The Cliff-Notes version:
I ran to support Anne and her fundraising efforts for Uniting Against Lung Cancer. Simultaneously, I was hoping to achieve a new 5K PR but I was wildly UNsuccessful.
Now, let's talk about the race in more detail.
- In the days leading up to the race and on race day, the weather in Chicago was very suddenly and very starkly fall-like. Race-time temps were in the 40s. I wore tights, a long-sleeve shirt, and gloves, and I had even been debating wearing a hat or something to cover my ears.
- The race had a very comfortable 9:00 AM start for the 5K (the 10K started at 8:30 AM).
- In accordance with this article and this article, I was up at 7:00 AM to do a one-mile shake-out run on the treadmill. This was in the hopes that it would enhance my race performance.
- I hit no traffic enroute to the race, had no trouble finding parking, and packet pickup was a breeze.
- As is typically the case for events focused towards a cause, the event organizers and lots of participants were commemorating loved ones who had been stricken by lung disease. It was touching to see the pictures and signs.
- There were about 500 participants in the 5K. Anne and Bob had advised me that if I wanted to attempt a PR, to line up near the front as a lot of participants were not serious runners. This was great advice and ended up being easy to execute.
- The post-race refreshments included mountains of Kind Bars! I love them, but I don't get them often since they are rather expensive. What a nice treat!
- Normally, the 40-degree temperatures would have been perfect for racing. However, I had recently gotten back from 10 days in Anaheim, where the sun was blazing and the temperatures were in the upper 80s/lower 90s every day. It would have been hard enough to acclimate my body to the sudden cold even had I been in Chicago the whole time. The contrast from Anaheim made it ten times worse.
- I had trouble getting my pacing right in the first mile. I was aiming for per-mile paces around 8:15 or 8:20. When I started out, my Garmin was showing a per-mile pace of 7:10! It sure didn't feel that fast to me, but my history definitely suggests that I do tend to start too quickly. I began slowing down but my Garmin still kept reading paces in the 7's. I kept slowing more and more to the point that it felt ridiculous. Then, all of a sudden my Garmin pace slipped to around 8:45. WTH? I tried to speed up again but by that point I had lost my rhythm.
- My first mile was done around 8:30 - so not the best of starts for my goal. I was struggling not to let my mental state slip into the vortex of negativity. But as per usual, the discomfort was hard to ignore, and I wasn't thrilled about having to fight an uphill battle to make up for the lost time.
- Somewhere in the latter half of Mile 2, I started getting a cramp in my side and part of my abdomen. It hurt like the dickens for the remainder of the race.
- There were times when I was fighting the urge to slow down to a walk. Even though I already knew that there would be no PR for me that day, I thought to myself that walking would sure make for an even more ruinous PR attempt. So I kept running. The pain was so bad that I was doing my best imitation of the Hunchback of Notre Dame while running. I am sure that I looked like hell. But I kept running.
|Great running form, eh? I probably embodied the green color and furrowed brow as well.|
- My second mile was done in around 8:45 or so. All things considered, that actually wasn't too bad. I knew my third mile was going to be a doozy, though, so I didn't even bother looking at my pace during the final mile.
- My Garmin ended up measuring the course at 3.24 miles. I talked to Anne afterwards and she said that she had also measured the course at about three and a quarter miles. I was happy she corroborated my measurement because I am starting to have Garmin trust issues. It's too much of a variance for a 5K, especially as I am militant about running course tangents.
- Too-long course included, my final time (28:06) was a personal wurst and worst for any 5K that I've attempted to run for time in recent years. Real nice, eh? (At least it was better than had I been hitting my paces throughout the whole race, only to realize a long course in the end.)
Here is the one and only picture that I have from the event. This is a post-race gathering of Team Take My Breath Away, led by Anne.
On a very positive note, Anne's team raised nearly $5,000 for the UALC, making us the fifth place team for fundraising. Anne herself was the second-place individual fundraiser, as well. Go Anne!
As for setting a new 5K PR, that goal still remains unachieved for me. One of these days I will crack the nemesis that is the 5K distance. One of these days...!
My next race: The Prairie State Half Marathon on October 11
Meh, faster than we ran China Town... so there's that ;-). Not to mention, with your poor running form/Frankenstein impersonation, you have a great Halloween costume inspiration in hand.ReplyDelete
What's going on lately?! I hardly hear from you anymore. Things must be crazy in Chicago!!
Great positivity! Although, I wouldn't really compare Chinatown to this race since Chinatown took place in hurricane-like conditions and the Lung Run had near-perfect weather! But good call on Halloween costume inspiration. BTW, I was stunned when I went to the grocery store and saw that Halloween candy is already out in full display already!?!?!?Delete
Sorry about being so MIA! The truth is that I've been lacking in blogging energy these last few weeks since blogging takes SO. MUCH. TIME. But I'm hitting a wave of motivation right now so we'll try to ride it as long as possible. =)
Wahoo! I miss reading your blogs.Delete
And, being a costume queen... IMO, Halloween stuff wasn't out soon enough!! :-D
Aww, you are too kind! I miss the blogosphere, too!Delete
I am super, super excited to see what creative works you come up with for Halloween this year. Are you running Monster Dash or anything Halloween-themed races this year, btw?
