This may put me at risk for losing my Blasé Chicagoan Card, but I really like St. Patrick’s Day in Chicago. Yeah, there’s a lot of tourists, and yeah, there’s SO many drunk people out and about at all hours of the day, but nevertheless I love the way Chicago goes all out for the holiday. I was walking around downtown early Saturday afternoon, and I just loved seeing everyone wearing green. I really like seeing people passionately united for something–I think that’s part of the reason why I get so into sports–and let me tell you, Chicago is passionate about St. Patrick’s Day.
Instead of celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with day drinking, I opted to celebrate in the best way a runner knows how: with a race. I’m in the midst of a personal running challenge to run everything between a 5 and 10K, and as such I’ve had my eye on the Get Lucky 7K for quite some time (I’ve got plenty of 5Ks to my name, two 10Ks thus far, and one 9K. I’m running an 8K in a few weeks, which means all I have left is a 6K…suggestions?). It was also the perfect excuse to wear my free Get Lucky socks from the 2011 Shamrock Shuffle expo, which are hands down my favorite running socks of all time. They’ve got better support than any other socks I own, and they’re seriously fantastic…but also a little weird to wear during, you know, July.
Get Lucky didn’t have race day packet pickup, so on Wednesday I trekked over to The Runner’s Edge in Andersonville. The Clark bus would easily get you there, but I opted to take the Red Line to Berwyn and walk there, and I’m glad I did. The stretch of Berwyn between Broadway and Clark is really lovely–lots of really pretty houses and such. Definitely a worthwhile walk!
Packet pickup was a breeze, although I once again fell victim to the sale rack.
I’ve wanted running tights all year but couldn’t justify spending more on tights than I spend on running shoes, and as such I’ve been running in sweatpants for most of the winter. I was STOKED about these tights, which were super on sale, until I actually wore them on a run. The fit was a little awkward, although I think that was more my fault than anything because I gave up on trying to coax them over my legs after awhile. The bigger problem, however, was how my legs reacted to them. After running in them, I came home to do some upper body strength work, and in the process of doing that noticed that the backs of my knees were completely broken out in hives! I have no idea what made that happen! I’m not allergic to anything but penicillin as far as I know, and I have a hard time believing the tights are secretly coated in antibiotics, so I really can’t figure out what caused the breakout. I was fine after awhile, but I’m not sure if I should keep wearing the tights or try to return them?
The packets themselves weren’t much to write home about: just a chip and a sweatshirt.
Not gonna lie: I doubt I’ll ever wear this other than on St. Patrick’s Day, but it’s comfy and cozy at least. The Runner’s Edge was also handing out these envelopes that all contain prize slips on them, but you can’t use them until April, and they have to be opened by a store clerk. Since I’m a sucker, it looks like I’ll be venturing back to The Runner’s Edge next month, which obviously is the whole point. But I could win things, you guys! Every envelope wins something! Maybe I could win running tights that don’t cause an allergic reaction just on the back of my knees? Haha.
Anyway. On to the race. I was super, super tempted to DNS this one. I had a spectacularly awful night of sleep Friday into Saturday and something I ate on Friday was not agreeing with my tummy, so the last thing I wanted to do was spend an hour on the CTA to go run a 7K. I’m a miser, though, and even though I felt like crap I didn’t want to waste $50+ on a race I never ran, so I drug myself through my pre-race routine and got my butt out the door.
I got to the race about 40 minutes before the start of the 7K. That was probably for the best, since the line for gear check was INSANE:
But holy smokes you guys was it cold out there. Nearly all of us huddled behind a wall, trying to catch a break from the wind, but it only kind of helped. Obviously the weather isn’t exactly Team Ortho’s fault, but man oh man would I have killed for a heated tent–or even just some sort of real shelter at all–while waiting for the race to start.
(Side note, but speaking of Team Ortho: have you heard that they’re bringing their women’s half marathon to Chicago? Because Chicago obviously needs another women’s-only half marathon [sarcasm]. Even more so, though, they’ve scheduled their half for September 22–aka the same day as CARA’s 20 Miler. Team Ortho thinks they’re having their half marathon down at Soldier Field, but I’ll be VERY interested to see what that course looks like when it’s all said and done. It’s practically impossible for a first year event to shut down any roads in the city, and though Team Ortho isn’t new, their women’s half is. We shall see what happens, I suppose!)
Since I wasn’t feeling too hot, I seeded myself pretty slow and decided to treat the run like my usual, casual Saturday morning long run. Since we were running on the Lake Front Trail, things were a bit crowded at the start, but I’ve certainly run in worse conditions. Honestly, at that point all I wanted to do was start moving/thawing, so I didn’t mind occasionally having to bob and weave.
I expected to run somewhere around 10:00s or 10:30s, so I was pleasantly surprised at mile one to discover I had run a 9:56. I guess that’s not really *that* much faster than a 10:00, but that “9” plays nice psychological tricks on ya 😉 My feet were still numb and continued to be numb all the way through the second mile, but I was warming up, feeling pretty good, and turned in a 9:06 second mile. A little bit beyond the second mile mark we turned around (not a hairpin turn! A nice change from what I’ve grown used to in my recent Peggy Notebaert races), and WOOF. I didn’t realize the wind was at my back for those first twoish miles, but I definitely realized it was at my front when we turned around. Thankfully it wasn’t too strong, but I was worried that I’d get really cold again, especially since I had barely warmed up. The wind and a couple minor minor minor hills affected me a little bit on that third mile, and I ran a 9:12–no negative splitting this race 😦 Sad day. I did, however, negative split the next mile with a surprise 8:58! Since we were just about done at that point, I decided to go into pick-as-many-people-off-as-possible mode and ran an 8:19 for the final .4 miles of the race.
My Garmin and my official time don’t agree, per usual, but as far as my chip was concerned, I ran a 40:37 for a 9:21 pace. Didn’t come close to placing in any sort of division this time around, but that’s all right. I suppose I can’t win my age group every weekend 😉
We got food bags with a bagel, banana and York Peppermint Patty at the end of the race, which I really appreciated since my tummy wanted food at that point. We also got medals at the end of the race, which I liked but also found a bit ridiculous. I love finishers medals as much as the next non-competitive runner, since generally speaking that’s the only kind of medal I get, but I really feel like you should have to do a little more to earn some hardware — like, you know, run a race that’s 10+ miles. Those distances for sure deserve medals. 7K? Probably not, but whatever. I enjoy adding medals to my collection, so I shouldn’t complain.
Aside from the dang cold weather, I really had a good experience at the Get Lucky 7K. Team Ortho definitely knows what they’re doing, which is always nice. They even e-mailed us our results within a couple hours of the race finishing! I don’t think I’ve ever had my individual result e-mailed to me before, so I really liked that. I’d certainly consider running the race again, and definitely recommend if you’re looking for a new distance and instant PR!