Tag Archives: 10K

Chi-Town 10K Race Report

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! Smile 

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!

Fleet Feet Women’s 10K Race Recap

On July 17 I ran in the Fleet Feet Women’s Festival 10K.  For a race that’s in the heat of July, I had as always a great time!  I’d been out of town the week before, had a crazy month at work, and had minimal opportunities for concentrating on training for speed. 

I had tried training for heat, in Phoenix and attempts here in Chicago.

Race Day:

I biked up to Montrose Beach since I’m a hard-core cyclist in triathlon training now. About 6 miles, which is a comfortable warm-up and I gave myself the time to get there. Also no worrying about parking.

I met up with my running bud Lilian.  After some hugs (we hadn’t seen each other in 2 months!) we headed over to the Accelerated Rehab tent for some pre-race stretching.  Man, I love someone else stretching you out.  If I could have this every day, that would be great.  (and I write this as I’m headed out to a massage tonight…must do more often!) Accelerated Rehab did a great job stretching and loosening my IT Band, making me that much more ready to push it during the race. 

womens 10k 2011

I was also trying to meet up with my friend Ali.  Ali’s been getting into running more and more (5K last year, 10K this year.. when will she do a half?!!) and I was excited to see her at this race as we haven’t hung out enough this summer.  She had been in the bathroom line, I had to go to the bathroom & got in line too. But not in her line.

Finally I saw her and tried yelling out to her, “Aliiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii” but she didn’t hear. There were so many women at this race! It’s one of the things I love about it, because it’s all about the girl power.  Talking with women for whom this is their first 5K race, or who’ve been running this for 5+ years.  The bathroom line is a great place to make new friends.

Port-a-potty time and the race start happened while I was inside!  Thank goodness for chip timing.  I scooted off (thankful I made it to the bathroom) and began speeding along.  I did my first mile in 9:43, not too far off from my PR’s average pace at the Home Team Charity Run earlier this year.  I met up with Ali en route – amazed in the first place that I found her from behind! We chatted and had a great time.  I like to think that I was helping to pace her, although we didn’t really talk about it.  It was hot out, so I also appreciated slowing a bit and taking this as more of an enjoyable experience than a “push-it” race. 

Close to mile 5 I decided to pick it up a bit on the pace.  Knowing that I was almost done, I just gunned it as best I could.  It was HOT out and I recalled that this event has some nice post-race amenities.  Run, run, run and I was passing people who were slowing down.  There was one girl who was practically hyperventilating (I actually slowed to make sure she was OK) while she was running.  I was pretty much fine and pushed as hard I could.  Once you’ve been going slower, it seems like it’s hard to pick up the pace again.  My pace only really increased by 40 sec per mile. 

womens 10k 2011_2

I finished in 1:06.  Right after the finish line they had these cooling misting trucks.  Sooo amazing.  Ali was about a minute behind me, and once we re-united we grabbed some water, bananas and also popsicles!  We needed them, as it was sweltering out.

My time was a minute faster than the same 10K race last summer, which I’m happy about.  About a minute per mile slower than my 10K PR this spring, but I did run in the July heat as well as under less than ideal training.  I also felt great at this race, and loved cheering for other women as they went on to finish.  Post race we also stocked up on freebies at the Luna bars tent, check out some cooling wraps at the Moji tent, and chatted up the coaches at the Chicago Endurance Sports tent. 

All in all, this was a great race!  I had a great time, and can’t wait to run it again next summer! 

Home Team Charity Run 10K Race Report

This morning I ran the Home Team Charity Run 10K.  My week in running has been challenged; I’ve been feeling tired most of the week – a combination of not enough sleep and some hard workouts.  I have my final long run next weekend, so I took this weekend relatively easy/low mileage so I’ll be properly rested for pushing hard this coming week!

The Buildup:

I had had 15 miles on the marathon training plan for this weekend, and ended up deciding to take it easy.  I did 8 miles with CES on Saturday morning, and rested up for a 10K this morning!

