Sunday was the morning of one of my favorite races, the Bucktown 5K. I love this race because it’s held in my neighborhood in Chicago, literally 2 blocks from my home. It was the first race I did after moving to Chicago, and they give good swag (that’s a goodie bag for those non-runners!).
This year’s race didn’t disappoint in the swag:
A super track jacket? Don’t mind if I do. It fits great, and has pockets .
Not sure if you checked, but usually track jackets cost $40 or more, which is what I paid for the entire race. Packet & Jacket pick-up was much smoother out of the new Running Away Multisport store than last year’s packet pickup. In and out in 5 minutes, with 4 people’s packets.
So back to the race. It’s in my hood, it’s a short enough distance to not stress out, and I don’t ever have to use a port-a-potty. I also had a fun time since Mike & I decided to host a little brunch post-5K for our friends. Which also turned into pre-gaming the night before (we skipped the karaoke), being an impromptu gear check, and then heading to the race with 5-10 of our friends. Really, what more could I ask for?
The morning was cool and sunny, and we got there just in time for the race start. Cool enough for a long sleeve shirt, but my trusty compression shorts. The whole gang started together (although apparently it took us 8 minutes for our wave to pass the start line!), and then I took off.
I hadn’t been feeling that great last week, so I wasn’t sure how I was going to do. But for a 5K, why not push yourself? No matter what, it’ll be over pretty soon. So I pushed, and pushed! I passed some hashers, and other runners I recognized (Hi Joanne!). I ran a fast first mile, kept up for the 2nd mile.
It is a crowded course, so I did do enough weaving in between people. We’re on Chicago neighborhood streets, so it’s a bit narrow. And this race is popular enough that there’s a lot of people (5000?). So weaving ensues – don’t be shy!
In the third mile my energy begins to lag a bit. I had a stomach cramp that’s been growing, and I’m starting to not keep up. A quick (10-15 sec) walk break and then I’m running again. One advantage of having done this race for 3 years (and running in the neighborhood regularly) is I know the course well and knew exactly how much longer I had to go. So I pushed. And pushed.
As we went into the final turn it was still crowded, and I tried to push as hard as I could into the finish. And I finished in 29:25, a cut of 30 seconds off of my previous 5K PR from the Just Book It! 5K in early August! Yay!
I am incredibly proud of myself, and as I finished I waited around to see which of my friends might be finishing not too far behind me. Then came Lilian, and then came Ali! Yay gals! We all made PRs that morning!
A few reflections on the race and my areas for improvement:
- Good job in pushing hard.
- I need to work on the speed endurance. I’m PR’ing, but I still take a quick walk break in the 3rd mile when I run this fast.
- I need to work on strides. My final .17 (according to the Garmin) at the Bucktown 5K was an 8:38 pace, which actually wasn’t as fast as my 8:05 pace for the final push at the Library 5K a few months earlier. Erin pushed me in (yelling the entire time & running with me) and I swear my legs had never pushed so quickly as that day. I was trying hard this time too, and mentally repeating “fast turnover,” but clearly there was a difference.
Overall, it was a great race, although I suppose I really just went in & out for the race from my own personal race headquarters! Brunch was fun and great to see so many friends stop by and enjoy the day!