Monday, April 27, 2015

2015 Ravenswood Run 5k Recap

The Ravenswood Run 5k is definitely one of my favorite races, and this year's race was just as good as I hoped it would be. Better even.

Why? Because I have a new 5k PR! I may still be slow (official time 33:39), but I'm not as slow as I was last year (offical time 35:22)!

The Ravenswood Run is always a well organized neighborhood race that winds through the streets of the Ravenswood and Lincoln Square neighborhoods. The race is great for a lot of reason: a flat course fully on city streets, awesome volunteers, easy packet pick up, happy runners, it benefits a good cause, etc. I could go on and on about how much I love this race.

Sunday morning dawned to truly beautiful weather. It was sunny and clear, but still had just a bit of a chill in the air.

Spring is finally here!
One of the more selfish reasons that I love this race is because I can walk to the starting line. Instead of having to wake up super early and rushing out the door to wait for a bus or train, I was able to roll out of bed around 6am, shower, have a leisurely breakfast (half a bagel with cream cheese and half a banana), feed Hannah, get dressed, watch an episode of Bob's Burgers, and then go for a nice morning stroll through my neighborhood on my way to the race. One of the major benefits of having a race in my neighborhood is not needing to take stuff with me or use gear check. All I needed was my keys and phone. 

Although I know that you are not supposed to try anything new on race day, I went ahead and wore a new pair of shoes. It was only a 5k, so I wasn't too worried about it.

I like my shoes bright.
My new Saucony shoes have been okay, but not great. There is some stitching on the inside of the shoe that is causing me some problems (hello, blisters), so I decided to try out a different pair of shoes. I got this pair of Mizuno running shoes at a great price at DSW, so I figured it was worth a shot. Long story short, I still haven't found the perfect pair of running shoes for me. They weren't bad, but they weren't great, either, and I don't really want to try them for a long run. So they will be relegated to shorter runs or "walking around the city" shoes. 

It was fun seeing everyone setting up and blocking streets as I walked to the race. I saw them setting up the water station and getting ready to put up barriers to block traffic on some of the streets. Since I was wearing my bib number, I even got a couple of high fives from some of the volunteers setting up as I walked by. 

Once at the starting area, I made a pit stop at the bathrooms, then I picked up my pancake ticket from the help desk (I forgot to get it when I picked up my packet Thursday night). I took a quick turn around the race area to see all that there was to see.

Dunkin Donuts, Fleet Feet, Chicago Endurance Sports...everyone was out and ready for a great race.
I then made my way to the starting line for a quick photo and to wait for a couple of folks from my pace group with Chicago Endurance Sports. Deb, Shelia, and I decided to run together, since we were all registered for the race, anyway. Normally, I run races alone, but I was excited to have a couple of friends to run with this time.

Let's do this!
Once we had found each other, we lined up according to our anticipated race and chatted a bit and discussed our plan for the race while we waited for the official start. We agreed that we would all run the entire race if at all possible. I was worried about my recent breathing problems, so I made sure they knew that I may need to walk if it became too hard to breathe. We wanted to stay together as much as possible, but we also agreed that if one of us needed to slow down, then the others would keep going on ahead and we would meet up again after the race.

I was towards the back, as usual.
Happy for the sunshine and gorgeous weather.
The race started and we were off! We started out a little slow. Although runners had seeded themselves pretty well, we still had to do a bit of weaving in and around the crowd immediately in front of us. It was very crowded for the first chunk of mile 1, but things spread out a bit and were more comfortable once we hit the first mile marker.

I was feeling great! I wasn't wheezing or gasping for breath. I felt good. And having a couple of friends running with me was fantastic!

Before I knew it, we hit the 2 mile marker. We were still going strong, and were actually running a little faster than planned. Deb and I managed to stay together. Shelia fell slightly behind us around the time that we turned onto Lawrence, but she was still very close, so we pressed on.

I was starting to feel tired and having a little bit of pain in my left leg during the last mile, but Deb helped motivate me to keep running. We were so close to the finish line! It wasn't time to stop and walk! We sped up a little at the very end and crossed the finish line together.

It was great! We ran the whole thing! And I could still breathe!

I grabbed a bottle of water from one of the friendly volunteers, and we waited for Sheila. She was at the finish line just a few seconds after we were. We found a quiet place to rest, enjoyed some post race snacks, and chatted about the race and our upcoming group runs.

Banana and chocolate milk - delicious and nutritious.
I wanted to get home to stretch properly and ice my left leg, which was really starting to hurt. I don't know what I did to it, but whatever I did, the pain wasn't enough for me to miss out on a second post race snack. Mmm...sweet rolls.

Anne Sather Cinnamon Rolls = Favorite Tent at Any Race
Do you know what else is great after a race? Pancakes. All money from the pancake breakfast went to Ravenswood Community Services Food Pantry.

Pancakes are best when they benefit a good cause.
Bananas, chocolate milk, sweet rolls, pancakes...I was full and happy as I slowly walked back home. Yes, I overdid it on the post race treats, but sometimes a girl needs to splurge a little bit. After I got home, I stretched, showered, and iced my aching leg. It felt great to finally have a run not plagued by breathing problems. It felt even better to have a new PR.

Ravenswood Run, I'll see you again next year.

1 comment:

  1. Congrats on the PR. I should have grabbed a cinnamon roll when I walked by. Maybe next year!

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