Sunday, May 18, 2014

Race Recap: Chicago Spring 10K (and Half Marathon)

As the title suggests, this morning was my Chicago Spring 10k race (and half marathon for those other fancy folks).  Though I have run farther than 10k (via my half marathon training), this was my first 10k race.

I stopped by Fleet Feet in Old Town for my packet pickup.  As in traditional fashion, it was a no-frills, easy in-and-out packet pick up.  It was quite interesting,  I must say, that the guy sitting at the first table had no idea where to direct us (I think he was setting up for something else as he clearly had no idea what I was talking about).  A mere five feet away from his table was a banner indicating race bib numbers and the confusion was quickly resolved.  I received a clear gear check bag, my bib, t-shirt, pins and sour gum drop things.  Five minutes tops.

My pre-race jitters came mostly because of my tight leg muscles and my recent shoe purchase.  I wasn't quite sure if the Brooks Adrenaline were working out for me and I felt it was impacting my training.  Regardless, Sunday came around the corner and it was race morning!

Boats at DuSable Harbor, our start line

I took an Uber taxi down with John this morning because I wanted to get a few more minutes of sleep and didn't want to mess with the train.  We arrived right at 7:00am and the half marathoners were lined up, ready to go.  The 10k-ers were going to line up at 7:20 in the same places but after the half marathoners left.  It was a little chilly while waiting because it was still cloudy out but the forecast promised sunshine.

We got in our corrals late but finally hit the pavement around 7:45am.  It was definitely chilly for the first mile but as soon as we turned around the Shedd Aquarium, the sun broke through the clouds.  And that's where the trouble started.

Being a southern gal, 70 degrees can oftentimes feel cool or brisk.  Never in my life did I think I would line up with the start temp of 50/cloudy and two miles later think that 55/cloudy was scorching hot.  After the midpoint at McCormick place, I found myself weaving to stay in the shade of the trees but once we got to the Aquarium, there was not a tree in site for the last 2.5 miles.

It's a bit hard to tell from here but the path runs along the lake without a tree in sight

The runners wound their way under the overpass and back towards the Park at Lakeshore East, finishing right by the picnic site.  I'm not one to take photos while running so here is a stock photo compliments of the race team.

Post-race was absolutely amazing.  As soon as we got through the chute, we were rewarded with a towel, water bottle, Gatorade, chips, Larabars and of course, our MEDALS!  I think that in previous years, everyone got the same medal but this year, the ribbon and medal color distinguished your distance, which I totally appreciate.

In addition to the post-race snacks, we were given a breakfast buffet of scrambled eggs, potatoes, sausage, pancakes and fruit.  I tried to eat something but I wasn't ready for a full meal.  TMI warning - I have never used a port-o-potty before and after taking a look at one today, I will never use one again.  EVER.  Done.

As for the technical specs, the race was very well organized.  The corrals were clearly marked, there were plenty of people to direct the way, the course was laid out, mile markers galore, 4 aid stations (8 for half marathoners), etc etc.  I never felt like I didn't know where to go or what to do.

And who else provides a breakfast buffet AND do-it-yourself flower station?  I'd like to introduce you to my victory flower.

And the results?  I'll need to inquire with Chronotrack as they clocked me as started at 7:40 though were were still lining up in corrals at that point (I started my GPS at 7:46) so an extra 6 minutes was added to my final time.  But according to my GPS, I ran a steady 12:00/mile and picked up the pace to about 9:30/mile for the finish!  Just three months ago, I couldn't run a single mile without needing a break!  Woo!

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