they held packet pick-up over three days since there was also a half marathon, meaning that over 6,000 people were trying to pick up their stuff. they had plenty of volunteers, so it was a really short wait to get your bib and shirt. i was ridiculously excited when i saw that i was in corral b, even if there were only two corrals for the 10k.
i woke up early on sunday morning, feeling less energized than i had the previous week. i was also rushing a bit, trying to get a bit of food in my stomach and get all my things, which i hadn't laid out the night before because i was feeling lazy. add on top of that missing the train i wanted to catch and having to wait around an extra ten minutes for a later one, and the morning just wasn't going very well so far.
we made it down to the race just in time for when the corrals were scheduled to close to the 10k runners, only to find the half marathon corrals were still being tapered through, meaning i had time to relax and get focused on the race. it was a little bit cold, so i was glad i had chosen to wear leggings rather than shorts (a decision i wouldn't be so happy with later on...). finally, about 20 minutes after we were scheduled to start, my corral (the last wave) was off! i realized as i headed up to the start line that my garmin hadn't found a signal yet, so i decided to just use the stopwatch feature, and aim to hit each mile marker at 11:00 minutes, which is pretty easy to keep track of.
the route was gorgeous, as it was downtown on the lakefront path. it was a little more north than my 5k, so runners were able to see more of the skyline as well as the harbor. i kept my pace really conservative during the first two miles, truly afraid of burning out too quickly like i had at the last 10k. but when i hit the second mile marker, i was pleasantly surprised to see that i wasn't tired at all! i grabbed a gatorade and picked up the pace just slightly. this pace pickup caused a little inkling of a side stitch, but i used the tip i read about shoving your fingers in to the stitch and breathing hard to get rid of it, and it worked, so i kept on going. before i knew it, i reached the turn around point and thought to myself "i'm totally going to be able to run this whole thing!" which was my true goal, since i wanted to redeem myself from walking the week before.
heading back up the route, the sun was out and shining. it was gorgeous, and made the run even more enjoyable, except that i was still in leggings, so i was HOT. i was also in a mostly cotton shirt* which wasn't helping with moisture wicking at all. by the time i hit the last water station, which was somewhere between miles five and six, i was ready to be done just because it was hot and i was getting tired. i had only run six miles non-stop once before and at a much slower pace, but i didn't want to slow down now. after the mile five mile marker, i just kept telling myself one more mile was nothing, and hoped my brain didn't realize there was another .2 in addition to that last mile. once we started closing in on the six mile marker, spectators were lining the sides of the course, and it was so encouraging. the last .2 miles were so loud with people cheering, and i looked down at my watch and saw that i was definitely going to pr, so i just ran as hard as i could. i crossed the finish line, covered in sweat, with a huge smile on my face, because my stopwatch was showing almost two minutes off my last 10k's time! but i wanted my official time.
after grabbing my finisher's medal, an uber bar, wet towel to cool off, and drinks from the finisher's chute, i went looking for my boyfriend, alex. despite the huge crowd, we were able to reunite really quickly, and he gave my a huge kiss before saying "what's your time?? you did awesome!" we were both really aware that i had pr'd, but eager to know the time. the cool thing about this race was that there was a code on the bib that you could scan that would show you your results. i sat down to stretch while alex got the code to work. i was so happy and excited.
and then i wasn't. he scanned it and then said "that's not right..." with a worried look. "lemme see" i said as i took his phone from him, and saw that it was saying 1:15:55. definitely not right. as i opened up the full page, i saw that it was saying my gun and chip time were the same. umm, i was in the last wave of the 10k. no way i ran at gun time, and considering i had timing problems at the last 10k, i was pissed. alex tried to talk me down from it, saying that i knew i pr'd, so why did it matter about the time, but it really mattered to me. it wasn't so much about corral placement for disney; two minutes wouldn't really make a difference. but two minutes of a pr was a big deal, and i hated that they were adding over 7 minutes to my time, because that's over a half mile of difference. i talked to the results tent, but they were of no help. alex tried to reassure me that they probably just needed time to update, but i wasn't convinced. i just wanted to get my free flower (a cute thing they were doing since it was the spring race) and go home. i was so bummed that this race i loved so much let me down in the end.
ice cream + carrot cake = <3
i was allowed to be upset for the ride home, and then alex said that i had to let it go and just celebrate finishing and getting a pr. once we got home, i did one more check of the results page, and saw all other 10k runners were having the chip and gun time match, so i felt better that it wasn't just me. i also had my garmin time, which may have not been exact, but was closer to my pr so i could use it. lastly, i had done the whole thing without walking, which was a goal not only for the day but also a new year's resolution. so, we went out and celebrated with a carrot cake milkshake, which was the plan all along. i was happy.
but not as happy as today. when i woke up this morning, about to write my recap, i said to alex "it's okay if i use my garmin time as my pr time, right? i mean, let me check the website one more time, just to make sure..." and he said "okay, just one more time" since i had checked it about thirty times in the last 24 hours and he hated that i was obsessing with it instead of celebrating my achievement. the page loaded and then i screamed and yelled and scared my cat beyond belief; my chip time had updated and was 1:08:55, a minute and 37 second faster than last week! definitely a pr.
so what did i think of the chicago spring 10k? loved it. every little bit of it. the shirts are bright tech shirts, the medals are adorable, there was plenty of post race fuel and a cute picnic with food, flowers, and vendors. the weather and route were gorgeous, and even given the delay in timing, now that i'm aware of it, i would totally do it again. in fact, i'm already thinking of doing the half marathon portion instead next year! this is definitely my favorite race so far.
do you have a favorite race? have you ever thrown a post-race fit?
*my next post will explain my wardrobe choice for this race