It’s never too late to post a race recap…right?
My Memorial Day weekend is definitely unique! Instead of bouncing from BBQ to BBQ or joining my family at the lake (or my brother in Indy), I spent Saturday and Sunday on Lake Shore Drive. I think that this was my 5th time running the Soldier Field 10 Miler (but don’t quote me on that). I have run this race quickly and I have run this race more slowly. This year, my plan was to run this race with my old coworker and friend. We have been trying to find a time to get together and catch up, but both of our schedules are busy. What better time to chat about patients and life than on a beautiful 10 mile morning run.
For the first time, we decided to drive downtown Friday night after work and stay in the city. That gave us some awesome dinner options. I had the most untraditional pre race dinner EVER! I laid off most of the cheese, but BBQ is way different than my typical whole wheat pasta with spinach, protein, and olive oil. I still went to bed super early, knowing that I had an early AM ahead of me.
The BOY drove me down to Soldier Field, where we met up with my friend and her brother. He was running his first race, an ambitious and impressive 10 miler!
As the national anthem began, we shed our layers and said our goodbyes to the BOY who went off to find a comfy seat in the stands. We ended up starting in the second to last corral, which gave us plenty of time to chat before we even got close to the starting line.
It was a gorgeous day for a run and we slowly made our way south down Lake Shore Drive quickly changing topics as we tried to share all of the stories we used to tell daily when our desks were next to each other at work. We were running about 10 minute miles and stopped for bathrooms and water as a group as needed. At the half way point, everyone was feeling strong. The view back to Chicago is my favorite! Being this far back, the pack never really thinned out so there was some mild confusion when I tried to suggest a ‘groupie’ in front of the skyline. It ended up being a ‘Where’s Waldo?’ photo of my hands : ) Can you find me in the picture on the right???
Not to worry…we got ourselves pulled together by mile 7! Along with some video…which gave me an error the 3 times I tried to post it below. Our newbie runner kept a consistent pace as we made our way back towards soldier field. There wasn’t a dull or quiet moment throughout the 10 miles and despite our easy pace, I was surprised with how good I felt during my first 10 miler of the year.
We crossed the finish line in style (with another video) and directly behind a wedding proposal. I missed it but heard all of the congratulations. Immediately, we began taking photos on the field (even though I was just here 2 weeks ago). We met the BOY at the post race party for our celebratory free beer.
I mean, even though we talked more than we ran, we earned it! Ha ha! The BOY earned his beer by being our gear check and photog. And because he is overall totally awesome and was my bike valet all weekend!
Our celebration was the perfect ending to our 10 mile coffee date and celebrating a first time runner’s incredible accomplishment! I have run many races in my day. As I am not a professional runner, I have always understood that my goal is not to win, but I like to run fast and challenge myself to beat myself. However, one of the best lessons I have learned over the past few years is that not every race has to be epic, but that it can still be successful and memorable. I’m also thinking that I need to schedule more 10 mile coffee dates. Is anyone interested?
Post race, the BOY and I went walking around Southport. I had a Lulu gift card (it’s totally the way to my heart) burning a hole in my purse and we spent a good hour sniffing tea at the new Teavanna Café. After shopping, it was time for some carbs…I still had a long bike ride ahead of me this weekend!
And then…a 2 hour nap! No joke, I slept for a full 2 hours before the BOY woke me up for dinner and the Hawks game. Despite being in the city, we decided to have a quiet night in with some local Thai food.
We got a recommendation for take out and we were not disappointed with our dinner. Although the Hawks game was another story…
I was back in bed at 10pm with an early alarm set for Sunday morning’s Bike the Drive.
I had the most wonderful weekend for soo many reasons (and I don’t even know my time for the 10 mile run). It was great to be outside and active after the long winter we had, and also it was special to spend the weekend with the BOY before he dives head first into studying for the Bar. Looking forward to being back on Lake Shore Drive again next year!
Do you race to race or race for fun?