“Oh hey… still feel like running a race next week?”
“Ok, yeah, let’s do it.”
That’s pretty much what went down when deciding to sign up last-minute for the Strike Out ALS 5k at US Cellular.
One great thing about being in the city is that you can find 5k’s/races during the week ALL the time. Neat.
One bad thing is you sign up without thinking and don’t think about traffic/logistics/etc until after.Luckily, traffic was randomly fast. As in, we got there 30 minutes earlier than planned. Say whaaaat? That never happens.
I didn’t mind- this was my first trip to see where the Sox play at U.S. Cellular Field. I liked the park. It was definitely different from that old northside park… (Even if I DO like Wrigley better… shhhh…)
My guy friend and I hung out the rest of the time chatting and stretching. It was his first official race ever and we were both pretty excited about it.
He was nervous about having to walk, but I knew he’d be fine. Better than fine- he started out telling me how he doesn’t ever run and yada yada yada. Turns out, the boy’s a liar and is pretty damn fast. Sure, he may not be able to run much more than a 5k when it comes to endurance, but this race was in the bag.
I also knew he’d smoke me. And told him to not hold back at all and just go. Because even if we have a similar overall pace, he always starts quicker because I’ve never been one to sprint fresh out of the gate. Because of the narrow course, we stopped running together within the first half mile.
The draw I had on this race was that we got to run in the stadium and onto the field. Very cool. Awesome selling point. Almost makes you overlook the fact that the rest is pretty much doing huge mile laps around the parking lot. Seriously. That part was boring.
While running that second mile, I looked at the stadium and realized something not considered before. We were going to have to run up. Up the ramps. Up up and up. Then run down stairs. Down down down. Then, after running around the field, we’d go back up those stairs and back down the ramps.
Ironic- while approaching the stadium to start my ramp run, New Found Glory came over the iPod with “All Downhill From Here.”
I couldn’t make that up if I tried.
Luckily, all that work over the winter and spring on the dreaded stairmill really paid off. The uphill wasn’t bad and I was actually passing people. A thank you goes to the Hustle Up the Hancock for all the stair training I was forced to do…
At this point, I would also like to make a shout out to the mom running with a stroller. She was killin’ it up those ramps. Unfortunately, the portion of running down the steps probably took away her awesome time. Sad. Because she was flyin’. Daaaaaang.
I also lost time going down the stairs. Mostly because I’m clumsy and know myself enough to slow it down to avoid seriously injuring myself and the runners around me.
As I rounded the third base line, I saw my friend sprinting back up them like a pro. What a booger.
We both ended up with respectable times. I came in at about 25:40 (still waiting for the official time) and he was about 45 seconds before me. SO proud of him. A little jealous. But SO proud!Not a personal best by any means. But my first 5k in almost a year? It was fun!
D was pretty winded at the end. But one of the first things he said?
“That was fun. I want to do that again.”
Yep. It’s an addiction.
Another selling point of this race? The post-race party was basically hanging out in the stadium and getting to watch the All-Star game on the Jumbotron.One last complaint? Don’t charge stadium prices to a bunch of people who just ran a race and are starving/parched. And already paid a little more than average to do the race.
When contemplating a second drink, it started to rain. So we relocated to a bar with beers that were half the price of what we had paid while in the park.