This week’s Tuesday Topic is: What do you do after a long run or race? You can write about this topic or feel free to post any running related blog post. Remember to link up with Kim and Zenaida! Visit at least two of the other linked posts – the more the merrier! Remember to come back for later linkers!
I am deviating from this week’s topic to write about my race from Sunday. I was debating on whether or not to run it and Saturday morning at the expo is when I made the final decision. I am glad I did it because it was LOTS OF FUN!
The last time I ran this race was in 2019. The expo was in a different location than in previous years. It was cold and rainy on Saturday morning as I made my way downtown. It was actually fun taking the train and being downtown again. It must have been 2 years since I’d taken the train as well.
I went to one tent to pick up my bib and then to another one to get my shirt. The expo was very small. I just looked around but didn’t buy anything.
Race day was cool – not warm nor too cold either. I wore pants but could have worn shorts. I wore a long sleeve top under my shirt and am glad I did because I waited 12 minutes to cross the start line.
Wow! There were times that I felt cold but OMG it felt GREAT being there. It is hard to explain it but it felt wonderful to be able to race again. This race is one of my favorites! I loved seeing everyone’s outfit and their excitement of being able to run this race again.
Finally it was time to run! I knew the signals downtown were wacky and Garmin information isn’t reliable. The day before I had set my watch for manual laps. That morning I changed it back to auto lap. While I did care a teeny tiny bit about my time, I didn’t want to worry too much about pressing that lap button at each mile marker. I wanted to enjoy the race and finish! Secretly I was hoping to finish under an hour – and I did, but it was close.
I had been doing good with running without stopping. I wanted to see if I could do it again and for how long. I kept an easy pace. My watch was showing numbers in the 10s but I knew that wasn’t possible. I also saw the numbers 9 and 8. I ran and ran. I took in the sounds and the sights. I ran sans music and am glad I did. I listened to everyone around me (luckily no one was talking too much because you all know I hate it).
I stopped at the first water stop. According to my watch it was before the 2 mile marker. I then learned later on not to rely on my watch. I took two cups of Gatorade and continued to run again.
When I was at the one mile marker my watch said 1.15 mile. OK, not too far off. However, at mile 2 it said 2.30. Soon it was 3 miles but for sure I thought I had missed the mile marker. Then I saw it when my watch said 3.5 miles. For some reason that messed with my head. I stopped to walk for a few seconds. Then I snapped out of it and kept running.
There wasn’t too many people out there but it was still enough. I was already getting tired and did my best not to walk too much. There is nothing wrong with walking but I wanted to limit it. There was another water stop around mile 4 and I took two more cups of Gatorade. I was thirsty and should have drank water instead.
I ended up walking more the last mile of the race. By this point I was even more tired and wanted to finish. I’ve run this race plenty of times and know where the finish line is but it felt like it was taking too long to get there. I knew the hardest part was yet to come. I was on Michigan Avenue ready to turn left on Mt. Roosevelt. Oh, I mean Roosevelt Road. It is a long and hard incline and it feels harder when running the Chicago Marathon. I was running but stopped to walk. I picked up the pace knowing that I could still make it under one hour. I finally finished in 59:42.
I didn’t take any pictures along the course. I took in everything around me – the energy, the runners, the noise, and the sights. I recognized many places but also saw some new ones. Did I mention how great it felt to be downtown again? Did I also mention how great it felt to run a race again? Part of the route was new but some of it was the same from before.
It was a beautiful day for a race. No rain like the day before. It was sunny and perfect.
My original goal was to have fun and finish. Deep down I also wanted to finish under an hour. I wasn’t sure if it was going to happen since I hadn’t been running much these past few months. I was pleased with how I did and was surprised at my average pace. I ran without walking too much. I am definitely in much better running shape than I thought I was.
Below is the data from my watch. Interesting on the pace and distance. 🤣
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Well done, Zenaida! That is actually a lot of elevation for an 8k race, too!
It feels good to be back at races, right?
I love participating in races – it’s just nice to be around people who share a love for running.
When is your next race?
A lot of elevation for a flat city too! 🙂 I haven’t figured out about my next race. There are plenty to choose from but don’t know if I will be ready for them. Then again I wasn’t really ready for this one. We’ll see.
This is so exciting. Love reading race recaps.
I’m glad everything worked out. Congrats. You did awesome.
I agree. That’s nothing that replaces a real race.
Thanks! I thought of you because I know you’ve run plenty of races once it was OK to run races again. I am not sure what is next.
Well, great job and very well done!! I’ve heard so many good things about this race. I think themed races, such as this one, are great because of all the costumes and the festive atmosphere. I think I”d be all about enjoying the experience than gunning for a PR, especially on such a crowded course…and it’s Chicago! I’d be basking in all the architecture and landmarks 😉
There were these two girls next to me at the start line with cute outfits. They had a green skirt with shamrocks and they told me they got it at Walgreens. I meant to look for it to have for next year but I forgot.
Mt. Roosevelt- ha ha! Congratulations on this race! It sounds like you had a lot of fun, AND met your time goal. I know you felt like you were in a little bit of a running rut- (or, non-running rut.) Maybe this will snap you out of it. It looks like it was a beautiful day!
It feels like a mountain! It was a beautiful day but then this past week was cold again. This coming week too. The weather is weird!
There’s something about that return to racing feeling. Congratulations!
I agree! Thank you!
Awesome job! It must have been so exciting to get back to racing again. I’ve never done this race but have heard it’s an absolute blast. Honestly any race in Chicago is always a good time, lol.
It is a fun one!
I was there too! I was near the back of corral G so the race was very crowded and very slow and it was taking too much energy to try to pass people so I just went along with the crowd. Also I’ve heard so many times that Garmins don’t get a good signal on the course but mine lined up perfectly for the first two mile markers and was just a touch slow after that. I’ve wanted to run this race for so long and it finally happened. I will be back next year for sure.
Glad you ran it too! Yes, it was crowded and many people were passing me. It was fine since I was going at on my own enjoying everything.
Great to see you back racing again! I bet it felt great to be out there again. Congrats!
I did! Thank you!