Soldier Field 10 Mile Race Re-Cap

I signed up for this race at the last minute. My longest legit run to date had been a 6 mile run. Not only had I not trained for this race but I was coming off a race that I was angry about. I did this race in 2011 so I had a general idea of what to expect. The race has been on my radar for several months. I know the race is a lot of fun and ending on the 50 yard is really awesome. I hadn’t been training for the race so in my mind I was bowing out. But this week I just could not shake the desire. Thursday a quick check of the weather informed me that race day weather would be perfect race conditions…. Minimal (if any) wind, cool and overcast. So I signed up…

I figured I would use the race to replace my long run… I would run 6.50 miles (my originally planned long run for the week) solid and then run/walk the remaining 3.50 miles. If I happened to be feeling great then I would keep running. I knew I could finish the race no matter what and I was mentally prepared for the pain I was about to inflict on my under-trained body.

Packet pickup was easy (as all packet pickups at Fleet Feet are) and I was very excited about the race. Love the race shirt too!

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Eric and I did our usual pizza the evening before and agreed to meet at my place at 5:15 the following morning… Yes it’s an early start but considering I get up at 4:30 Monday through Friday for work… My body is used to it. We hopped on the train and headed to the race.

We went to gear check and then I walked Eric to his corral since I had LOTS of time to kill before my corral even closed. We took a quick picture, I wished him luck and then was off to find my GF who was also running the race

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I found her (surprisingly) quickly over at the port-a-potty line where she introduced me to a couple of her friends that were running as well. The race decided to do corrals this year… Which I couldn’t remember having in 2011… I was informed it was new for this year. My GF wanted me to sneak into her corral with her and her friends. That proved impossible as the corrals were heavily monitored. So her friends and I went to out corral and chatted while we waited. And boy did we wait… It was nearly an hour before we started.

I knew Eric was going to wait for me and we both knew this was not going to be a quick race for me. A band he likes was playing at the after party so we had decided to meet there. But considering he started to run nearly an hour before me I wanted to keep him in the loop so sent him a quick text before I started. In fact… We waited so long that the winner of the race went flying (and yes I do mean flying… He finished in 49:57) by before we started. Yea… That’s a bit discouraging… Oh well. We were off shortly after

I planned to go slow since I knew I was not trained for the race. Also planned to walk through all the water stations like I normally did. I did a quick check on Friday to see what my time in 2011 had been and I was hoping to beat that time (even if only by a few seconds) and thought that I should be ale to since I walked a good portion of that race (thank you stomach cramping)

Mile 1 came quickly and I in my mind I thought “ok, just 5.50 more to go”. The first water station around 1.50ish miles. I choose not to run with water because it was cool and over cast. So I took my water and was off again.

Mile 2 also came quickly and I was still feeling good. I figured I was moving at an even pace but I never did check my watch for the pace.

Mile 3 did not come quite as quickly but I told myself that I only had 3 more miles to go and that helped a lot.

Mile 4… I am surprised that I am still feeling good. I am not going fast but I am steady and so far the water stations have been all I needed. The turn around about half a mile before mile 5 and I was thrilled when I saw it.

Mile 5 came and went. I sent a quick text to Eric and my GF letting them know I was half way. I figured both had already finished (and I was right) and I thought it was only fair to let Eric know where I was on course since be was waiting.

Mile 6 – I am pretty much at my own little goal already. I am still feeling good but need another water station… There wasn’t one so I took a quick sip at a water fountain. I am still feeling good so I just keep running through the mile

Mile 7 – I am still running and I am surprised by this. Then there is a big hill… Yea… Screw that… I am walking. No one passed me on the way up and once I reach the top I start to run again.

Mile 8 – I am starting to hurt now but I knew it was going to happen at some point. I walk about half a mile and then continue on.

Mile 9 – alright last mile… I can see the stadium again. I keep telling myself it is just one more mile. I distract myself by listening to the conversations around me (yea… I am nosy). I decided to walk for about 2/10s a mile because I know I am sprinting to the finish line. At this point I start to get emotional which is new for me. I have just run a solid race while under-trained and was doing far better than I had expected. We get back to the finish line and I slowly speed up

We enter the stadium and a guy next to me says “I am following you into the stadium… Don’t stop now” – I said “don’t worry I won’t”

We get to the turn to run onto the field and I feel like I am about to burst into tears (still a new sensation) but I hold back and just take off… I don’t know where that surge came from because my legs hurt… But I pick off everyone as I sprint past. I looked at my watch right before I stopped it and it said a 6:00 min pace…. No freaking clue where that came from

I turn around to look at the finish line and am about to burst into tears again. I just completed a race I did not train for and I ran 90% of it.

I take a pic of my Garmin and immediately text it to my mom and email it to my dad (my dad does not text and I knew he would be on the golf course anyway). I am beyond thrilled with my time. I know I actually earned the medal I was about to receive.

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This is a PR for me! I beat my 2011 time by about 6ish minutes. I am so beyond thrilled. I get my medal and text my GF and Eric to see where they are. I go get my bag from gear check (super speedy) and then get my finisher goody bag (love the permanent green bag we got with the race logo and year on it). I tell Eric if he wants my beer (I don’t drink beer) he has to meet me at the beer stand area. My legs hurt just too much to go to the stage to then have to walk back.

I found out that my GF also PR’d! Congrats to her! And Eric met his goal (automatic PR since it was his first 10 mile race) and ran an awesome race. Congrats Eric! He had fun waiting for me (luckily because he had to wait like an hour). I tell him that I am thrilled and that we are going to have to take off soon. My legs hurt and I know that if I sit down I am not likely to get back up. He is ok to leave so we head back to the train.

Downhills hurt like hell and don’t even get me started on stairs. I take a shower as soon as I get home and the eat some leftover pizza. I then get onto my couch and sleep for a couple of hours. When I wake up I have a horrendous headache… Combination of dehydration and sinus’s I am sure but I am unable to get rid of it all day. My legs didn’t hurt nearly as much as I thought which was a pleasant surprise… Don’t get me wrong… I hurt but not as bad as I had expected.

I am so beyond thrilled that I did this race and that I ran better than I thought I would. I definitely earned the medal this time!

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My Official Time is 1:56:43

But my bib is not assigned to my name (reported it already)… I figure (hope) it’s because I registered on Thursday. But even with that snafu I am beyond thrilled with this race!

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11 thoughts on “Soldier Field 10 Mile Race Re-Cap

  1. I’m so glad we were able to meet up and that you PR’d! Excellent job! Sorry we had to split, Rebecca texted me yesterday saying she thinks she had 24 hr bug. Yuk! I have no idea how she ran 10 miles.

    • I am glad we got to meet up too! Sounds likes we both had awesome races!

      No worries about not being able to meet up after… It didn’t surprise me. She said she wasn’t feeling the greatest before the race started. Major props to her for running 10 miles. I don’t think I would have been able to.

  2. Great job! I was just having the – runners hate for stairs – convo yesterday with my wife. When i see someone young and in shape move down stairs slowly, I immediately think, they had a recent hard run!

    I’d do the race just to run onto the field! I bet those calories burned were fun to enjoy as well!

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