Running pic

Running pic
Yup, that's me!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Bucktown 5K recap

I so don’t understand people who bitched and moaned about having to take public transportation to this race – the North Ave bus drops you about 3 blocks from the start line and it was way better than driving and having to park more than 5K away from the race.  So, it was cold.  I wore Capri length tights for the first time this year and a long sleeved lightweight half-zip.  My friends and I got to the race early and we had to stand around for about 45 minutes during which time I pretty much stiffened up - this did not bode well for a speedy time.  The race was crowded which I expected – at least 6,000 people.  The corralled runners started a few minutes late and then they funneled the rest of us schlebs into the start chute and you just started as you passed over the timing mats – I probably didn’t cross the start line until at least 8 or 9 minutes into the race.  The course was very crowded and as is par for RAM races there were many, many non-runners and new racers on the course who aren’t familiar with the race etiquette so for the entire 3.1 miles it was like playing dodge ‘em as I wove around walkers, strollers, little kids, slower runners, etc. I completely forgot my iPod which was probably for the best since it would have made me less aware.  Like a moron I also forgot to start my garmin and I also missed the first mile timing clock entirely so I had no idea how I was doing pace-wise.  I could tell the first mile was slow partially because the crowds were worse at the beginning but also because it took about ¾ of a mile before I warmed up enough to be completely able to feel my feet.  This is one race where it would have behooved me to do a little research and at least look at the course map beforehand so I would have had some idea where I was in relation to the finish line.  Ultimately I didn’t PR, which I wasn’t expecting to, winding up with a time about 2 minutes slower than my best time.  I did wear racing my spiffy new racing flats and while they felt nice and fast, I don’t know that I’m tuned in enough to notice the difference of a few ounces from my regular Kinvaras.  Meh – I’ll keep using them for 10Ks & 5K’s but I don’t know that they’ll help much.  The post-race celebration/food situation was kind of a shit show.  The lines were super long and disorganized and the portions were pretty small so we skipped it entirely and went to a local diner, snagged the last three seats at the counter and had a delicious breakfast.
The day before the 5K (Saturday) I did my last ‘long run’ before the marathon – 10 miles.  I went to a weights class at my gym on Friday night and learned myself a valuable lesson to CUT BACK on the heavy leg stuff during taper because my legs didn’t feel so hot for most of the 10 miles.  The weather was perfect – chilly but not much wind since we were on the North Branch trail which is pretty protected. We kept to about a 9:30/mile pace which is a little faster than I plan on going at the big race but a little slower than I would regularly run 10 miles.  I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I was a little nervous about the marathon, but the last 20-miler went well and the weekend after that I did a half that had monster hills and I finished that race in better than expected time.  Since this is my first full I’m not setting a time goal for myself – I just want to enjoy the run, be able to greet the people who are coming out to watch me and not be disappointed at the end if I don’t meet a specific time.
I’ll check in again later this week – I haven’t looked at the weather for Sunday so I’m still not 100% positive what I’m wearing and I’m sure I’ll also want to write about the packet-pick-up and expo.

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