Shamrock Shuffle 10K Recap

Your race is simply a victory lap, celebrating the completion of your training – Unknown

Looking back is the best way to put running into perspective. So, before I review the Summerville YMCA Shuffle Shuffle 10K, let’s roll the highlight reel of past 10K attempts.

A little over 4 years ago, I committed to training for and running my first 10K in May 2010. I ran the Florence, SC McLeod Sports Medicine 10K in 1:04:16, and I was clearly hooked.


Thanks to Phillip Guyton, Jr, at True Light Photography for this picture. We go way back.

It seems like I’ve run lots of March 10Ks, so I dug up my finish times for them:

2010– 1:04:10 (McLeod Sports Medicine 10K)
2011– 53:20 (McLeod Sports Medicine 10K)
2012– None. Running 3x a week easy, back/sacrum injury.
2013- 48:36 (Summerville Shamrock Shuffle)

I may not be where I want to be, but I’m heading in the right direction…

DSCN5477TrySports Crew- Ed, me, Andrew, and Nicole- at least year’s Shamrock Shuffle 10K


On the first weekend of April, Charleston hosts a huge event called the Cooper River Bridge Run. Maybe you’ve heard of it. It’s a pretty large 10K, but five 10Ks in the US are larger and overshadow it.

Sometime last year, I read that you can run a “qualifying” time of 45 minutes or below in a 10K and start in a competitive corral. The Cooper River Bridge Run has weird seeding standards- *anyone* can register for the 45-60 minute finisher’s crowd- no time verification required unless you want to register for under-40 or 40-45.

Since it’s such a large event (and I’m slightly overwhelmed by crowds), I wouldn’t participate without a competitive bib. The race number even says competitor on it which is a huge draw for me…

A couple of friends and I set our sights on a sub-45 10K to “seed” for the bridge run. To this date, only one achieved this (congratulations Katie!). On Saturday, I toed the line, along with my friend and training partner Kindal, at the Summerville YMCA Shamrock Shuffle for our last chance to run the sub-45 10K. You can read Kindal’s recap here.


We hit the track most Tuesdays, but with a 22:21 5K PR, I *needed* the “luck of the Irish” to run a 44:xx 10K. You don’t just double your best 5K time and get your goal 10K result; it’s not that easy.

Let’s not forget, I also raced Catch the Leprechaun just 37 hours before. Was this a smart idea? Probably not, but it’s hard to turn down a race when you work from home and running and racing *is* your social life. I’m not exactly known for smart decisions.

Knowing my training and abilities, I set my goal to PR at the Summerville Shamrock Shuffle 10K, but deep down, my heart wanted that sub-45 10K. Spoiler: Training logs, tired legs, and finish clocks don’t lie.

I got to the Summerville YMCA and picked up my number. I didn’t get a shirt, because the boxes of small sized shirts are ordered but have not arrived (I am hoping I get a shirt…). I did snag a bite of a tasty blueberry muffin from a tray meant for post-race festivities. Oops…

Kindal and I started at the front of the line right by last year’s winner and some other speedy ladies and guys, including Andrew and Scott from TrySports Mt Pleasant. I got a little caught up in the atmosphere and start a bit fast for a 10K on the double-looped course. The 5K started 10 minutes before the 10K, so we had to pass the 5K walkers, then the 5K joggers (I got cut off by someone with a stroller on the first lap).


The second lap of the course was a lot less crowded, but that didn’t make it any easier. Guess I should’ve used the crowdedness of the first 3 miles to keep my pace steady so I wouldn’t die at the end. I kept passing this guy with a Spartan Race shirt on, then he’d pass me, and so forth… I ended up beating him at the end, but we were definitely pacing off each other. With several hundred 10Kers, it was really the perfect size for a small town race. You could pace off people and you could see lots of people at any given time.

I felt myself slowing down at Mile 4, then running past the mile 5 sign, I tried to pull myself together and mentally tell myself I was close to being done. If you count down the miles, that kinda helps. However, nothing helped with the “surprise” incline at the end. Right when you “kick” to finish, it’s a gradual uphill. Yikes! The race starts further down the road, so it’s tricky.

I saw the clock click to 47 minutes when I finished, but apparently my time squeezed just under. 46:59.


I did a cooldown run to collect my thoughts before heading to the refreshments and the TrySports tent, where I met up with my friends and fellow runners for some pictures and fun before the awards ceremony. The awards were plaques for the overall and masters winners, along with the first place age-groupers. I was second place in my age group, which shows how fierce the competition was- I won my age group last year with a time over 90 seconds slower. This area has some speedy runners!

After the race, Kindal and I met up with a fellow Earth Fare “Earthlete” Ambassador, Crystal. Earth Fare, a healthy food store here in Charleston and around the Southeast and midwest, recently expanded the athlete ambassador program this year and gave us sweet red shirts, so it’s nice to see others at races and find training partners and workout buddies that way.



