At long last, I’m conscious enough to write my race report! In short, the race went really well for me, and I’m pleased with how I did. I finished in 1:57:54 (11:48 pace) which was faster than I did in training when I had the benefit of espresso and Shot Bloks.
The night before the race, I had dinner with friends at Mon Ami Gabi, which felt kind of odd since I felt I should be eating more healthy fare (with a lot less BUTTER). I guess that’s another “you know you’re a runner if…” moment. I also downloaded some new music because I think I would kill myself if I had to use the music I trained with. Like Amy, I also had “Pokerface” on my playlist; it served me well during the race and better have since it was stuck in my head the night before and kept me up all night, geez. “Lose yourself” by Eminem is great for a run, but his “Till I Collapse” is good too.
Before the race, I had the most heart-warming conversation with my taxi driver. He was like, “Are you running a marathon today?” Me: “No, just 10 miles.” Him: “‘Just’?!” Then he went off about how great it was that races raise money for charities and that runners and volunteers take time out of their lives to do this, at which point I stopped wishing I were still in bed. What’s even better is that when he told me he wanted to start training, but didn’t have time or money to join a group on the North Side, I told him to check out the Smart Trainer on Runnersworld.com. By then we were at Soldier Field, and I told him I hoped to see him at the races.
While waiting for the race to start (I got there about 2 hours before I would start), I had a little brekkers:
Ok, you may have passed on the Greens+ energy bars in the store because they’re kinda pricey (over $2 I think), but they are pretty much the best energy bar I’ve ever tasted, and they don’t have artificial sweeteners, preservatives, refined sugar, or any of the other nasty stuff you find in most energy or protein bars. The first time I opened a Greens+ bar wrapper, I thought, “Wow, this may have passed through the digestive system of a yak,” but I swear they are better than any candy bar or clif bar or whatever. There’s no after taste, and apparently they go down easy as my stomach did not protest during the race.
On to the race itself… I lined up in the 11:30 pace area. Um, that’s because there was nothing slower… I also did a sweep of the area for Newton wearers. There was a woman in the 11:30’s who must have been in her 60s who was wearing them. (I really shouldn’t have to tell you that she totally outkicked me a mile to the end of the race haha.) It took a couple miles to get into the groove (not surprisingly) as I didn’t do a warm-up jog before the race, but I found some runners who seemed to know what they were doing so I made them my pace team captains, unbeknownst to them! I stayed with them through mile 5 (which I got to in less than an hour without a lot of fatigue which was great for me). But basically after mile 7, I was like, “Where the hell is Soldier Field?! I’m calling a cab!!!” The fatigue was the result of being a little (ok a lot) undertrained in longer distances, but hey, now I can adjust training accordingly.
I think I’ve recovered well and my legs don’t really feel stiff or sore today, 2 days after the race. Yesterday and the day of, they were sore as all hell, though. I credit my recovery to a post-race burger, buffalo tenders, and coffee (I know, that’s a disgusting combination) at P.J. Clarke’s.
All in all, a great kickoff to summer running!