This was actually a lot more fun of a race than I’d expected! I made the decision to actually run this event at the last minute – right on the tail of a “no run, only bike” week. I had a few friends who were doing this and I originally signed up because I’ve already spectated at a Thursday night 5K. Plus – who wants to pay to get to Soldier Field just to spectate?
So Thursday afternoon I’m struggling to get out of work on time, taking my last meeting in my running clothes so that I can jet out of the office! (Of course, it would have helped not to leave my race bib on my desk… time to go back. Now it’s time for a cab instead of the bus!) I actually appreciated the cab down toward Soldier Field so that I could put on my race bib, munch on some gatorade chews, and actually text back to my friends already at the race.
I got out of the cab just in time for a nice warm-up mile to Soldier Field. Nothing like a little “40 minutes to race start” to get your fire going… even if it is still 90 degrees out! I got to the race, checked my bag, ran into an empty port-a-potty, and miraculously found Peter, Alexis & Dave just in time. They were heading into their corral, so I joined them.
Somehow I’d been given a bib into Corral B, and oddly had assumed that this was reflective of the 9:00 pace I’d planned on. Well, “Team Friends” was in Corral H, and I realized I had no clue again which corral I should have been. So I started in Corral H with the idea that this was just going to be a fun run. We definitely had a good time chatting and goofing around before the start:
Then the 8th starting signal happened, and my legs started moving. And moving. And moving! I hadn’t really expected to want to push hard in this race, but my legs were telling me otherwise. We pushed and weaved (gosh darn that corral H decision), and weaved some more.
I felt good on the first two miles, doing 9:11 and then 9:05, and was trying to go faster even for the 3rd mile – (hey I’d at least negative split even if I was too slow for a PR). But I got my favorite finish line feeling – a stomach cramp, and was reduced to walking for just 10 seconds. It took me a while to get back up to speed, and I finally was sprinting for the final quarter-mile of the race!
I finished sprinting harder than I could remember in a while, and certainly didn’t have much more in speed that my legs or lungs could have accomplished. Personally, I thought I was running better (legs higher, faster turnover) than previous runs, but Mike didn’t agree.
Mile 3: 9:10. Estimated pace for the final 0.1: 7:33 min/mi (didn’t stop Garmin, so this is estimated based on final time & mile laps).
Husband & Wife shoes:
And a group shot:
Alexis, Peter, me, Mike & then two of Alexis’ friends
The post race party was a lot of fun. Highlights:
Coconut water was being handed out when you finish the race. Delish!
Beer ticket! and Music!
Beware the post-race “munchies”—a mini-doughnut and and a cheez-wiz quesadilla?? Skip!
I’d definitely consider this race again for next year, and I think this could even be a PR-worthy event! I was only 40 seconds off of my PR, and I think I could have easily accomplished this had I effectively planned this as a potential PR. It helps if you’re in a competitive corral, and getting to the race early enough to calm down for a minute before the race starts.
That assumes we don’t get funny looking tie-dye shirts like past years! I love the gray old-school shirts that were this year!