I am a creature of habit! The night before a race, dinner is pasta and the morning of a race, breakfast is almost always black tea and Trader Joe’s frozen oatmeal (the easiest when you have to wake up so early) with bananas and chia seeds.
This morning’s race looked like a recipe for disaster…
-Despite waking up at 5AM, we were running late from the start.
-I spilled tea all over myself as I walked out the door.
-The BOY’s car didn’t have any gas.
-We got stuck in crazy amounts of traffic!
-I arrived at my start corral 10 minutes after it was supposed to be closed.
-Which means I wasn’t able to meet up with my friend.
-I didn’t have any time to use the port-o-potties.
-Black clouds and lightening were close behind us.
-So I didn’t take my cell phone which made it challenging to find the BOY after the race.
Yet despite everything, I stayed relatively calm! Because this morning’s run was just for the fun of it!!!
Here I am…so close, yet so far away : )
The soldier field 10 miler is one of my favorite Chicago races. It is well organized and well supported. It is a nice flat course and even though there are thousands of people running, the lake shore path has plenty of space. The parking at Soldier Field is free and it is typically easy to find your family after the race. They are happy because there are plenty of seats and bathrooms while they wait. And most importantly…who doesn’t want to hang out on the 50 yard line at Soldier Field?!
Despite arriving later for this race than I would have liked, I made it to Corral 3 and luckily, they were pretty relaxed about closing down the corrals. While I was looking for my friend, I heard someone calling my name. It was a friend from grad school, who I was happy to see and hang out with before the start of the race. Meanwhile, I told the BOY to take tons of pictures while he waited for me!
Today’s goal was to finish the race without BONKING like I did a few weeks ago and to enjoy myself!!! The race began and I took off heading for the mile 1 port-a-potty. There was no line once I got there and I was happy to finally begin my race feeling good. I maintained a 8:00 minute/mile pace for the first 5 miles and felt strong throughout. When we turned the corner before the halfway point, the wind hit us smack in the face. Luckily, the rain seemed to be holding and it was actually PERFECT running weather. My favorite part of this race was heading north back to soldier field along the Lake Shore path with the view of the sky line on the left and the heavy waves crashing along the lake shore to your right. At this point, I wished I had my phone to take a picture! This made the back half of my race go quick, and I was excited to enter the stadium feeling good.
When I made it the field, I sprinted towards the finish!
Although I couldn’t see him, the BOY said that he saw me finish on the Jumbo-Tron. So cool!!!
I was so turned around that I thought he was on the other side of the stadium. Ooops! I was hoping he would be able to get my picture on the field. It took me some time to find my way out of the runner’s area and back out to the stadium, and when I did, I was still on the other side. I had to borrow someone’s phone in order to finally find my way to the correct 35 yard line where we were supposed to meet.
It was fun to get a few pictures in the stadium since I didn’t have enough time to take some photos before the race. It has been 3 years since I’ve run Soldier Field and the race was just as much fun as I remember! It is possibly going to be my new Memorial Day weekend tradition! Anyone interested in joining me???
Although I didn’t beat my impressive 2009 time (which wasn’t really the goal), I had a strong race and enjoyed every minute of it. Even with a bathroom break, I was pleased with my results…
Age: 30 Gender: F
1934 / 12845
491 / 7319
111 / 1659
And according to my watch (without the bathroom break), I finished in 1:21:06 with a 40:00 minute 5 mile split. After the race, the BOY and I ran a few errands in preparation for tomorrow’s BBQ before heading out for a celebratory lunch and beer at the local pub.
Because the world is so small and fun, I saw a woman in a race shirt as I walked in. We started talking and it turns out that she lives a few blocks away from us. I may have found myself a new running buddy! We came home and crashed! We were up super early this morning and I need to save some energy for tomorrow’s Bike the Drive!
What Memorial Day races are you doing this weekend???