|A Sweaty Band and Brooks Tech T!|
This race used to the Women's 5K & 10K and it was actually the first race I did here in Chicago. The proceeds from the race benefit the American Heart Association because heart disease is the number one killer of women. It is also a celebration of the passing of Title IX so it takes place on that anniversary.
The weather forecast called for a hot and humid day (high 80s with 75% humidity) so the Event Alert Status was set at Red for the day with lots of warnings to pace and hydrate properly. I made my way to the start in Grant Park around 5:45am and met up with some fellow #runChi ladies. We chatted about the race and took some group pictures before making our way to the starting area.
|photo from Angelica|
|via Sara's instagram|
I had to talk myself out of thinking about all the negatives and tell myself to just enjoy the run and the race, that's why I was there! Around mile four things got a bit better and I found a good groove. I was feeling really good and keeping a great pace. I thought I can do this, I might even be able to do better than 2:45.
The race path had us run an out and back along the lakeshore trail heading south first and then back north. The 2:45 pacers started to sneak up on me, so I picked up my pace a bit. At mile six or so we started seeing the lead runners heading back the other way which gave me a boost of energy. I somehow thought we were almost at the turnaround, but we still had a ways to go. (Those elites are so darn speedy!) Three miles later the turnaround appeared.
|Lovely view of the city after the turnaround.|
Miles nine through thirteen were rough. The heat was getting to me and I felt tired and hot. My pace decreased and I was taking more walk breaks. The 2:45 pace group ended up passing me which I was a bit bummed about, but I did not want to push myself too hard and not be able to continue. I wasn't the only one the heat was getting to either. There were at least three ambulances that had to come on the course to help people who were dehydrated or had heat exhaustion. I saw a poor girl sobbing as she was put into the ambulance with an IV bag attached. I can only imagine how hard it is to have to stop running when you worked so hard for something. That mixed with the pain and tiredness has got to be overwhelming...
|Almost there - lots of walking going on.|
|This was me the last two miles in the heat... ugh|
After crossing the line I was handed an ice cold towel and a bottle of water which was just what I needed. I grabbed a mini bagel to munch on as well. A few steps later an awesome medal was placed around my neck and I made my way back over to the park.
There was an ice cream truck that was handing out free treats for all the race participants so I grabbed a Star Bar. It was the perfect treat after a hot summer race!
I walked around and stretched some before I ran into Alexandria. I saw her around mile six in the race and am glad we got to catch up post race as well. Her friend Marion had just run her first half! We sat on the grass and chatted awhile, before slowly getting up, saying goodbye, and heading back to the trains.
On the ride home I checked my other race times and realized that my previous PR was 2:45:35 and that I had actually run a PR at this race! I ran this incredibly hot race, coming back from an injury, a minute faster than my last half! I couldn't believe it and still kind of can't! My last half was in March of last year and it is amazing to me how much I have improved. This certainly wasn't my best run race, but this was a tough race and I am proud of my time considering everything. I know there is more good to come as I continue running.
|I got my medal engraved - pretty cool!|
How do you prepare for hot runs and races? Ever surprise yourself during a race? Do you like all women's race events?