Sorry to hear about the "ugly" stuff that happened in your race and your personal wurst 5k time. However, I am glad you found out about shakeout runs. I usually run a 1 mile shakeout about 2 or 3 hours before a half marathon. For a 5k I run a really, really slow shakout of 2.5 to 3 miles sometime during the day. I find they are very helpful. As proof, I find that my second training runs in the afternoon are almost always faster than my first runs in the morning. Anyway, one day everything will just click, and you'll get your 5k PR soon enoughReplyDelete
Appreciate the sympathy and the support, Pete! I am interested to hear that you do shake-out runs, too. Personally I've only considered doing them for races up to a 10K distance, but I might try one for my next half marathon. It does feel good to get the blood pumping a little bit during these shakeouts and beyond the pre-race warm-up. Normally when I run in general, it takes about 3 miles before things start feeling good. In shorter races, there's not enough time!!!Delete
Exactly. I need at least two miles before I "hit my stride." So shakeout runs are a must, otherwise, like you said, "there's not enough time" and the race is over before I've warmed up!Delete
In my experience, the first mile or so usually feels awful, too! I used to run 5Ks completely cold, meaning no warm-up at all. It felt horrible to have to start sprinting right out of the gate. Never again!!!Delete
So sorry this race did not go as you hoped, especially after the focus you put on it for a PR. I am learning so much about this shakeout run you and Pete speak of. I do maybe a 1 mile "warmup" for 5ks and 10ks and pretty much nothing for longer races. Live and learn!ReplyDelete
Appreciate the sympathy, Marcia! Next time will go better. And if next time isn't until next spring, that just means all the more time to get as much training as possible under my belt!Delete
Please do try out the shakeout run sometime - I'd love to know what you think. I haven't had a lot of success with it in the two times that I've tried, but that was really due to other factors. I am personally wary of doing a shakeout for anything longer than a 10K, but you never know until you try, right?
Congrats on the team to raising so much money!!!!ReplyDelete
What a bummer that the race was so tough and a long course. Blah! I know you have that 5K PR in you!!!!
Congrats to Anne indeed! So happy for her!!!Delete
Thanks again for your very thoughtful follow-up to me before and after the race. You are such a good friend! And I am pumped to run Prairie State with you again!!! Less than three weeks to go, woo hoo!
You are welcome! :) I am super pumped for our race too! (And Wildberry after hee hee)Delete
WILDBERRY!!! YAY!!! You just reminded me, I'll have to see if they take reservations. Last year my mom, Adam, and I ended up waiting a very long time for a table. This is even tougher when the post-race runger hits, you know?Delete
Oh man, sorry to hear the race ended up being such a disappointment :( You're going to get that 5K PR one of these days -- you want it too much to not get it!ReplyDelete
Appreciate the sympathy, Bethany!!! Admittedly I've been looking around at a few other 5Ks yet this fall to try again, sigh. Crazy, I know! One of these days I'll figure out when enough is enough. =DDelete
I love races that start later in the morning. A 9AM start time is perfect! Sorry to hear about the disappointment you had with your performance, but I think you should be proud nonetheless! 5Ks are always tough for me, much tougher than longer distances. Like you, I often start out too quickly as well and end up cursing every step I take. Running, regardless of pace and other factors, is always better than not running right? Plus, that extra 0.15 miles adds a few seconds as well ;)ReplyDelete
Appreciate the sympathy and the support, Irina! You are absolutely right, even on a bad day, it's better to run than not to run. As others have said, "We run because we can. Not everyone can run." And a few years ago, I would have been thrilled with a 28:06. So it's definitely all about perspective. (Admittedly, I am more than happy to shift some blame to the extra 0.15 miles, too. LOL)Delete
A good cause, so I can definitely get behind this race! Bummer that it wasn't a great finish time. It's crazy how quickly a 5k can lost or won, so to speak. I'm feeling a cold chill seeing y'all all bundled up! I wouldn't mind some weather like that, though!ReplyDelete
You nailed it, Amy. I'm learning the hard way that a 5K can be lost within just a few minutes! It's so challenging when there is SO little room for error. It was FREEZING that day, indeed, even by local standards for the time of year. It'll be nice for running once I have a chance to get acclimated to it, but the sudden blast was a rough transition!Delete
I've never done a shakeout run prior to a run. But I guess it makes sense since I feel like it takes me 2-3 miles to find my groove.ReplyDelete
I can't seem to PR on a 5k either. So frustrating. But I know that one day I will get that PR.
I'm actually 0 for 2 on the shakeout runs helping me. Both times I used the shakeout runs in the hopes that I would PR later, and both times I crashed and burned. So I'm probably not the best person to ask about the effectiveness of shakeout runs, haha.Delete
5Ks are SO HARD to PR. There is SO little room for error on them! But yes, both of us will get our 5K PRS one of these days!!!!! ARGH!!!!