Yeah, OK I didn’t get around to the review of the free trial Crossfit class – so sue me. Suffice to say it was hard and I got really sweaty and although I enjoyed the workout I don’t think that the gym we had the class at (Atlas Fitness) would be the best place for me. They seemed to be a little too focused and intense and I think that this wouldn’t be the place to go if you needed a bunch of modifications.
But, I do want to recap one of my favorite races – the Ravenswood 5K.
Cost: I’ll admit it – because of my association with Fleet Feet I got this one as a freebie, but I did pay for my husband and I bought us both pancake breakfast tickets (breakfast $10 each, race $40). Normally I hate paying that much for a 5K, but at least with this race I know it will be well organized and the charity partners (a local food pantry and the Student Health Centers at two local high schools) are very worthy.
Packet Pick-up: I volunteered to assist with packet pick-up so it was pretty easy to just grab the two I needed during my shift. I’m glad I checked though because only one of the two pancake tickets were included – something that was easily remedied with a quick computer check. While I was volunteering there was a steady stream of people coming in and we tried to make it so that no-one had to wait more than a couple of minutes to get their bibs & bags and we wished everyone good luck at the race. I saw a bunch of people I know from the neighborhood, the gym, and from Fleet Feet.
The Goods: I knew based on the fact that the shirts were from a Japanese company to go a size up, but I know there were many disappointed people with tiny shirts. There was a shirt exchange at the race that I know some people took advantage of. I was happy that this year they FINALLY got gender specific T’s and I really like the purple color of the women’s T’s. I also go a free volunteer shirt to wear at packet pick-up and these were unisex sized cotton T’s but in a really nice deep purpley-blue color. The packet had the usual race flyers and a sample Clif bar.
Transportation: Gotta love a race I can walk to. It took about 30 minutes to walk to the race which was a nice warm-up. We got there in plenty of time to stash our gear bag, use the porta-potty and chat with some friends that we saw.
Course: Due to some construction on the regular course this year the course was all new. I knew that this wasn’t going to be a PR race – I had run 10 miles the previous day - but I also knew that since it was only a 5K I didn’t want to lollygag too much either so I lined up around the 9:30/mile area. I spent much of the first half of the race dodging people which is to be expected – no-one ever seems to be able to estimate their pace correctly (not even me – I ran 8:30/mile). I thought the course had less turns than it has in previous years and I really enjoyed running down Lincoln Avenue past the Fleet Feet store. I got to slap hands with Chuck and Kathleen, two of my favorite Fleet Feet people, and stuff like that always give me a silly energy boost. I don’t do 5K’s very often, so the finish line came around sooner than I thought it would – great since I felt a little barfy around the 2.5 mile mark. I’ve never barfed at a race – maybe I’m just not trying hard enough? I have seen plenty of barfers though. Some people have just been obviously hung over (5K/10K races on Sunday mornings) and once a woman barfed right next to me as she crossed the finishline. Too bad since it put me right off the post-race food offerings which were pretty good – a brat and a beer. I was happy with my 26:09 finish. A couple of minutes off my 5K PR, but I’m not going to complain and I do love a race that is NOT on the lakefront path and one that gets to use the full width of Chicago streets is pretty special.
Post-Race: What else can I say except for Ann Sather cinnamon rolls? Yum. Plus the Stewarts Coffee truck was there and it hit the spot. The pancake breakfast was OK – three pancakes, a hashbrown patty and a sausage patty all packaged together. Eh – the $10 bought the food pantry 100 pounds of food so I’m not going to complain too much and it was like it was inedible or anything – just not really hot. There were also bananas, chocolate covered acai or pomegranate, bottles of water and Clif was there with a full complement of samples – I don’t think anyone went home hungry.
Other notes: Did you know that there were Fleet Feet employees who actually went out the day before and SWEPT the course to get stray debris off the street? I did not know the level of detail that went into a race like this and it’s pretty interesting.
I managed to get in 23.1 miles last week – I overslept on Friday morning and missed my regular run. So that was over 5 days of running ( broken down to 2, 5, 3, 10 & 3.1 miles) and 3 trips to the gym for cross training.
This week has much of the same with some fun stuff thrown in. FF-Lincoln Square is having a Girl’s Night Out after Chick’s Night on Wednesday – vendor discounts, sports bra fittings, mini-massages, snacks and drinks and then there’s the Saucony Kinvara4 Launch party on Friday evening at FF-Old Town that will also have snacks and drinks. I do love the snacks and drinks. Then on Sunday I get to go to the Naked Korean Spa for a friend’s birthday party and get in some real relaxation.