Hot Chocolate 5K Chicago: Race Recap

I did it! My first 5k in years and my fastest 5k since the fracture/injury.

I couldn’t make to the Expo, so I had my packet mailed to me ahead of time (I actually heard the Expo was smaller this year compared to years prior). So, I still got to lay out my #FlatJane the night before, complete with my bib:

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On race day, finding the corrals was a bit confusing. But, the race itself ran smoothly. The announcer said there were 45,000 runners between the 15k and the 5K!  (I did the 5K). LOTS of runners, a bit crowded… Definitely chilly!

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It was below 40 degrees this morning in Chicago, and my poor Garmin watch literally froze. So I just ran not knowing time, pace or distance. I felt good though. No pain.

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I started out feeling great until at least the half-way point. When I started feeling a bit winded, I slowed down a little. There were some walkers in wave 1 that you had to weave around, but it was manageable. That small incline just before the last 1/4 mile of the race was a struggle, but not too bad.

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Post-race, the band was fun. I thought the lines to get our hot chocolate would be mayhem with so many runners, but it was organized by line number and I had no wait! And even though I’m not a big chocolate fan, the finisher’s mugs were yummy!

I would definitely recommend this race.

1-mile Labor Day fun run!

Yesterday, I did a 1-mile fun run with my mom and son and shaved 30 seconds off of my mile time! I was winded toward the end, but it didn’t feel too bad. I think with more training, I’ll be able to get that pace down some more. Kiddo finished in 7 minutes!

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I definitely started out too fast (about 8:40 min/mile), and couldn’t maintain it. I need to work on my pacing big time. But I finished with 10:34 min/mile. I started my watch a bit before crossing the start line so I ran slightly more than a mile.

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The only frustrating part of the day was that we couldn’t find the start line and walked about a mile around the park looking for it before the race even started! 😦

I was also beat from cooking and entertaining the day before at our pre-Labor Day BBQ, granted it was a bunch of fun!

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2.5+ miles, new swag & my reasons for running

I was scheduled for 2 miles today, but I ran with my running buddy and we pushed out about 2.75 miles (although my Garmin didn’t sync right away, so I only got credit for 2.5). This was my longest run and fastest pace for anything over a mile since restarting training. My ankle brace was too tight and did cause me some numbness, which is honestly the only reason I stopped. I could have gone longer. Progress!

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I followed my run with a 1-hour back and leg massage that was much needed. Although, I still have 110 squats (see squat challenge post), 110 sit-ups and 55 pushups waiting for me tonight.

My customized Run. Travel. Dream. Bondi Band came in today! I also got one with one of my personal running mottos: Stronger than Yesterday.

My running skirt from Skirt Sports came also. I’m so excited to run in this. It has shorts underneath.

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I added a new race to the calendar today as well: the Montclair 5K Doughnut Run. I heard about it in a Facebook running group. It’s exactly as it sounds — doughnuts at each mile. And it sold out in less than 4 hours!

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On a different note, I was reading an article recently that suggested that every runner should know WHY they are running, because it helps with motivation, especially on the crappy days. I realized that despite setting on this path of half marathon training, I hadn’t fully fleshed out my true reasons for running.

So, here goes my 5 reasons (I’m sure I have a few more):

  1. I’m competitive and there aren’t many sports (attainable for me) that you can compete in in your late 30s (and older).
  2. To get back into shape — lose weight, improve endurance and get stronger.
  3. Because I hate that my injury sidelined me 3 years ago. I wanna prove that this injury can’t beat me.
  4. The runner community is amazing. I like the sense of belonging to something bigger, and being inspired by the other runners. It has even brought me closer to friends who run.
  5. Races will give me another excuse (as if I need one) to travel.

 

What are YOUR reasons for running?