As far as seeding for the Cooper River Bridge Run goes, I thought I’d be upset, but writing this on Sunday afternoon, it’s really not a big deal. The Bridge Run has high security, drug sniffing dogs, lots of crowds. I live in Charleston, so I can run the bridge anytime. I’m secretly kind of relieved I can sleep in on a Saturday morning for once!

All in all, I’m proud of my new PR. Regardless of circumstances, how well you raced, and how you felt during the race… you can’t help but be happy with a PR. I don’t think running Thursday’s Catch the Leprechaun race easy (or tempo) would have taken 2 minutes off my 10K time on Saturday, but I still think I can lower my time- and I’ll be back on the track working toward it in a few days.


As a TrySports Mt. Pleasant athlete ambassador, I received a complimentary race entry, as TrySports sponsors this race; however, all opinions expressed are my own. I am grateful for TrySports’ support to Charleston area races, the running community, and to my own training.

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31 Responses to Shamrock Shuffle 10K Recap

  1. Great job! Man you keep beating down that PR!!! Keep it up. I love that quote you found: Your race is simply a victory lap, celebrating the completion of your training – Unknown

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Thanks! You are rocking it out lately too getting in all those hills. The hills really increase your speed (seems like it makes your easy pace go down which helps).

      I saw the quote on a picture on Facebook, but I didn’t like the picture, hehe. It was one of those “fitspro” things and stupid looking, so I didn’t save it to my hard drive or anything (I have a folder of fun inspirational running pictures saved). Just saved the quote for a blog.

  2. playfulpups says:

    Still a great race!! I used to live in Florence, SC and my job often took me to Charleston (Regional Hotel Manager)- One day I may do the Bridge Run too! You still ran a great time~ way to go! 🙂

    • Amy Lauren says:

      I lived there for almost 9 years, since I went to college there then got a job there after college, so I stuck around. Florence isn’t a bad place to live, but I do love living in Charleston :).

      I think 2015 will be my year to tackle the bridge run (I will most likely run it Thursday night this week, actually).

  3. Christine says:

    Congrats on your new PR! You had a great race! My goal is to get into the sub-45 group before running Cooper River as well and since I’m on a bit of a training hiatus until late summer, I think that goal will be pushed back a bit. But you did a great job even if you didn’t get that 44:xx time (yet) and you’re right, you live in Charleston and Cooper River happens every year. You’ll get there!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      I definitely think you are capable of it (based on your half time and how well you were running before you got pregnant). Virginia ran a 22:59 5K at Leprechaun Thursday night (no stroller) so she has definitely had a comeback. Even if it takes some time to come back, they have the race every year and I don’t think the sub-45 corral is exactly filling up ;). I hope things are going well with you and the pregnancy lately too, keep us posted in your blog!

      • Christine says:

        Thanks! I’m glad to hear Virginia is doing well! I’ve seen so many postpartum friends make really great comebacks, so I’m just hoping to follow in their footsteps. My first 10K ever was 4 months after I started running (2012) and I came in at 54:xx, my second was almost exactly a year to the day later and I came in at 49:xx, which I think was my peak before picking up speed (or rather, losing speed) rolling down the pregnancy hill! So I’m not expecting anything great this fall if I attempt a 10K or anything. I think I’ll need to give it at least until next spring. I cannot wait to get back to racing!

  4. Pam says:

    Wow….that is one speedy 10k. Congrats on a great race, and while it was not the PR you had hoped for, you are definitely on your way to that “competitor” bib. I understand how you feel though. We set certain standards in our head to validate ourselves as runners. As an older runner who cannot set the world on fire in the sprint distances, I was driven to get a Boston Qualifying time and yesterday was my race. Knowing I will have earned a Boston bib for 2015 will carry me through 2014 and it certainly has taken the pressure off my running!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Congratulations! I saw your post on the Sweat Pink group about qualifying for Boston and that is amazing!

      As a younger runner, I really admire older runners :). You guys have stuck with it for years, before a lot of ladies ran and before running was really popular like it is today. Plus, it helps to know that if I stay healthy, maybe one day I’ll be able to run, then go home and spend time with kids and grandkids.

  5. congrats on your PR, Amy! you are so close to that sub 45 — i know it’ll happen for you soon. there are LOTS of speedy runners in the dc area as well. charleston is a great city – i’ve always enjoyed traveling there.

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Thanks! Yeah, I bet DC is full of speedsters, most larger cities are but sometimes even the small towns are competitive! I’m a lot closer to 45 than I was so with some extra work, it will happen this year!

  6. Congrats on the 10k PR, and the AG placing. I’m sorry you didn’t get your time you wanted but I think with some more training you could definitely get there. Maybe do some more longer runs with fast finish or tempo runs? Those really helped me drop my 10k and other times, and learning to push later on in the race.

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Thanks Laura!

