Saturday Morning was the Michelob Ultra 13.1 and Lifetime Fitness 5K. I have run the 5K portion of this race 2 times prior and I as I have stated before, this 5K will always hold a special place in my heart since it was the first 5K race that I ever ran.
I was also thrilled that this year the 5K race shirt was actually a tech shirt instead of cotton t-shirt. Not that I truly need more of either since I have an overflowing dresser filled with running/race gear…
Jim would be running the half marathon… only his second after running his first three weeks ago. This was another day where my friends race meant more to me than my own.
The only thing I don’t I truly don’t like about this race is the location that is rather difficult to get to… which means getting up insanely early. However, that being said, the South Shore Cultural Center is a beautiful location and I do like that it is a 5K course that is different from most of the other 5K course I run.
Jim and I had agreed to take the free shuttles to the race sight from Millennium park. In order to avoid lots of crowds and possibly rushing, we agreed to meet downtown at 5:00 am. I was up well before the sun at a lovely 3:00 am (note sarcasm). Of course, the bus ended up taking only 15 minutes to get downtown… far faster than the normal 30 minutes.
We arrived at the race sight with plenty of time to spare and had time to explore a little bit. Since this was Jim’s first time at the location, we took advantage. We also got there right as the sun was rising and I snapped picture of an empty start line.
We wandered around a bit, checking things out and I told Jim that the finish line was actually quite a ways from the start line… something that sometimes throws me for a loop when racing. He had a race plan in mind and was ready to race. I went with him to his start corral and then headed to the start line to watch the speedy folks take off
I tried to find Jim crossing the start line but never did catch a glimpse of him. I watched most of the corrals start the race before heading over to gear check to drop off my bag and make a quick visit to the port-o-potties.
One thing I tend to do when racing is wear my watch very loosely to commute and then tighten it for the actual race and then either take it off or loosen it when I am done. So I went to tighten my watch like I always do but when I did, it broke
I was devastated! But luckily, I was still able to run with it around my wrist… it was just far looser than I prefer. The extra band on the watch was helpful.
I didn’t go into the race with a plan to run for time. It was already fairly warm and humid and the sun was shining bright without a cloud in the sky. I also had roughly two hours to kill… so really… running fast was not a priority.
As soon as I crossed the start line, I knew running slow was on the menu for the day. My legs were trashed and heavy and my body just wasn’t interested in running at a decent pace. So slow it was.
I grabbed water and walked through the first water station like always. Also took a few very short (maybe a tenth of a mile) walk breaks between miles 1 and 2. I also walked the hills. With trashed legs, I didn’t really have motivation to run any of the hills. I grabbed water at the second water station and was really grateful that the 5K had two water stations. Most 5Ks have only one but it was hot so I was REALLY glad they had two.
I took maybe three short walk breaks between miles 2 and 3 but still managed a really decent kick at the end to finish strong.
My Official Time 36:02 for a pace of 11:36
Hardly a stellar time for me but I also just didn’t care. The name of the game for the day was survival… especially since I still had to volunteer later (post coming later this week).
I headed to my fav spot near the finish line for this race and shortly after getting there, I saw Pete finish the race looking strong. A few moments later, another friend finished the race and then a few moments after that, I saw Lynton finish the race. I was excited for all of them. I then wandered around for bit but knew we were getting sort of close to the 2 hour mark. Jim wanted to finish around 2:10 so I wanted to make sure I was there to see him cross if he had sped up.
One thing that I find really touching at finish lines is when friends cross together holding hands! I think it awesome to see people supporting each other like that! I was also incredibly touched when I saw the 2 hour pacer clearly very excited for someone who (I assume) ran with her the entire race. My assumption is that this person and the pacer chatted and it was made clear that she REALLY wanted this goal. I saw the pacer stop running and yelling encouragement and as the girl passed her she ran up and grabbed her hand and raced it in the air as they crossed the finish line together. So awesome to see that!
I saw the 2:10 pace go by and I was on the lookout. Jim had said he would be happy as long as he was under 2:15. Sure enough, a few moments later, I spotted him making his to the last turn and I screamed and shouted for him as he crossed the finish line.
I then rushed over to the finisher’s chute exit to make sure he didn’t have to look for me. It was HOT out and I knew he wasn’t as used to the distance in the heat and didn’t want him to have to wander.
We both grabbed our slice of pizza and sat in the shade. We didn’t stick around for very long since we both had stuff to do and wanted naps before our plans later in day. So we headed back to the shuttles and got back downtown. We parted ways as he headed for the train and I headed for the bus. The bus driver certainly took his sweat time at each stop which was frustrating because I was desperate for a nap and a shower. But I eventually made it home and managed to catch an hour/hour and a half nap before eating and then heading to volunteering (more on that later).
All in all it was an enjoyable race and morning.