On Tuesday evening, I ran the Strike Out ALS 5k.  It was my second time running this race and by far was a much better experience than last year.  I ran this race with Team Manuela’s Peeps.

From L to R: Angelica, Ana Bertha, me, Nancy, Melissa, Yesenia. In front: Lia
From L to R: Angelica, Ana Bertha, me, Nancy, Melissa, Yesenia. In front: Lia

We’ve had such unusual weather this week in Chicago resulting in very cool weather for July. However, on Tuesday it was a bit too cloudy and it looked like it might rain.  I thought for sure it would be a similar experience to Saturday’s race.

I arrived at U.S. Cellular Field at 5:45, sent a text to various friends, and waited in my car for a bit because it started raining.  OK, maybe it was just a little rain.  Finally it stopped and I made my way to pick up my bib and meet up with my team members.  Then I had to go back to my car to drop off some stuff (not sure why I didn’t just leave them at gear check) and on the way ran into Eric and Emily.  A few minutes before the race I saw Natali.

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Photo credit: Natali Villarruel

I saw Emily again at the start line and knew that she was attempting to PR.  I did mention to her earlier that it was perfect PR weather and to go for it.  Well, I meant for me too. However, my coach’s instructions were to run this as a training run @10:45 pace.  I told Emily I was going to run this race based on feel.

The course was a bit different from last year.  We ran through two parking lots but there were more turns which definitely annoyed me.  I swear you get dizzy!

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The best part of this race is running AND finishing inside the stadium.  Since this was a new course, that meant the finish line was not inside the stadium.  I was disappointed but it was still cool to run inside.

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Photo credit: Natali Villarruel
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Photo credit: Natali Villarruel
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Photo credit: Natali Villarruel
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Photo credit: Natali Villarruel

I ran my fastest mile ever @8:57.  Definitely improving since on Saturday it was 9:00. Yay!  Finish time is 30:12. Ugh, just 24 seconds from my PR.  But I wasn’t really attempting to PR.  But still, right?  I wore my watch but did not glance at it once during the race.  I ran by feel and boy did I feel it after that first mile.  I took a short break as I drank two cups of water and went along the rest of the race.

It began to rain a little and it actually felt really good because I was hot.  As I exited the stadium, I knew the finish line was close so I forced myself to pick it up a notch and finish this race.

It seemed like my team members were running close together because we quickly met up, got some water, and proceeded to go inside ChiSox Bar and Grill to eat, drink, and celebrate.  And indeed we did.

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Photo credit: Strike Out ALS 5K website

A few minutes later Emily joined us.  We then found out that she had placed 1st in her age division. Congrats Emily!  Read her race recap here.

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Photo credit: Emily Seto

Another great race for a wonderful organization.  The only thing that sucked was the course.  It is much more fun finishing INSIDE the stadium.  I had a great time and was glad the weather was so much better this year.

I like running 5ks.  They’re short and over before you know.  However, they’re also difficult because I struggle with finding a comfortable running pace and start off too fast. I don’t have plans to run another 5k this year but definitely enjoyed the two I did this month.

My next race: ZOOMA Half Marathon, August 2.

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