Sunday marked the 3rd race of spring and the last race as a single lady! I ran in the Chi-Town 10K down in Lincoln Park and overall was pleasantly surprised by the morning.
I’d had an OK week – a lot of wedding & work stuff going on, and actually no running workouts occurred. I was OK with this going into the race. I figured I could PR anyway, as I’ve had two crazy PR’s at my first two races of the year. Not to get cocky, but I was thinking it would be hard to not PR even if I was having a bad day. Leading up to the race, I was expecting temperatures to hit in the 80’s and 70’s on Sunday, so a pretty warm morning regardless.
Sunday morning I woke up to 40 degree weather, with a much lower high temp for the day. Given my
weaklingness state of mind at 6 am, I was not too happy about this. I dressed in my compression shorts and a t-shirt for the race, but bundled up into sweat pants & shirt, plus a windbreaker. Our friend Peter showed up and helped to get the party started. He was out partying late, and I figured if he can get up and be ready to run (a half marathon, no less!), then I could run a 10K even if I’m not feeling perfect. Since the race was barely two miles from home, we biked over to the starting line. Party started by biking down North Avenue (aka biking death trap) at 7 AM. Yay no deaths!
I met up with the Chicago Running Bloggers meet-up, and met Maggie & Kelly for a brief moment before they left to prepare for the race. I headed over to gear check and ran into some hashing friends. They’re my running & drinking group, and generally a ton of fun to hang out with. No pressure running. It was good to see them and focus on enjoying the morning rather than psyching myself into the race.
As we filed into the race start, the hashing ladies split up. I decided to start just after the 9 minute pace group and I was still with two who kept me light-hearted before the start. “Glitter” was one of them – and was so upbeat and nonchalant. Once we started, she sped off in her bright yellow shorts; I had no idea how fast she was! “Ginger” however stuck with me. I had my suspicions that she might be faster than me, and kept telling her to keep going whenever I got too slow.
Ginger & I ran through along the lakefront, passing other runners along the beach up north toward Fullerton & then the Belmont underpass. We commented on the narrow path at certain points, and had fun cheering for the front runners as they came flying toward & past us. Much to my surprise, I saw Mike trailing just after runners 2 & 3. We yelled like crazy!!!
We cruised along at a pretty consistent 9:10-9:15 pace for the first three miles:
9:13.8 9:10.4 9:15.6
After the turnaround just after the 3rd mile marker, Ginger was starting to feel it and we decided to tone it down a bit. I was also starting to fight off my side stitch, the one that thinks we’re friends at the end of 8Ks (and apparently 10Ks as well). We ran 9:21.1 and then 9:29.9 for miles 4 & 5, and then picked it up for the last mile or so. I had told Ginger I’d speed up as best I could, and she matched my pace. 9:18.8 for the 6th mile, and then I did “speed off” for the final .2.
I practiced my quick foot turnover (channeling Erin) and appreciated being on a familiar path as I headed back toward the finish. I feel like I did a good job accelerating from 5.8-6, lagged from 6-6.1, and pushed it again for 6.1 to the finish. During this, I was trying to pass a girl in a yellow shirt (which I did), and then I remember being somewhat complacent that no one was right behind me. As I did the final acceleration into the finish I heard someone behind me, and thought it was yellow shirt. Right before I crossed the finish though, I heard Ginger. She finished right behind me!
We finished in 57:51, almost a 2 minute PR for me! And a major accomplishment that I ran a full race with someone else! I know this happens when you’re going at a comfortable pace for one of the runners, but I’ve personally never had this experience. My previous attempts at running a race together with others had me getting cramps early on, or me speeding off after someone. It was so special to me that (it seems) like we both pushed it hard and both kept up with (what I think was) the best we could do.
After the race, we hung out and enjoyed the food – and cups of water
wtf. We kept our eyes out for other runners coming in, including Peter the hangover halfmarathoner. He did finish the race, and with a not-too-shabby time for himself.
There was also some awards going on: Mike won 1st Age Group winner (i.e. 4th place overall!) and our friend Glitter won some sort of age group award as well. I’m a bit confused as to what, as there had been some race-bib transferring in addition to her speediness.
When all was said and done, it was a good race and ended with everyone getting some good food for brunch. Personally I had some excellent grilled cheese & tomato soup, and a bloody mary to chase it down.
I’ll post some pictures when I can. But it was a good day, and I’m glad that my racing March is over! Wedding month time! Hopefully this means relaxation runs, yoga and warmer weather. We’ll see!