Saturday, April 20, 2013

Lakefront 10 Miler Race Recap

While I don't always need a reason to enter a race, it's always more fun if I have one (entering, that is, not running it). Reason for this one - it's my birthday weekend and I wanted to celebrate with a race.

So glad I did. Because racing this weekend, with all that's been going on, was a nice way to overtly display my commitment to the running community.

After the masses of people at the Shamrock Shuffle earlier this month, this race was a welcome return to the smaller race - 1,384 finishers in total.

Packet pickup:
Small event = low key packet pick up. There were lots of options, both in location and day, which was great. Especially as I was away travelling most of the week so managed to squeeze in my pick up on Friday night.

Race shirt:
Long sleeves. Good colour. Will go into next winter's mix as I refuse to wear my winter gear any more. Even if Spring hasn't worked out that it's supposed to be warmer.

Wow. It's my first spring in Chicago and I understand that spring is supposed to be changable. But really, this week has been insane. I missed the rain and floods with my work travel but just taking a look at the ground gives a pretty good indication that it's been wet. Then add Friday's snow and today's early low temps and you've got yourself a race run under yellow conditions.

Snow on the ground and coffee in my hands. Got to do something to keep warm.
There were some pretty icy patches on the path, especially early on. Nothing that couldn't be dealt with but not something I had planned on when I entered this race.

Gear check:
Super easy. No lines. Friendly volunteers.


The race:
One day, when I tell myself I'm not going to race a race, maybe I actually will stick to that plan. Today was not that day.

I went out 'fast'. I don't know if it was my cold feet, the excitement, or that I started the race a little closer to the front of the pack than I normally would but my first mile was my fastest mile for the whole race. I don't think this has ever happened to me before.

The brakes went on a little for mile two as we hit the main icy part here. There was about half a mile of me switching between running on the path and trying to avoid ice patches and running on the grass on the side hoping the snow wasn't hiding a hole for me to twist my ankle in. This mile also included Cricket Hill which made it the most varied terrain mile of the race.

Miles three through five were uneventful. The race was on the Lakefront Trail on part of the path where I regularly run so it was very routine for me. Having said that, it was a twisty-turny course which made for an interesting run despite being in my "usual" haunt.

Looking at my splits, miles six to eight were my slowest. I will attribute this to going out too fast. Running is so much of a mental game. I think here I was feeling my pace and while it wasn't unmanageable, knowing I still had miles to go scared me a little.

Miles nine and ten were back in the good pace zone. By here the end was within sight so my brain gave my legs permission to go. I read an article in Runner's World this month about this sort of thing so might try and implement their suggestions going forward.

Final time: 1:39:52

Very pleased with this. That's an overall 10:00 min/mile pace. In January of this year, I was getting excited about running just one mile at that pace. Now here I am doing it for 10.

Really enjoyed this one.

It didn't have all of the flash and sparkle of the big races but the volunteers were super enthusiastic, the day was sunny and not too windy, there was beer at the finish, I ran a time I'm pleased with. 

What more can you ask for?

Plus, technically it's a PR too as this was my first 10 mile race.

Post-race beer with my friend who I "coerced" into running this race (his story, not mine)


  1. Nice job and way to survive the ice. Happy birthday as well! Hopefully I'll run into you at the Chicago Spring Half in a few weeks.

    1. Thanks Eric. And hopefully the Spring Half will be slightly more spring like than yesterday :)

  2. Congrats on finishing! I was out there a few hours before the race and the first thing I thought was, man I hope the ice melts for the race. I kept slipping! Keep it up!

  3. Congrats on the PR! :) This spring has been a bit crazy, even by Chicago standards. Last spring was also crazy as we saw some 80 degree days in March. So I guess this spring went completely in the other direction. I wouldn't mind just a NORMAL spring.

    1. I hear you. Normal would be nice (even though I don't quite know what Chicago normal is).

  4. congrats. Love the race shirt too!

    1. Thanks! Due to an unfortunate laundry situation, I ended up wearing the shirt today. Stood up to the job well.