May 28, 2012

Race Recap: Soldier Field 10 Mile

Saturday morning, against my better judgment, I ran the Soldier Field 10 Mile!  This awesome race was along Lake Michigan and finished on the 50 yd line in Soldier Field, where the Chicago Bears play.  :)
I'd been looking forward to the race for months, but in the past few weeks, I convinced myself it was going to be nothing short of a complete train wreck because 1. my IT bands have still not recovered from the Kentucky Derby Half Marathon, causing me to 2. not run a single distance over 5 miles in the past month and 3. quit multiple runs at 3 miles because of bad IT band-induced knee pain.  Oh, and the weather forecast was predicting temperatures in the upper 80s.  In my anxiety brain, all of this was bound to equal 1 thing...DISASTER.

Luckily, the anxiety world my brain likes to live in does not control the events that happen in the real world.  Saturday morning, instead of waking up to a scorching sun, I woke up to drizzle, clouds, and cool wind.  Not ideal weather for lying at the beach, but I'll take it on race day!  In an attempt to stay positive and either convince my ITBs to loosen up or my brain to ignore pain receptors for a couple hours, I kept repeating to myself, "It will be fine, it will be okay, it will be fine, you are fine, you are okay..." If we're being completely honest here, I'm sure I said the words out loud a couple of times during the race...I support the "I can't be responsible for things said after 5 miles of running" belief!

The course was awesome.  We started just outside Soldier Field stadium in Chicago and ran down Lake Shore Drive and the lakefront path for pretty much the entire race. Even though there were some pretty strong winds coming off the lake at a few points, it was definitely worth it for the view.  You can't beat a Chicago race. :)  After 3 miles, my left knee was feeling that familiar IT band pain...I forced myself to stay calm, repeated, "it will be fine" about 100 times, stretched, and kept moving.  I ended up stopping to stretch again at 5 and 7 miles, and by the grace of the running gods, managed to finish the race with a few strong and pain free final miles!  There is nothing like running into a stadium, through a tunnel, and onto a professional football field to get the adrenaline pumping--needless to say, I ended the race with a strong sprint across the finish line and negative splits.  My finishing time was 1:57:18.  All things considered, I was definitely happy with it, since I told my parents beforehand that there was a strong possibility I'd be the last runner and crawling across the finish...I know, dramatic as always.  (BTW, isn't it a bummer that the clock doesn't actually stop during a race when I stop to stretch like my Garmin pauses during training runs?)
Seriously, I don't even LIKE football and I still think it's awesome to finish on the 50 yd line!
(No, this isn't a finish line picture of me, but you get the idea.)

After plenty of confusion and wandering around the inside of the stadium and around the grounds, I collapsed in the Runner Reunite area, where Dad found me half an hour later...
I have to say, after 4 weeks of less-than-intense running, plenty of IT band pain, and 10 miles, my legs felt surprisingly good after this race!  Yes, my ITBs were super tight not exactly HAPPY with me, but they have definitely felt WAY worse.  My feeling after both this race and the Derby Half were soooo much better than how I felt last year when I finished the Princess Half Marathon and could barely even get on and off the shuttle bus or walk to the hotel room.  I'd say this is a promising start to the year.  Hopefully 2012 continues like this, but with even less pain. ;)  (It had better, because in less than TWO WEEKS, I'm doing a freaking triathlon...god help me...)
All in all, a fun race that I will definitely put on my calendar for next Spring!


  1. So glad it went well! 10 miles is quite the achievement!

  2. congrats on the race and im glad you felt good! sorry to hear the IT has been acting up since derby! ummm and you are so dang hard core for going after a tri! cant wait to hear about it! good luck!!!

  3. Congrats on the 10 miler! Don't you love it when you find a race that you want to do again the next year???

    I ran in a 5k back in April that finished on the 50 yard line at Auburn University (big time football here in Alabama!). It was so cool!!



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...