So I was a little worried before this run because I started feeling sick on Thursday. I knew no matter what I was running this morning, but I was really hoping to be healthy while doing it. I wasn't, but that is okay. I was able to push through the congestion and coughing to finish the Bucktown 5k. I hadn't done this run before, but had some friends that had. They told me it was a great course. I then heard they increased the number of runners. Not a good sign. Races don't always have the kinks worked out when they increase the number of participants. Unfortunately, RAM Racing fell under that group.
Thankfully, my coworker/friend Miguel gave us a ride, which was huge! Otherwise we would've taken two buses or a train and a bus to get to the race. We parked and walked (what seemed like a couple miles :P) to the pre-race area. We came up on the Gear Check and Port-O-Potties. The wife checked our bag and got a free Bucktown 5k hat. I thought that was nice of them then later during the run realized they were protecting the runners from the blinding sun at spots on the course.
I didn't take a hat since I had my cute Sweaty Band on ... damn me for picking cuteness over necessity. :P
We started to realize at this point that there were going to be a TON of people in this run - I saw #s in the 6000 range.
When we walked further towards the staging area, we were just hit with people. There were runners everywhere. We saw the Start line then realized the chute was completely Full. There were people spilling out on to the sidewalk. The line was so long it wrapped onto the field next to the street. This wasn't putting me in a good mood. :P I don't like when I can't get my standard "pre-race" photo. There was no way that was happening. So we got in line with everyone else to wait and wait.
We faintly heard the sound of the National Anthem and figured someone was starting. I would wager about 7-8 minutes after the race started we finally got up to the front and were able to start. The wife, Miguel and our friend Wendy all started together, while I took off. Even though I was sick, I always want to go for a PR. But, I knew it would be tough with so many people.
I spent the entire run bobbing and weaving through people. There was no chance to get into a nice rhythm since you were passing people or having to stop because there was a group of walkers in front of you. I am all for people completing a 5k at their own pace, but some people don't know race etiquette. There were walkers in the middle of the road - people jogging five wide - baby carriages and little kids attempting to run. Again, I am all for everyone participating in races, but since there were so many people - it was just mass chaos.
So I hit Mile One in about 9:03ish. I was pretty pleased with that. I just tried to bear down and keep my eye on the prize - PR. I was coughing and congested the whole time, but I tried to steady my breathing as much as I could.
There was also a woman that told me to "F*&- Off" in the middle of the run. I was just trying to get around a group of people walking (six wide across the street) and accidentally cut in front of her while trying to get around. I apologized (as I always do) and she threw that at me. I just shook my head and continued on. I could've thrown down, but ya know - there were kids around. ;)
I never saw the Mile Two marker, but all of a sudden my Runkeeper told me at 20 minutes I had run about 2.2. So I figured I was in pretty good shape.
My Runkeeper told me 27:19 at the finish. I thought it was a PR so I was psyched ... until I looked through my archive races and realized I set a 27:11 5k at the Terrapin 5k August 4. Boo! I missed a PR by 9 seconds. I was bumming. My friend Brittany told me "You don't have to PR every race." I also need to remember where I started. In my first 5k in March 2005, I finished in 36 minutes. Today it was 27. That is pretty darn good. I am proud of myself!
I was really disappointed. I usually love the races RAM Racing puts together, but today was bad. Even trying to get water and a banana after the run became a hassle. Thankfully they had some chocolate chip cookies that made up for it. Yummy! Also, they ran out of bananas, while I was still holding one - I think five people came up to me asking where the bananas were hiding. I thought I was going to get mugged for my protein. :)
But, overall, I am happy I did it. I may not have PRed, but it was nice to get out on the street and explore a new neighborhood of Chicago.
Also, the jacket was SAH-WEET. This may be the best race schwag I have gotten to date...
I am rocking it now and may live in it from here on out ... COMFY! :)
Also, due to the craziness, I don't have my normal "post-race" photo either. So instead I have a nice photo the wife took of Miguel, Wendy and I.
Next up will be the Trick Or Treat Trot 5k October 30! :)