All good things must come to an end, I suppose, and on Sunday, my two months of racing and my six-month PR streak came to an end. Super sad face 😦
Because I’ve been planning on running the Chicago Marathon pretty much since last September, I really front loaded my race calendar this year, which means I’ve run a whole lot of races since mid-February. I’ve been planning on Ravenswood for awhile, but I didn’t plan on actually running it. I conned a non-running friend of mine into doing a 5K back in December, and Ravenswood was the 5K we settled on. Then my friend got busy and didn’t have time to train, so she opted to walk the race, and well, online race results are forever, y’all, and I have a reputation to maintain 😉 So I ended up running it, but more on that in a bit.
I picked up my packet at Fleet Feet in Lincoln Square on Saturday, which, for those of you keeping score at home, was the third time I went to the Lincoln Square Fleet Feet in the space of six days. Whoops. All were for legitimate reasons (a failed quest to get a Runners for Boston shirt that ended up in me spending lots of $$$ on socks [double whoops], a Boston memorial run on Monday, and then packet pickup of course), but when walking around the race site Sunday morning and thinking, “Hey, I recognize that Fleet Feet employee!” I realized that just maybe I’ve been spending a bit too much time there lately. Haha. Anyway, the packet was nothing to really write home about.
Lots of advertising for future Fleet Feet races and a couple 10Ks. I really like the design and color of the shirt, but it’s a little, um, sheer.
Yikes. So that’ll be my go-to shirt when it’s 90 degrees and humid, but probably won’t make it out of my closet much beyond that. Ah well. I didn’t run this race for the shirt, so no love lost.
I got to the race site 45 minutes before the actual race and milled around with one of my other friends while waiting for my non-runner friend to get there. Pretty soon after we met up with her, it was time to head over to the start. I’ve done (arguably more than) my fair share of races in Chicago, and it was so nice to run a race not on the Lakefront Trail for once. Lining up to start on Hermitage gave the race a good neighborhood feel that I definitely liked.
Because I’ve been shin splinted since Shamrock, I’ve barely run at all lately. I ran the day of the Boston Marathon and at Fleet Feet last Monday, but that’s it. I really had no expectations heading into Ravenswood, but I wanted to see how I could do, especially on pretty much no training, so I seeded myself between the 8:00 and 8:30 milers. I knew it was probably ambitious to expect to PR, so I promised myself I’d give it my best effort and not beat myself up over time. I only looked at my watch to see where I was on the course and never once looked at my pace. I was pretty happy, then, when I had an 8:16 split for the first mile. That’s just about as fast as I ever run and I was still feeling pretty good at that point. Mile #2 wasn’t quite as hot. My legs were definitely a bit tired and it felt like the first half mile was soooooo long, but the second half went by pretty quickly. I ran an 8:26 second mile (rawr. Missed a negative split AGAIN.) and though I really wanted to give it my all for the last 1.1, I wasn’t so sure what exactly “my all” would look like. My legs were tired, my stomach was cramping, and just in general I felt pretty lousy.
The clock at Mile 3 was somewhere in the neighborhood of 25:4x when I passed it, so I figured I had lost any chance at a PR. When my Garmin registered the third mile, though, I saw that I had run it in 8:07. That put my total time at 24:49 at the 3 mile mark, which made me think a PR was still definitely within reach. I took off for that last .1 miles (ran a 6:08 pace!).
Buttttt no dice. When I stopped my Garmin, it said 25:27; my official results say 25:29. My 5K PR is 25:24. Sighhhhhh. I’m trying to not be super annoyed by it, but…I’m kinda super annoyed. I mean, I know for sure that I gave the race my best effort. There’s really no place that I can point to and say, “Yes, I could have run a little faster there,” so I at least have that. It’s just annoying to be sosoclose, you know? Ugh. I’m totally turning into that definitely-runs-for-time runner I never, ever thought I’d be when I ran my first 5K.
Even though I’m a little frustrated about my time (really, more frustrated about the fact that my PR streak–I’ve PRed every race I’ve run since October, which is seven PRs in a row, though five of them were cheater PRs because they were new-to-me distances–ended), I enjoyed the race. Fleet Feet knows what they’re doing, and I’ve never had a bad experience at any of their races (which, yes, I’ve only run two…but whatever. They were both very well organized, and I appreciate that). I really liked running through Ravenswood, I’m head-over-heels in love with Lincoln Square, and all the turns made the race seem a lot faster than your standard out-and-back-on-the-trail number.
Post race, my friend and I headed over to Angel Food Bakery on Montrose for breakfast, which, since I’ve wanted to go out to breakfast for months but never had an opportunity to do so, might have been the highlight of my day haha. But you guys. Not only was it one of the cutest little hole-in-the-wall places I’ve ever been, but the baked French toast with orange vanilla bean syrup:
NOMZ. So, so, so good. I feel like there’s this prevailing thought especially among young twentysomethings in Chicago that ever going north of Addison is crazy talk (which, personally, I take huge issue with. There’s a whole lot of awesome Chicago north of Addison that people are missing out on by being all, “Yeah, I only spend time in Wrigleyville, Lakeview, and Lincoln Park. Maybe Wicker Park or Bucktown if I’m feeling crazy.” GET OUT, people! There is so much more to this city than what lies between North Ave. and Addison! /endrant), so if you’re looking for a destination, or a reason, to get north of Addison, Angel Food Bakery could definitely be that reason. I could give you plenty of other reasons, too, but we’ll save that for another blog post 😉
I am now done racing for three whole months. Whoa. To be honest, I’m actually a bit nervous about it. I love races, but I know I need to get myself ready to run the marathon in October, so racing has to take a back seat to general training. Races keep me motivated, so I’ve got two planned during training, but other than that I’ll just be pounding out miles for the sake of marathon prep. I will say, though, that I’m THRILLED to be done running fast. Long slow runs are my favorite, and there’s nothing long or slow about a 5K. 5Ks just kill me. I like that they give me the chance to gauge how fast I’m able to go, but I really prefer not hating everything about life when I’m out on a run, and that’s how I tend to feel on those speedy 5Ks. Bring on the slow runs!