The weather for today was not supposed to be great.  Most of the week has been predicting “Showers” for Sunday, and most of Saturday still predicted rain and heavy winds for Sunday AM.  I had a charity event to attend last night at an Irish Pub, so I didn’t get home until 10:30 pm.  I napped a few hours in the afternoon to prepare for my late night & potatoes au-gratin carb-loading.

This morning, I awoke at normal AM run time (just before 6) and was pleased to see that the rain was supposed to hold off until 9 AM or so (when I was supposed to be finishing the race).  Weather was also a little warmer than planned, so there was some last minute wardrobe decisions.  I ended up wearing my capri’s and long-sleeved pink shirt with thumbholes. Brooks Glycerin shoes (that I’ve been loving!) and Smartwool socks on my feet.  I packed the Blackhawks shirt I got at this race for my post-run shirt to change into.

The Warmup:

After munching on a Clif Bar and taking the bus to the United Center, M & I scoped out the space.  There were tons of port-a-potties Smile (with flushing… blue water to make your stuff go down!), and gear check was on school buses.  This was an A-to-B run so they had to transport our gear to the finish! We dropped off our gear and then went to huddle out of the wind.

M & I then split to do our warm-ups.  I don’t exactly do too much warmup before most races, so I went to visit a port-a-potty again. Then went to go to the starting line!  Not a huge race, so I didn’t position myself too far back.  Some of the Blackhawks, Bulls & White Sox mascots danced about, and then we were off!

The Race:

I went out with the crowd, not quite sure what pace I’d put myself into since there was no seeding the way there is at larger races.  I was running faster than my training paces (good) but not quite sure if I was running at a pace I could sustain for the entire race (not so good). As I approached mile 1, I slowed down a bit to keep my energy up.  I did also notice my IT band twinging a little, and decided I’d slow more if it really started hurting. Mile 1 was run in 9:26.

We continued to run through the neighborhoods from the United Center south.  The residential areas were nice and there were people out cheering us on (good).  There were some industrial areas with not much to see, and some tunnels.  There was also a bridge/hill incline with the steel grates (not so good).  I ran up the center part where it was solid metal dividing the street.

I felt great through to 3 miles and passed the 5K point in under 30 minutes (I coulddha P.R.’ed! Smile ).  More running ensued.  Miles 3.1-4 & 4-5 were the toughest mentally.  At that point I had realized I could keep my pace to P.R. at the 10K.  I didn’t remember my previous PR time (which was 1:01:51 in the 2006 Canterbury Run in Madison, WI), just that the pace was 9:57.  So my goal was to keep each mile under that pace.  There’s a nice view on the Garmin where you can look at just the time, distance & average pace for just the mile or that you’re working on – not the entire run.  I really enjoyed that setting today, and didn’t focus as much on how long I had been running for!

The Finish:

As we approached U.S. Cellular Field (where the White Sox play) we encountered more spectators cheering us on!  They were also helpful in letting those of us know (who might not be familiar with the neighborhood) how far left we had to go.  “Just head to 35th Street and head into the Cel!”  was helpful when I knew I was at 31st Street! I was getting pretty tired at the end, but maintained a fast pace.  I had my eyes set on following and trying to beat a certain runner (Mr. Guy in the “Baines” jersey) but my energy was finally lagging while he was able to pick it up.  As we approached a 1/2 mile left, I pushed as hard as I could, and started turning into the finishing chute.  Push push push!

I finished in 59:49 – official time from the race!  My Garmin said 1:00:12, which also means I did a good job stopping it soon after passing through. (At the Disney Princess Half Marathon, I forgot to stop it until several minutes later—oops!) I walked around a bit, found M—who also had a good race, and then we went off to get some water, bananas & beer.

Post run, we headed to Chinatown to refuel on Dim Sum – Chinese brunch! It was great and savory.  Now it’s the R&R needed to go into this week strong!

Lessons Learned:

  • I can run harder than I usually think I can
  • Positive thinking helps!
  • Use the average pace-per-mile view on my Garmin helps to break the race into chunks.