Alarm went off at 4:45 a.m. and Andrea and I got up, ate the bananas we bought at CVS the night before. I also made myself a cup of coffee and had a Picky Bar. We were out the door by 5:45 and took a cab to get dropped off by the parking area. As we walked to the start, I realized just how perfect the weather was (overcast and low 60s with light wind) and how happy I was with my outfit choice (Lululemon Run for Your Money tank, Oiselle stride shorts, sunglasses and my Minnesota knee high socks! Then we got in line for the porta potties and took a few photos of the lake:
Andrea and I parted ways to get to our corrals before they closed at 6:45 (race started at 7). It was a pretty smooth start, with each corral starting one minute or so after the previous one. So just a few minutes after 7, (I was in Corral D) we were off!
Mile 1: 9:09
This mile was was pretty much right where I wanted it to be. I wanted to start out slow, and was forced to because of all of the people at the beginning. My calves were also super tight even though I rolled the s*** out of them the night before.
Mile 2: 8:46
The longest mile of my life. I alternated between thinking about tight calves and my sore left shin and how I could take it easy because I wasn’t going for any PR’s. Plus, there was a tunnel where I lost all GPS signal so I had no idea how fast I was running. But when my Garmin read 8:46 for mile 2, I was pretty happy.
Miles 3-5: 8:43, 8:33, 8:31
After the halfway point, my legs started to loosen up, I grabbed some water at the aid station and I started to enjoy the race. It was near perfect racing weather and it was fun seeing all of the different schools represented. Also, I loved hearing the debate that was going on behind me about how long a 10K actually is. (the debate was 6.4 miles vs 6.2). On our way back to towards the finish, we also were running along the lakefront which was lovely.
Mile 6: 8:02
For the last mile I focused on a group of guys that were just in front of me and make it my mission to stay with them (this worked — I stayed with them all the way until the finish line). I knew by now that a PR was possible and I didn’t want to regret not going for it and missing it by just a few seconds. A part of me was worried about kicking it in too early, but I felt good right up until I had about .2 left to go and was definitely ready for the race to be over. For the last .2 I scrounged up every ounce of energy I had left and picked up the pace as much as I could.
Official time – 53:38. 1 minute 18 second PR off of my previous PR of 54:56 at the 2013 Get in Gear 10K.
I collected my medal….
…and then headed over to the U of M alumni booth to meet back up with Andrea. She ran a fantastic race, too! And congrats to Hillary who raced her way to a big, fat PR!
We walked back to the hotel, grabbing Dunkin’ Donuts and swinging by the Bean on the way. Full Chicago trip recap to come!