After running a 5k and an 8k together, we were ready to tackle the Lincoln Park Run for the Zoo 10k race yesterday. Yes we were. Sure, we were both a little nervous. Me being semi-undertrained and Annie was doing her first 10k ever. But that’s ok. We had our cheer squad with us:Mon actually got up in the early 5:00 hour and joined the caravan to the race!
She also makes a great bag holder.
Even though we were more happy to have her along for the moral support. Not just to hold our bags.
Anyway, it couldn’t have been a more perfect day in Chicago yesterday. At about race time (8:20), it was warm, but not disgustingly humid. A win in my book.
Annie and I are different paces, so we separated pretty much right away. I was on my own in the dreaded first mile:A look of concentration as I swerved back and forth trying not to tackle anyone. And to also get around my biggest pet peeve- a line of 5 or 6 people jogging it together. Really? Can’t you pair off? Because this isn’t a road race- I can’t get by you. The 1,000ish people behind you can’t either. Be considerate. And don’t get mad when I accidentally hit you (and apologize) as I try to slink through a small opening you somehow let happen.
This is why the first mile is one of the miles I hate the most. And the reason the first mile ended up taking me over 9 minutes to complete.
What??? I gotta pick this up! And I did. The second mile (as guesstimated according to the clocks at the mile markers) took me less than 8 minutes.
What??? I gotta slow down my roll.
And I did. My pacing was awful. My splits were pretty much back and forth the entire time. Granted, some of this had to do with the conditions of the race itself. I love that part of the race ends up winding through the zoo. It’s cool. However, I wish they’d wind us on the narrow trails past the animals in the second half of the race- not the first half. Because, by making it the first half, the pack has very little time to thin out. So it’s a cluster of madness. Annie also mentioned that she felt like she was practically jogging in place at various points because there really wasn’t anywhere to go.
Other than that, and the fact that a few stray vehicles somehow made it through the closed streets and were threatening to run some runners over at street crossings, I don’t have too many complaints. Quite a few of my races have been in Lincoln Park and I really like the trails and scenery there.
But back to the end of my race…
Somehow, after two steep inclines in the last mile and a half (which were an unexpected surprise to me being as how I’ve never encountered them in a race here before), I was ready to be done. But once the mile 6 marker was in sight with only .2 miles to go, I just started to haul azz.
As in, my legs were working faster than the rest of my body was mentally prepared for. Had it been any more than .2 miles left, an accident may have occurred. I can see it now- “RUNNER FLIES OVER FINISH LINE- falls and gets trampled by hundreds behind her…”
My final time was 53:45- an 8:41 pace. Clearly this was 3 minutes slower than my PR, but whatev- I was thrilled!
That put me 372/1505 overall and 47/290 in my division.
As she ran by, she had the energy to look at me and shout “I’m never doing this again”.
Fair enough. 6.2 miles is no joke.
However… 20 minutes after that? “Yeah… I think I’d do it again.”
That’s my girl. ;)
It goes without saying how lucky I am. Not only do I have someone to share my love of running with, but I also have someone who just loves to come along for the crazy antics:Seriously… Mon was everywhere- camera ready.
She was where’s waldo in yellow shorts:Because we had plans for a birthday dinner later that night, it was decided to pass up the traditional breakfast after a race (I know- crazy!). However, when I got home, the thought of dinner still didn’t keep me from eating my weight in cereal.
Some things never change…