, and we began the first long climb. As far as I could tell, I was the 4th woman at that point, but I had my eye on 3rd place.

There are certain signs you learn to pick up on, both from yourself and your competitors. The 3rd-place woman didn’t have too big of a lead on me, and I told myself, “You can pass her, just give it a minute.” Well, it was slightly longer than “a minute,” but I passed her before the 2-mile marker, and looked for the 2nd-place woman.

She was in sight, but further off. I maintained contact until somewhere in the 4th mile, when…poof! She surged or I faded, or both. From then on, I focused on rallying however I could, even if that meant I didn’t pass anyone else. These hills would not get the best of me. They would not.

In high school, I hated hills. Our cross-country coach would tell us, “Hills are your friends.” My teammates and I would roll our eyes.

Nowadays, well…”love” is a strong word, but I respect and appreciate hills, especially in a race. They demand the best from a runner. There’s no filtering them down, no easy middle ground. It’s possible to casually sign up for a race; it’s possible to casually run a race. But it’s awfully hard to casually trot up a hill.  Hills require raw commitment.

I was thankful for the hills in that race. How often are our challenges something visible, right in front of our faces, and we can conquer them right there? I gave those hills my best, and they took it. Did they give me anything in return? I like to think so.

I held on to that 3rd-place spot, and finished the 10k in 46:32. No PR by a long shot, but I’m proud nonetheless.

Post-race relaxing & replenishing at Delish Café.















12 thoughts on “Race Report: Shamrock Shuffle 10k

  1. Impressive!!! Congrats! As for hills, I’d rather run them than do speed work, any day. But then where I live, I can’t run half a mile in any direction without hitting a hill. Happy Running!

    1. Daro&su#8230;Maduris are plaintain. Sweet plaintain. Try some with goat stewed in garlic, and yellow rice. I think that dish is “achebe con maduros y arros amarillo.”You will lick your fingers, my brother.

  2. Hey Shannon! I found your blog after I noticed that you liked one of my posts on The Weekend Long Run. (Thank you, by the way!) I’m new to blogging, and I’m trying out a few different pages. I really enjoyed your writing – you are talented! I would be so grateful for a chance to chat a little and hear about how you got started and what your blogging goals are. And congrats on a fast 10k! (That one WOULD be a PR for me!) 🙂

    1. Thanks!! I started blogging back in 2011 just because…I wanted to write :-). I had written in high school & college, and I figured a blog would hold me accountable AND allow me to write about whatever I wanted. These days I’m just trying to stay consistent with it. Sometimes that’s a challenge, but it’s rewarding in itself.

      1. Very admirable! Accountability is tough, haha! I feel like I’m in the same place right now. I just want to write, and I don’t have any particular reason. Running happens to be the thing I find most interesting. Did you publicize your blog? Or have people just stumbled on it over the years?

      2. A little of both. I keep a public Facebook account where I publish posts, and I put them on Twitter as well. Nothing too fancy. Engaging with other bloggers on a consistent basis is good, too :-).

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