The bad thing about race morning is the 5:00am-ish alarm. Also going to bed before your kids on a “stay up night” and missing the end of Furious 7 because you’re aware of this 5:00am alarm. Now, I’ve had 5:30am or so long runs in the summer to beat the heat (also not fun), but I get up just before 4:00am most days, and so I like to be able to “sleep in” until at least 6:00am on the weekends. So I put on a pot of coffee and started my traditional pre-long run/race oatmeal and discovered the milk has expired. Lucky me I do have wheat toast and a few varieties of Justin’s Almond Butter – Vanilla Bean + Espresso and Cocoa + Coconut (yum!), a tried and true back up option.
Today is the Lakefront 10 miler – one of the races organized by CARA (Chicago Area Runner’s Association). We headed out at 6:30 for a 9:00am race since you just never know with traffic going down town and street closures for the race. We had a solid hour plus change to chill. I had debated whether or not to carry water but decided not to since I bought a new hydration belt and didn’t want to try it out on race day. I did carry 2 GU in my fuel belt (also new but not as risky – and happy it could fit my phone!).
Getting ready to race!
The first mile was fine though I went out a little too fast than I intended at 9:15. My goal was to average 9:30 and maybe get a little faster near the end. After the first mile, between 1-1.5 we hit Crickett Hill. I had not expected that (not that I checked the route or anything…) and hadn’t anticipated the brief foray into a cross-country race.
Picture taken from the middle of Cricket Hill
The race was along the lake front (hence the name :)), which always makes a good run and there were plenty runners yet at the same time it wasn’t over-crowded. Water stations were about every 2 miles or so. I got a little water at each and never felt like I had to go too long of a stretch. I did have to take a GU at 1.5 miles because I had forgotten to take something to eat before the race. That AB & toast was a good 3 hours before the race, so next time I really need to remember to bring a granola bar or banana.
I kept a pretty good pace and felt good the whole race. My pace was closer to 9:30-9:40 most of the race (with a faster mile at mile 8 – 9:17 – and slower at mile 7 – 9:51). Somewhere just after mile 9 we hit Cricket Hill again and I thought “you’ve got to be kidding me!”. It was worse on the way back and I had to walk up the hill a bit. Still my last mile was my strongest at 9:02!
My watch time was 1:34:57 (paused when I took the pic of the hill) and official time 1:35:14. I’m very happy with the run! They had water and bananas as well as bottles of beet juice at the finish. I had heard good things about beet juice before a run so I saved that for another long run. Connie’s Pizza was there with yummy deep dish pizza and Lagunitas beer was served in the beer tent. It wasn’t even 11am yet and I’m not a beer drinker so I let someone else have my beer ticket. All in all a great race that I would consider doing again.