Monday, April 29, 2013

17th Annual Ravenswood Run 5K: Race Recap

Yesterday I ran my first race of year and it was a good one!  After hearing lots of positive things about the race last year, I knew I wanted to run it.  This was the 17th Annual Ravenswood Run 5K which takes place in the pretty Chicago neighborhood of Ravenswood.  The proceeds go directly back to the community too and benefit the Ravenswood Community Services Food Pantry.  The neighborhood has a suburb kind of feel but you are still close to the city, so it's the best of both worlds; I love the neighborhood.  I live in the area, so I might be a bit biased, but I was excited to run it!  The course was new this year and it took us down the tree lined streets and through Lincoln Square.
Check out the cute Mizuno ladies race shirt!
I woke up around 6:50am, got dressed, had a fig bar, glass of water, and headed out the door.  The race start wasn't far from my apartment, so I decided to do an easy warm up run to the start area.  Once I arrived I made my way to the Fleet Feet tent to meet some fellow FF Cheer/RunChi members including, Sara, Lois, and Ashley.  After a quick chat and picture I checked my jacket and made my way to the start corrals.  
photo via @sburg07
My last 5K was on Thanksgiving and was surprise PR for me (35:16).  Leading up to this race I kept thinking about trying to get a new 5K PR.  I have been running smaller distances since coming back from a minor injury after the marathon, so I felt like this could be possible.  In my training I have also included a day of speed work.  After my warmup run to the race I felt like a PR could be possible.  I knew I needed to average an 11:15 pace for each mile so I lined up in between the 11 and 12 minute mile markers.  



My plan was to start off slower and pick up the pace as the race went along.  The race started before I knew it and we were off at 8am!  There were strollers and dogs and kids, but we had the whole road to share, so there was enough space for everyone.  I found a good pace and enjoyed the run, my music, and the course.  It was cloudy and cool and I was comfortable in my capris and long sleeve tech shirt.  It got a little warm near the end so I just rolled up my sleeves.  Several people cheered us on from the sidewalks in front of their houses which was nice.
My plan panned out pretty well.  I only took a small walk break halfway through mile two to grab some Gatorade and water at the aid station.   After mile two I knew I could get that PR and picked up my pace.  I crossed the finish line in 34:09!  Honestly, I was hoping for just under 35 minutes and was very happy when I realized I beat my previous PR by over a minute!  

Down the finish line chute I grabbed some water and made my way back to the Fleet Feet tent where I met up with more people, including Sonja, and chatted about the race.  I walked around the race area and found they were handing out samples of Ann Sather's cinnamon rolls.  These are some of the best cinnamon rolls in Chicago, so I snagged a sample from volunteer, and fellow FF Cheer member, Kate.  It sure was tasty!  

I really enjoyed the Ravenswood Run 5K!  It was well organized by the wonderful people at Fleet Feet Sports Chicago, with great volunteers as well.  I liked the race course through the neighborhood streets,  that it was smaller than most races in Chicago, and the wonderful community feel of the race.  I would definitely recommend the race and am thinking I'll probably do it again next year.

After the race I walked over to Danny's Egghead Diner to meet my friend, Kristin, for brunch.  The diner has a simple, kind of plain atmosphere, but they serve some tasty diner fare with lots of Mexican inspired meals.  I ordered the special Chihuahua Hash which included swiss chard, fire roasted squash, red potatoes, chicken carnitas, chihuahua cheese, chipotle roasted tomatillo sauce, two fried eggs with guacamole and sour cream.  It was as delicious as it sounded! 
 You can't beat a good run, new PR, and a yummy brunch on a Sunday morning! 

Did you run a race this weekend - how did it go?  What's your favorite thing to do after a race?