So even though I ran this race almost a full week ago, I still wanted to do a little race recap, for my own recollection if nothing else! Plus, ChicagoPersonalPhoto just e-mailed me this morning with my personalized race photos. They even used some fun photo effects. So cool!
We decided to do this race, the Arbor Day 10K at Morton Arboretum in Lisle, IL, because it was a little bit out of the typical massive-crowded-hectic-race-in-Grant-Park norm. It was about an hour away by car, but I justified that with the fact that it would have taken us just as long to get to downtown Chicago by train. So we headed out early last Sunday to get to the race on time. I started feeling a little sick in the car right before we got there, but after we stopped and I drank almost a whole liter of Smart Water, I felt much better.
The problem with this race was that it was really chilly before we started. It was about 35 degrees at 8:00 am, so I was in a total conundrum about what to wear. I knew it would warm up a bit, so I wasn’t feeling tights, but it was definitely too cold for shorts at that point. I went with yoga pants, which I never wear for running (and for good reason, it turns out!), and then I couldn’t decide whether to wear a jacket. I ended up taking my running jacket with me, but then I gear checked it before the race started. That was definitely the right choice!
This race was definitely a lot smaller than the typical downtown Chicago race. We were still split up into corrals based on our approximate mile time, but the corrals were tiny in comparison! It was such a funny contrast, but I was really happy about it. It just seemed a lot more relaxed and flexible. The worst part was waiting for the race to start. It was just so cold! It was so nice to have someone to stand with and talk to, though! Ben usually doesn’t run with me, so I’m always feeling a little lonely pre-race. This was such a nice change. :)
Finally, the race started and we slowly headed out of the corral area. At first, even though there were so many fewer people than usual, the path still seemed SO narrow and way too small, but it eventually opened up a lot and I could run at the pace I wanted.
The first mile went by really quickly, which is always nice! Mile 2 held some surprises… like a GIANT hill and a loop back to the beginning. It was definitely an interesting course. There were lots of encouragers on the side of the path, and one woman shouted, “Okay, only one more time on this hill!” which indicated for the first time (to me) that this path looped around. Quite a surprise! But sure enough, miles three and four followed the same path as one and two, including another jaunt up the humongous hill. It was tough, but the downhill portion afterward was awesome. :)
Fittingly, if there were one word I would use to describe this race, it would be hilly. The gigantic hill from mile 2 (and 4) was only the precursor to the rest of the hilliness in miles 5 and 6. I am very used to (and comfortable) running on the flat paths around our neighborhood and through town. I rarely do a hill workout, and this route definitely exposed my weakness! It was tough. Real tough. But I made it!
I have only run one other 10K race in my life – the Bolder Boulder in, hey, Boulder, CO! That was a really fun race since I ran with a lot of my coworkers, but I was also completely out of shape at the time. It took me one hour, eleven minutes, and ten seconds. That’s 1:11:10. So… yeah. Needless to say, I was expecting to PR at this second go-round. :) And I did! I even met my goal of under 57:00!
That’s mine on the bottom, with 56:10! I shaved exactly fifteen minutes off my previous 10K time! I’d say that’s a win! And would you guess who that is just above me? Oh, that would be my non-distance-runner husband. He totally kicked my butt! I don’t know where he gets these bursts of energy and awesomeness from, but this was the farthest distance he’s ever run, and I couldn’t be more proud of him!
Anyway, that time makes my average mile about 9:04, which I am fully satisfied with, given that this was such a tough workout for me! Totally killed those 6.2 miles, hills and all. :)
Here are some photos, courtesy of ChicagoPersonalPhoto!
This is me at mile 2. It was around this time I realized the yoga pants were a bad idea. They were way too loose for running and the top kept unfolding. It was unattractive and uncomfortable. Next time, I’ll go with my running capris.
After the race, we went out for a very large brunch and then went home and took a long and cozy nap. A perfect Sunday and a great second 10K experience!