As you might know if you ever clicked over to my “Training Page,” I spent the spring training for the Soldier Field 10 Mile (and raising money for the American Cancer Society) with Chicago Endurance Sports. Before this race, my longest race distance was an 8K (4.98 miles) so this was a pretty lofty goal but I DID IT!
My official time was 1:49:51 which put me just under my 11:00 mile pace goal (I know that I am SLOW but that’s OK). This time included a poorly timed, yet extremely necessary restroom break in my 7th mile which sucked away almost 4 mins of my time (something didn’t agree with my stomach; lets just leave it at that) so I really was actively running a 10:30 pace which is pretty awesome for me! I never ran longer than 8 miles during my training so everything after mile marker 8 was a PDR.
I laid out all my gear the night before so that I wouldn’t have to concentrate much at my 5AM alarm clock. After a quick breakfast of cereal and making my coffee I was out the door and made my way to the red line to take it south to Roosevelt for a nice 15 min walk to the race.
I had plenty of time to relax, walk around the stadium, get my gear checked and make my way to the starting line. I was near the back since I lined up with the 10:30 pace in the 2nd corral and it took us maybe 20 mins to cross after the 7:30 AM start. The first 3-4 miles of the race were a tad boring because we just sent south on Lake Shore Drive literally next to cars coming at us (with a lovely orange construction cone divider) but once we turned around to head back north it was much better. On the lakefront path, a cool breeze on my face, with a view of downtown and the finish line (well really just the stadium). Once I made it past my stomach issues (see above), I really just tried to enjoy the last 2 miles since every step I was taking was a distance I had never reached before. It was really exciting to reach the last aid station because it was staffed with ACS volunteers who really cheered me on once they saw my ACS singlet. After I crossed the 50 yard line with my arms held high on the jumbo tron, I met up with Dave, Betsy (who rocked the race with a 1:30:20), and Matt, we walked to the loop and took a bus to a lovely brunch at Handlebar in Wicker Park. I throughly enjoyed every bite of my breakfast burrito and every sip of my well deserved beers.
I won’t say that it was easy, because it wasn’t but it was a lot of fun and I feel pretty accomplished. I have pushed myself plenty of times with school and commitments but never for something as personal as this. I have been consistently running and working out for almost 5 full months and I really do feel great.
I am lucky to live so close to some amazing running paths in the park and along the lake. Just one of the many reasons why I love living in this amazing city.
I have decided on a new goal of 13.1 and have signed up for the Chicago Half Marathon in September**. I am going to try to do the training on my own this time because I haven’t found a program specifically geared to this race and I think I learned enough from CES to develop my own schedule. Thank you again to everyone that helped me raise money for ACS and for supporting my running.
**You can save $15 bucks through May 30th with the code CHMSF15 if you want to join me!!