The moment you've been waiting for is here. To find out if I survived the 5K. Thank you to all the well-wishers and supportive friends and family. You would have thought this girl was doing a marathon. Nope, not a marathon, just the first time I've ever actually run in my life outside of forced exercise in gym class.
We have been lucky so far this fall and had very mild temperatures in Chicago. Of course, the morning of the Hot Chocolate 15K/5K decided it was going to reach a high of 40. The 6am wake up call and being in race position by 7:15 didn't help either. We powered through: Bob, myself and my brother-in-law Ike pumped ourselves up prior to the start at Grant Park.
We queued up with 12,000 other runners, finding our way to the 12 minute mark start. My Badger branded headband not only kept the ears warm and the hair in place, but also helped keep my ear buds in my ears.
The race began and over 10 minutes later we finally got to the Start Line! The chips in our bibs didn't kick in until the start line so there were no worries on that affecting our times. What did affect my time? The congestion in some of the narrower parts of the course, walkers who did not move to the side or start further back and, oh yeah, the fact that I had never run more than 20 minutes in one shot!
My music kept me going (a particularly well-timed "Under Pressure" by David Bowie and Queen got me through a tough section) and I was proud to say I only walked for less than a minute, and most of that was during the heavily congested areas. Of course, I was probably running slower than I normally walk by that last half mile, but once I saw that Finish Line I wasn't going to quit.
37:01 minutes at an 11:55 pace. Placing about 1300 out of 2200 females in my age group. I know I can improve on this in the next race, whenever that may be. The good news is I wasn't so worn out that I ruled out doing another one, I think I would gladly accept the challenge.
The better news? Free chocolate and fondue at the end of the race!
We had my sister's family over for brunch after the race and I smartly realized the night before that I wasn't going to want to be slaving in the kitchen when I got home. I spent Friday night preparing an egg bake and some insanely easy breakfast muffins you pretty much always have the ingredients on hand for. I meant to take a photo earlier, but we dug into it too quickly!
Then I spent the next couple hours relaxing on the couch. The cats were also worn out from a long morning of running away from my one and a half year old niece who shrieks happily but loudly whenever they are in the room. Confession: this photo was staged. I am not actually asleep. I also don't think that looks like me. Perhaps I have a stunt double I don't know about. Confession #2: Blatant Product Placement for Coke.
And so closes out the Grand Running Experiment! As you might recall, this all started with a bet that if Bob signed up for and completed the triathlon he was talking about, I would train for and run a 5K. He did it (read about that here), so the next week I bought shoes (read about that here), over the next two months I followed a running program with a few hiccups now and again (read about that here) and I perfected my playlist to get myself energized for the day (read about that here). Until the next one!