Race Report: Chicago AIDS 5K Run

You know how you are supposed to get a 'good' night's sleep the night before a race? Yeah, well that didn't happen this time. I joined a few friends to help set up a TV Video Studio at my son's middle school last night (awesome fun!) and did not get home until after midnight. I think I got to bed around 12:30am. So needless to say, when the alarm went off at 5AM, I was very grumpy. My own fault.

Luckily, I actually woke up and got myself out the door at 5:50am for the hour-long drive into the city. i ended up parking in the same lot that I used for last week's race. But the race venue was quite a walk from there -- at least 1/2 mile -- so that became my warm-up for the race. I felt pretty good given the lack of sleep so I figured I would be okay (but perhaps not quite 'Personal Record' ready).

The first thing I noticed was that it was really cold out there, because of the steady wind blowing off Lake Michigan. Thankfully, I was wearing my LifeTime Fitness Run Club long-sleeve shirt and running jacket, which along with my compression knicker and Injinji socks, kept me nice and warm. It was going to be interesting to see how the weather was going to affect my running. Oh, and did I mention that I have a cold!? Stuffy nose and running do not get along.

I hit the porta-potty, checked out the vendors (nothing interesting), and hung out listening to some pretty good performers while waiting for the show to get on the road. I got someone to take a photo of me (I remembered this time) sporting my cool LifeTime gear (represent!).

Finally, after a 10-minute delay, the race began (no national anthem... hmmmm). There were about 5000 runners and walkers in the race, with the runners all together at one Start and the walkers at a different Start location. The 5K and 10K runners shared the same course for the first mile and then we split. The course was very similar to parts of the 10K race last week so I felt pretty comfortable.

I started off at a 10:30 pace and kept that for the first 1.25 miles. Then I started increasing my pace as I passed Mile 2. In fact, Mile 2 made me mad because there was a water station and I went to get some. But they didn't have any cups ready. I had to STOP and WAIT for what seemed like forever until I could get a cup of water! What a time waster that was! And leave to me to decode that I didn't need to bring water with me for a 5K since they would have stations! Ugh!

So of course, after that debacle, I felt the need to make up for the lost time. So I kept gradually increasing my pace through Mile 3. By that time, I was running at a 9:30 pace I think. Then the last tenth of a mile, I threw in the afterburners (what little I have of them). I was holding a 7:50 pace through the finish line! Wow!

My time? I finished in 33:08 (10:40 pace). That's 42 seconds faster than my previous 5K race! WooHoo! I am very pleased with the run, especially given the lack of sleep and running with a cold.

After the race, I got some G2, a banana, and a croissant and just walked around for a bit. Then I went to the Finish to cheer on the rest of the runners/walkers. But by 10am, I needed to get going because I still had to weigh in today at Weight Watchers and they close at Noon. So I jogged the distance back to the parking garage (imagine that), and got back to my neck of the woods.

The Weight Watchers place is right across the street from my club. So I went there first, took a shower, changed clothes, and went to weigh in. Down another pound! Sweet! So basically, my day has been pretty awesome!

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