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.
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.|
|Let's do this!|
|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.|
|Anne Sather Cinnamon Rolls = Favorite Tent at Any Race|
|Pancakes are best when they benefit a good cause.|
Ravenswood Run, I'll see you again next year.