Me and my friends after the race. Look at all those people!!
Sunday I ran in my third ever 5k race. The other races I’ve done have been small local, events, but this was a biggie right smack dab in the middle of Chicago.
This one was called the “Hot Chocolate 15k/5k” and there were over 40,000 runners. Wow. It was a little overwhelming.
I would never call myself a runner. In fact, I could name about 400 things I like better than running, but it’s for that reason that I force myself to do a race every now and again. It’s good to do hard things.
I don’t ever go into these races with a time to beat in my head. Mostly I just think, “Don’t stop and walk!” At Crossfit they make us run a 5k at least twice a year, but I never feel that competitive when I do it there – I just mainly want it to be over!
Although I was doing the 5k with two of my girlfriends (the other two did the 15k), when it came time to get into our corrals, we got separated. It really didn’t matter because once our corral got permission to start and the running began, there were so many people that it was impossible to try and stay together. This probably worked to my benefit because I just ran my own race. I cranked up my music and ran.
The route went through underpasses and tunnels – which was cool but creepy – and the last stretch was right on Michigan Avenue. Every now and again I would pick people to try and keep up with, but mainly I just kept running. When I saw the first mile marker I said, “Hey! That wasn’t bad! I just have to do that two more times!” Somehow I missed the Mile 2 marker which was likely a good thing for me mentally, because I didn’t let myself slow down and I wasn’t able to start fretting about how far I’d gone or how much more I had left. All of a sudden I turned a corner and there was the big “FINISH” arch! That’s when I started running as fast as I could.
At the end of this race I felt pretty good about my time because it was the first race I ran where I felt like I really tried hard. I really wish I’d taken more pictures, but it was so crazy trying to get through the crowds to get to the bag check and then on to the meet-up spot to find my friends that I didn’t get the chance.
Everyone who finishes gets a giant mug full of goodies: Chocolate fondue with apples, pretzels, a marshmallow and a banana for dipping, a a cup of Hot Chocolate. I was so hungry after the race I would have eaten the grass under my feet!
Although I was feeling like I’d broken 30 minutes, when the official times posted my time was 30:18. At first I was disappointed, but when I realized that my old “Best Time” was almost 33:00, I was pretty happy. During the run I felt great, so I know that when I do it again (and I will!) I’ll push myself a little harder and get that “2” in front of my time! I might even try a 10k, but that might be the endorphins talking 😉