What To Do The Day Before The Chicago Marathon? Run The International 5k Of Course

There was a time in the not so distant past where I could barely run half a mile. So writing the title of this blog post - running a 5k the day before a marathon - still shocks the crap outta me.

It's amazing what we an accomplish when we believe in ourselves and find a sport/activity that means a lot to us. Right?

I was looking for a way to shake out some of the nerves the day before the marathon and I guess the legs too. :P When I got the email for the International 5k, I knew I had to sign up.

The race was on it and even mailed me the bib in advance so I could bring it to Chicago with me and I didn't have to pick up multiple bibs at the marathon expo.

Since you all know me well, you know I didn't look into where the race was until just before bed the night before. haha. Why change now, right? :) 

The wife graciously came with me since I wasn't sure if I'd be able to meet up with any friends at the race.

While we waited near the entrance to the Start area, I met a fellow From Fat To Finish Line Tribe Member Eric before connecting with my GIRL Kristin, aka BamaGirlRuns! Thankfully she let me tag along with her and her 2 friends. :) 

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We made our way to the Start Line and were ready for a 3 mile catch-up sessions since it had been about 2 years since I had seen her last.

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I believe the race MC said there was 100 countries represented in the 5k. I would say a majority of the field would be toeing the line the following morning for the marathon. The things runners will do for a medal. OH but this race also had a Finisher's scarf!! OOOHHHH SWAG! :) 

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Ahhh it was awesome to be running through my old home. For those that don't know I lived in Chicago for four years and met the wife there. :) :) It holds a BIG place in my heart.

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I was stoked to be running and catching up with friends.

Of course we had to stop for some pics with the famous Chicago Theatre sign.

While stopping to take pics and thank you kind stranger that took a group pic, we realized there were VERY few folks behind us. We forgot about that whole 15 min/mile pace we were supposed to be keeping. So we finished this photo op and ran on. :)

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You can tell we started about 9 minutes after the official clock started. Haha.

Mile 1: 12:13

It was time to get ourselves down to the Lake, but first there was a quick little turnaround where we got a glimpse of where we would be less than 24 hours from that moment.

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Okay NOW it was time to head past the Bean and make our way to the Lake.

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Boy I never get sick of this view. I spent hours walking the pups and running along the Lakefront path.

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Something was definitely wrong with my Garmin because during Mile 2 we took our sweet ass time along the Lakefront Path taking all the pics and chatting with the other runners.

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I mean how amazing is this city...

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... and these friends!

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Alright time to get this crew back to running. :P

You can see the locks the Mile 2 should've been a 15 min mile, but my Garmin didn't register that. Not sure what happened there, but I will blame the buildings!

Mile 2: 10:24

For the final mile, we were on the slimmer part of Lakefront Path so there was a lot of energy exerted to bob and weave through the other racers and the random folks on the path (it wasn't blocked off to the public).

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Mile 3: 15:06

Noooo the fun was about to end. :( But what an end it was. The race had the chute lined with flags from all over the world!

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FINISH TIME: 43:43 (14:06 min/mile pace)

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What a blast!

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Once we collected our medals, we entered the SHIT SHOW that was the post-race area. There were volunteers throwing apples in the air to participants (don't ask me why). There were just droves of people with no sense of rhyme or reason. I was feeling pretty claustrophobic and couldn't wait to make it OUT.

I made my way to the scarf table and handed in my tab for my free scarf.

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Overall that race was exactly what I needed. I had a great time with Kristin and crew and was getting wicked excited for the next morning.

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Now to just run 8 times what we ran that morning. :P

If you are in the Chicago area or running the marathon, I recommend adding this race to the weekend. Here's hoping they fix the mess that was the post-race area.