Categories: 5k, Jelly Bean Virtual Race, Race Reports, Racing, Runner's Knee, Running
I’ve had my eye on this race since the inaugural but for one reason or another never got around to running it until this year. I chose the 5k, since 2013 is the year of the 5k.
Heeding threats of limited parking, I arrived early and staked out across from this monstrosity.
Somebody was tailgating the race? By 7am the grill was already smoldering; the race posse wrapped in Bears blankets. Only in Chi-town.
Goals: I had no idea how to pace this. I can’t remember the last time I truly ‘raced’ anything. I vowed to not let my inner suck monkey get the best of me. I’d press and run my best, however pathetic that may be. Plus who knows how jerk knee will behave? The time is now to stop comparing my current self with a younger, faster version.
We had a fun pre-race blogger meetup. It was still considerably chilly. Not complaining.
Top left: Lindy and her son, Erica, me, Michel. Bottom: Nicole, Maureen, Kelly
The 5k went off 45 minutes after the half. After standing toward the back of the pack, I made myself move up because I promised I’d stop jacking around and run seriously for once. So up I moved. Not quite to where the whippets with the fluorescent orange arm sleeves hang out, but in that general neighborhood…kind of, somewhat…ok not.
We were off and I went batshit barreling across the starting mats. I knew it was too fast and I didn’t have a prayer of holding that pace but isn’t that the whole idea of a 5k? Balls to the wall?
The course was basically two out and backs. We ran a half mile out then turned around. The first murmurings of my suck monkey came in the second half of the first mile just ahead of some hills I blazed down moments before.
Monkey: Why don’t you walk up and catch your breath? Um no.
Suddenly the vest I so didn’t need was cooking me alive. I spent the next half mile planning how I’d rip it off and whip it on the hood of my car as I passed…or at the tailgate bus…but they were all on the upper deck shouting from megaphones. Suck. It. Up. You can swelter for 20 minutes.
I glanced at my Garmin for the first and only time at mile 1. A figure quite foreign to me stared back. I haven’t seen it in training or racing in eons. Two almost perpendicular lines:
I ran a sub-8 pace for the first mile? I was overcome with delight. Or maybe it was fumes from the tailgate bus.
We trudged across muddy grass to the path for the 2nd out and back which was hard into the wind. I slipped, cussing under my breath, one with the agony, but not giving up. Finally the turnaround. I tried to find the sweet spot between running as fast as possible (not fast, believe me) and puking (my specialty).
I finished and accepted a medal from the most adorable, angelic blonde little girl, then slunk away so I could dry heave without scaring her.
Finish time: 26:25
Never in my wildest did I expect this: AG 1/20
Swag was good: Can’t beat a cute medal for a 5k. I’ll probably never run in the Nike Tempo shorts we got but I appreciate the effort to find something other than a tired shirt. AG award was the bottle and an assortment of Power Bar products. I did not hang around for the egg hunt.
Final words: Finish time aside, overall I am pleased because I stayed engaged mentally and did not give in to the suck monkey. I thought the race was fun and well organized. Both races started on time, the course measured correctly, food and swag were good. I would run this one again.
This race also counted as my Jelly Bean virtual race over at Run with Jess!