Friday, July 25, 2014

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Race Recap: Rock 'n' Roll Chicago 5K

Participating in Rock 'n' Roll Chicago's Saturday, July 19th 5K is proof that I am an impulsive racer. I was signed up to do the half marathon on Sunday, July 20th and I knew about the new 5K on Saturday, but I didn't sign up until the week before the race when I got an email from Rock 'n' Roll saying that Shalane Flanagan would be at the event taking pictures with participants. As soon as I realized that I would have a chance at meeting this inspiring woman, I signed up. It's not every day that you can meet a running phenom with connections to Boston, right?

The race thankfully started at 8:00am, which in Miami would have been dreadful, but in Chicago, with the cooler temperatures, was nice. My Miami friend, who was going to be running the half with me, kindly woke up early and went to the race with me. I told her my goal was to finish in 25 minutes. I had come close to that time in training runs so I was confident that if everything lined up and my body and mind cooperated, I would be able to set a PR on this run.

The race started and, because I was toward the back of the group, I tried to maneuver myself away from the big crowd. I spotted a guy in a blue shirt who looked like he was running at a pace that would help me get my PR and focused on simply keeping him within sight. The first mile flew by as I wove in and around people. The second mile hurt and the third mile hurt even more. Never once did my brain act up and I was so thankful that all that hurt was the burning in my legs. When I finished I couldn't even believe my unofficial time of 24:43 (official time 24:40) because that's a time and pace I never thought possible. All my hard work and dedication are paying off in ways that I can see.

As soon as I finished we walked over the festival area and got in line to meet Shalane Flanagan. The wait was worth it as I turned into a giddy fool when it was my turn to have my picture taken with her. I even gave her two sweaty hugs and I hate sweaty hugs!

What I liked:
  • Expo was great and packet pickup was easy. 
  • Later start time meant I could go through my normal morning routine. 
  • I walked to and from the race. 
  • Ran through a part of the lakefront I hadn't run through before. 
  • The medal is gorgeous. 
  • Meeting Shalane Flanagan. 
  • PR! PR! PR! PR!
  • Boston feels like it could be a reality. 
  • Sufficient water on course. 
What I didn't like:
  • I wish there would have been more of the race on the lakefront trail.  
  • Getting a PR means that I don't even remember what I didn't like! 
Next race recap will be for Rock 'n' Roll Chicago Half Marathon on July 20th.

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