November 13, 2012

Race Recap: Chicago Perfect 10

Can I just say that I love that the 10 mile race distance is starting to become more popular?  I ran my second 10 mile race this year (and ever) on Saturday, and it was awesome.  Earlier this fall I started looking for longer race distances that would fit nicely into my training schedule for the Space Coast half, and was pumped to discover the Chicago Perfect 10 ten-miler was taking place just two weeks before race day.  I love when a race can neatly take the place of a training run--don't have to worry about carrying my water plus crowd support?  I'll take it. Can I have a race for every long run please?
Love Chicago races. :)
After a 10 mile training run the previous weekend that was less than enjoyable (cold weather, tired body, head not in the game...cut to me watching the miles SLOOOWLY tick by on my garmin as I plugged along...), I started having some self-doubt last week about whether or not a sub-2:30 half is in the cards for me in Florida.  According to the Cool Running pace calculator, I need to maintain an 11:21/mi pace to come in just shy of 2:30.  With my Galloway 3/1 run/walk intervals, though, I am constantly weaving through the crowds to get off to the side for my walk breaks, so I always come in with a little extra distance tacked on at the end of the race.  This means I need to shoot for under 11:21, a pace I've never been able to maintain for a distance like 13.1 miles.  While I've had a few great long runs close to the 11:21 pace, and while I KNOW the long runs are supposed to be SLOW (I know, I know), when I finished my 10 miles 2 weeks ago, my garmin read an 11:50/mi average, and I literally could not have dragged myself through that run a second faster.  I was a little bummed and not so optimistic after that...
Hanging out with Lauren pre-race...the race was delayed HALF AN HOUR because of PARKING issues, so we had lots of sit-around time...
Well, Saturday I got up bright and early to run the Chicago Perfect 10 and gave myself a little pep talk.  Part of me wanted to run the race pretty slow since it was a training run, but another part of me was itching to see how fast I could really run 10 miles.  The beautiful high-50s weather and the even more beautiful course along the lakefront path and museum campus in Chicago gave me the little extra boost I needed to dig deep.
Besides some aches and pains in my feet which I 100% attribute to the fact that my go-to shoes are at the end of their life (more on that later...), I felt great the whole race.  After a speedy first two miles, I forced myself to slow down a bit for the next few before giving myself permission to kick it up again for the last two miles.  I got an awesome surprise just past mile 9 though--my parents!  My dad was standing by the path, camera ready, and my mom was cheering from the car.  I got a big grin on my face, dug deep, and pulled a strong and speedy finish out of my tired feet and legs.
I ended up crossing the finish line in 1:53:08 with an average pace of 11:13 min/mi.  Holy crap.  I felt great after too--I know I had extra juice left that could have gotten me through 3 more miles at a similar pace.  I FINALLY feel confident that I can finish my half in under 2:30 and can't wait for race day!  Hoping the weather is equally as beautiful in Florida as it was Saturday here in Chicago, and please please please not too hot!!


  1. Congrats.Great race. Yes you can do it.

  2. Congratulations on your race! You are going to rock your half!

  3. Great job! I love the ten mile distance. It is my favorite for sure. Halves are great too. I hope you have great weather.

  4. Congrats on an awesome race! You look so great in the pics! :) You totally have that 2:30 half in the bag!


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