I am such a slacker at blog writing lately. I just haven't been in the mood to write, but finally I have a few experiences worth sharing starting with the Bucktown 5K I ran in Chicago last weekend. In my 6 months of running, I've done 2 other 5Ks besides the Bucktown and they were a.)local and b.)small. This was a totally different experience!
My running buddy Karen and I decided a few months ago to take a weekend trip together. We chose Chicago because neither of us had been there before. Then she suggested that it might be fun to run a local 5K on the trip. We looked at the 5Ks in Chicago and settled on the Bucktown because it had a reputation for the best "swag." We did get nice berber fleece vests instead of the typical t-shirt.
The Bucktown is famous for being a "warm-up race" for the Chicago marathon which will be next weekend. The course goes through quiet side streets in a beautiful neighborhood Northwest of downtown Chicago. There are families and lots of cute little kids cheering for the runners. And there are plenty of runners to cheer for because the race sold out all 5000 spots.
It was a sea of people. I had never been in a starting area like this before. A long section of street was completely packed with runners. Being crammed together was actually a nice break from the cold temperature, though. It was a mighty chilly 43 degrees or so that morning.
I wasn't sure what to expect that morning as far as my performance. We had walked a ton the day before and my legs were noticeably sore. I had only gotten about 5 1/2 hours of sleep and I admit my alcohol intake had been higher than my water intake over the past 24 hours. I wasn't expecting to break any records, that's for sure. But something crazy happened. I DID break my personal record by almost 3 minutes. Even though my legs were sore, I felt strong during the run and was able to maintain an average pace of 11:58 per mile. I finished at 37:10. It made me wonder what I could have done had I been more rested.
There was a lot of food at the after party but the lines were so long we headed back to the hotel a bit earlier than planned. Karen had a PR as well, and we both felt proud of our first "out-of-town" 5K. So the only question now is "Where to next?"