About five months ago there was a Groupon for half off race registration for a 5K or 10K race in Chicago. You can't beat a half price race fee! I wanted to register for the 10K, but they were sold out so I decided to go for the 5K. The Champion's Run took place down by the lakeshore in a similar location as the Women's 10K I did three weeks ago.
I picked up my race packet Friday afternoon and found some nice goodies in the bag: two mini Clif bars, two mini Lara bars, a coupon for Universal Sole running store, lots of upcoming race information, and a women's fit tech t-shirt.
|Already covered in rain at the start|
My plan for this race was to achieve a new personal record. I have been working on my speed over the past few months and knew that to beat my best time I would have to run at least a 12:20/mile pace. With the addition of a new job into my schedule, this week has been crazy busy and was not sure how well I would do at the race. I only got one run in Thursday and have been really sore and tired from standing on my feet for so many hours, but I decided to focus the energy I had left and try the best I could to get that PR.
I only ended up walking through the two water stops for maybe 15 seconds each. That is a major accomplishment for me! I learned to run by using the run/walk method, which I love and still use, but being able to pretty much run the entire race felt great! I ended up keeping a pace of 11:20 for the first mile and worried that I might be going a little to fast; I didn't want to burn myself out too soon. I slowed down just a bit but kept going. At mile two I noticed my pace was still going strong and decided to just try and keep it in the mid 11 min range. If I did happen to burn out a bit I still had the time to get a PR. However, I didn't feel much fatigue or pain keeping that pace and stayed with it until the very end! As soon as the finish line was in sight I kicked it up a notch and sprinted through to achieve a new 5K PR that I am really proud of - 35:21 minutes! That beat my old one by almost three minutes! When I looked down to check my Garmin I was ecstatic!
I grabbed a water and strawberry bagel after finishing. This race had some great sponsors including Corner Bakery, Trader Joes, Skinny Water, Universal Sole, Clif Bar, Lara Bar, a local radio station, and more. I picked up a chocolate chip cookie and blueberry muffin from Corner Bakery, but saved them for later. Every finisher got a "Champions Breakfast" after finishing as well. I stood in line for a small cheese omelet and sausage patty. The eggs were too buttery for me and the sausage was just OK, so I only ate about a third of each. I just enjoyed my bagel instead. Good bagels are awesome after a race, just saying.
All racers also got a finisher's pint glass to take home.
They were offering free beer as well, but I am not really a beer drinker, so I passed and walked around to check out the tents instead.
After confirming my finish time on the posted board I walked back to the bus. On the way I noticed that the back of my legs were splashed with mud. I guess that's what you get for running in the rain. It was worth it though, because I achieved a new personal best and was leaving with a smile on my face!
Do you mind running in the rain? Have you ever completed a race in the rain?