Thursday, June 14, 2012

Karhu Move and Groove 5K: Race Recap

Are you surprised to see a race recap?  My decision to run a race last weekend was very last minute.  My mom was coming into town to run the Chicago 13.1 Marathon and to see me.  She won a free entry and the timing worked out perfectly to visit me.  I was checking Twitter early last week and noticed that Amy from Second City Randomness was giving away a free entry to a 5K.  I soon realized it was the 5K that was in conjunction with 13.1 race, so I figured why not enter.  And as you can tell by now I won the free entry!  I registered for the race Thursday morning.

After dinner Friday night we made our way to the Piper's Alley Fleet Feet to get our race packets.  My mom then had to go to Trader Joe's to get some groceries to take back home to Florida.  Since there are no TJ's near her whenever she visits somewhere there is one she stocks up on her favorites.  We made it back to my apartment with two big bags full of TJ's goods!  We got home late and had a few bites of the Sprinkles cupcakes mom had picked up earlier.  I also took a while trying to figure out my race outfit, because I can be kind of indecisive and didn't get to be until 11:30pm.  

Before I knew it the alarm went off at 4 am and we were up and getting ready to make out way south to the starting area.  We took the El to Millennium Park where we boarded yellow school buses to the start area at the South Shore Cultural Center.  
We arrived around 6:15am and sat around waiting for the half marathon start.  It was a very pretty morning and we got see the sun rise over the lake.  
Early morning eyes...
Just before 7am mom made her way to the start corral and I went to watch the start.  I got to watch each wave go off and cheered on all of the runners.  Once the half marathon runners were off the 5K racers lined up.  I found a spot in the corral and waited for the countdown.  We went off around 7:45am and by the temperature was rising and the sun was shining bright. 

I mentioned that I was having some weird aches in my legs last week so my plan for this race was mostly to have fun.  After the first mile everything felt OK so I decided to try and push myself a bit to see if I could get a new PR.  The last time I ran a 5K was last August, so it had been awhile.  The course was a simple out and back.  We ran by part of the lake, but it was just an OK course.  There were three aid stations on the course which I briefly walked through to sip some Gatorade.  I was getting a little bitter faster as I kept going and pushed myself to finish strong.  As I made my way down the finish line chute the announcer said my name as I crossed the finish line.  
It felt like the race went by so fast!  I was just 15 seconds shy of a new personal record, but it's no big deal.  It was a really last minute decision to run the race and you can't PR at every one.  I was just grateful to have won the free entry (thanks again Amy!) and that my legs were feeling better.  It also gave me a chance to do something while waiting for my mom to finish her half marathon.  
I grabbed the post race snacks and a bottle of water and made my way to stand along the finish line.  I cheered on all the runners as they made their final sprint to the finish.  I really enjoy spectating a race.  It's interesting to see all the different people running and shouting out some encouraging words for them to finish.  They are really so inspiring!  Plus when I run it is always nice to hear people cheering you on.  It was getting pretty warm out there and it is hard to run in the heat, so I hope my cheers helped someone with that final push across the finish line.  The text updates weren't working for my mom's splits, but I knew she would likely finish around two hours or so.  I didn't have to wait too long before I saw her running towards the finish.  She ended up finishing in 2:15, which is great considering the heat; she's awesome!  
We each grabbed the a free slice of Lou Maltnati's pizza and mom grabbed a free post race beer (I'm not really a beer drinker.)  We sat and stretched in the shade before heading back on the bus back to Millennium Park.

Next we made our way to the Green City Market.  After the winter inside at the Nature Museum it is back outside in Lincoln Park and is one my favorite places to go.  All the food there looks and tastes great.  I always talk about going there and my mom finally got a chance to see how wonderful it is.  I have been eyeing the porchetta sandwiches at a new booth the past few weeks and we bought one to share.  They are made with locally raised pork and topped with caramelized onions and a fresh slaw.  It was really delicious.  I picked up my usual foods before we made out way back to my apartment.  We were both pretty tired from the early start that morning, so after showers we took much needed naps.  

It wasn't either of our best races, but I think it's always fun to participate in a race.  Plus it was pretty darn cool to have both won free entries!  It was beautiful, although warm day, and I'm glad we got to spend the morning running.  We had a great weekend, which I promise to share more of soon.

What is one of your favorite things to eat or drink post race?  What are some of the things you say to when spectating a race?