      I recently started doing longer tempo runs on Sundays with a group and it is definitely helping! Our average pace is pretty fast, we really push each other. One of the ladies who I tempo run with sometimes finished with a low 46 in this race.

      Your fast finish runs are awesome and I love seeing your training and how you manage to negative split! I usually run fairly even splits, but not Saturday. I definitely went out too fast!

  7. Wonderful job on the Shamrock Shuffle! I like what you said about looking back on other accomplishments and getting perspective. That’s been helping me lately with getting ideas for a degree job and looking for some new hobbies, as well as setting some goals. Sometimes it seems like I haven’t done much, but seeing my past things gives me a little push.

    Have you moved onto 10K’s now? Or do you still run 5K’s whenever? 🙂

    That’s neat that you finished at 46:59. Does that make a difference, then, in finishing the race?

    Wonderful job racing! Have a good evening!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      I am a short distance racer (5k/10k). I still run distances longer than that- in fact many of my training runs are over 6.2 miles which is the 10K distance. I just have to be careful because when I did the half marathons and marathon, my anemia started coming back and I don’t want that to happen again.

      All distances are tough and have different challenges. Mainly I just like being around my friends and seeing others cross the finish is inspirational too.

      As far as times go, 46:59 just qualified me for an age group award… it really depends on the race and how many people are there. No race time is shabby if the person is proud of it and worked hard though 🙂

  8. Congrats on the PR. I know you have been working so hard.
    Secret – I am not sure I’ll be sad if my coach says no Cooper. Those early buses and the waiting around is rough.

    • Amy Lauren says:

      I think the bridge run is more of a bucket list thing for people. You and I are NOT the only Charleston area runners who think that buses and waiting is rough and won’t do CRBR for that reason…

      You’ve been working really hard too… so glad you added BodyPump. In fact I think that’s what I will do on April 5 instead of the bridge run ;).

  9. harveylisam says:

    Love the green! And regardless of your A goal, you did awesome. But I’m sure you know that! 😉

    My 10K goal for this year is really just a PR, but I’d be very happy to get under 50 minutes. The 10K is my weakest distance (and I always seem to be injured for them) so I’d like to work on it. Though honestly, it’s enough of a hassle to just get out and run in the cold, so we’ll see what happens.

    • Amy Lauren says:

      10Ks are really hard to race because you can’t go out too fast (which was my mistake Saturday), but unlike a half… you can’t exactly go out slowly either. In a half, you have more time to catch up if you go out a little slowly. Plus there aren’t as many chances to race a 10K to “practice”… seems like half marathons are more popular now.

  10. Laura says:

    Awesome run! Congrats!

  11. Run To Munch says:

    Great race! I’ve never done races so close together so not sure how I would hold up with a 5K/10K back to back.

    Loving all the green.

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Thanks girly! This is the first time I’ve done back to back races so close together too- usually mine are at least a week apart (Saturday morning, hehe). The next time I run a 10K, I won’t do a race 36 hours before and I know that’ll help my time along with training.

  12. Kara says:

    WOW! Look at your progress over the years! You are so inspiring. Way to stay strong and really give it your all in the 10K. I definitely see a sub-45 coming for you soon 🙂

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Thanks Kara. You are really inspiring yourself, I could never do all the tri’s that you do, that is just awesome (then again my swimming is limited to dog paddles). Glad to see your blog posts again lately too, I think my reader was messed up and not showing em!

  13. Olive to Run says:

    Awesome job and congrats on the PR!

  14. I am very proud! PR is always worth of celebration, and as you said there will be more races and more opportunities. Personally, I am really happy to not have the bridge run on my schedule! But it gives a great goal to work towards for the rest of the year! Love the picture of your first 10k, you can see the passion was already there!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      … and the passion is still there 4 years later. Thank goodness I ditched those oversized soccer shorts, though… ;).

      After all the articles about safety and security at the bridge run, I’m thankful I don’t feel like I need to run it (if I got the sub-45, I was going to). I may run the bridge Thursday night though! Always a nice run.

  15. LilMysNinja says:

    I love that quote! I’m going to save that. 🙂
    It’s so funny to see that you guys have an “Ed” too! Our Ed works at Fleet Feet, which you already know that I support and blog about them from time to time.
    Congrats on your PR! I’m confused as to why the 5kers started first instead of after the 10kers. It doesn’t make sense to me because as you said, you had to weave through all the 5k walkers and such. Oh well. You still placed and you got a PR! 🙂
    And I agree about the CRBR seeding.

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Yeah, someone suggested I submit my 5K time and do that, see if they would take it, but I won’t. I really wanted to earn my spot at the front and maybe I will for 2015. Plus it’s not like my 5K PR is really, really good or something, even doubled it’s barely under their 10K time.

      Speaking of names… I run with a bunch of Dave’s. Just seems like a bunch of guys with that name run haha. I ran with a David last Saturday and another David on Sunday. And they both run, both live in Summerville!

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