Friday, June 19, 2015

2015 Original 5k Recap

Sorry that my recap is so late in being posted. Time got away from this week, so I'm trying to get caught up on everything: blogging, laundry, know, the usual. Better late than never, so here we go!

The Original 5k may have taken the lead as my favorite race this year. It was a ton of fun, pretty laid back while still being well organized, and had a smaller crowd than most of the other races I've run this year. I had a blast and am already planning on running it again next year.

The Original 5k has a really fun concept. From their website: "We will be transporting you back to the ’70s, when American distance runners stood atop the podiums of the world’s most famous races...Come and run fast. Go ahead and grow some facial hair or sideburns. Feather your hair and throw on those short shorts. Come dressed as Pre or Frank or Joanie. Just come and experience The Original 5K."

Online registration was easy and wonderfully inexpensive, with the race costing only $19.72 (get it?), and instead of the usual race shirt, they gave out trucker hats. There was also an option during registration and on race day to buy tube socks, with all proceeds going to the charity partner, The Muscular Distrophy Association.

Packet pick up was also wonderfully simple, being held at all Fleet Feet location simultaneously the day before the race, as well as at the race site the night of the race. Night? Yes, this was an evening race. So on Wednesday night, I planned what I'd wear to work, made sure it would fit in my gear check bag, and then packed my running gear, race bib, and other essentials (sun screen, watch, safety pins, tissues, id, a little cash, keys...anything that I would need between leaving the house the morning to go to work and getting home from the race that night.
As soon as I was done with work, I ducked into the restrooms at work and changed into my running gear, slathered on some sunscreen, threw everything into my gear check bag, and made my way over to Diversey Harbor.  

Hello, Diversey Harbor. Nice to see you again.
The race site was easy to find. I just followed the sweet tunes being played. This race seriously had the best pre and post race music ever, compliments of the awesome DJ.

Everyone was in a festive mood and dressed to impress.
 Sorry it isn't the best picture - evening race + overcast skies made for some not so great picture taking light.
There were already a good number of people there and ready to run. Being a smaller race (less than 1,000 participants), the race site was also on the smaller side, so everything was easy to find. Once I had my bearings, I made my first bathroom stop before checking my bag and getting ready. With most of my races and runs being held in the morning, I wasn't really prepared for an evening race in terms of meal planning. I made the mistake of having a big lunch, so my stomach was not the happiest with me before or after the race, though it thankfully and surprisingly quieted down while I was running.

The evening was cool and damp. It had been a week full of rain, and the clouds in the sky threatened to open and unleash the rain at any moment. The area was already wet and a little bit muddy. That didn't dampen anyone's spirits, however. People came ready to party!

Everyone was in a great mood, despite the ominous clouds. Although most people were wearing their usual modern running gear, there were quite a few folks sporting some 70's inspired shirts and shorts and facial hair. I was excited and ready to run!

Just as they announced that it was time to line up for the race, it started to sprinkle. I was mentally preparing myself for another wet and muddy race, after racing through the pouring rain at the Run for the Zoo. Being a throw back to the 70's, there were no pace signs, so everyone just slowly made their way to the starting line and waited

Excited to run, but really getting tired of all of this rain.
Luckily, the rain held off! A little drizzle here and there was all the precipitation that we got. After the national anthem, the race began.

The course was great! There were enough turns to keep things interesting. Although the race made some modern conveniences available (chip timing, gear check, etc.), at each mile marker, there was someone with a stop watch and a megaphone calling out split times, which made me laugh each time I passed by.

During the first mile, I was actually running faster than usual, finishing the first mile in a little under 9:30, but I was feeling good. I was loving the cooler weather, and with a smaller field of runners, the course tended to be pretty clear and easy to maneuver around slower runners or walkers.

Before I even hit the 2 mile mark, however, things weren't going so well. I was already starting to tire. I made my usual mistake of starting out too fast. This is something I do on almost every run, unless I have a pacer. I'm slowly learning to pace myself. Very slowly. One day, I'll be better able to reel myself in at the start of a race/run.

I slowed down a bit, determined to finish strong and feeling good, and before I knew it, I could hear the music from the race site. I knew I was close to finishing. As soon as I saw the Finish line (which was also the Start line), I sped back up.

I grabbed a bottle of water, a piece of watermelon, and made my way to gear check. I had left my beer ticket in my gear check bag, so I had to retrieve my bag in order to claim my PBR. Getting my bag took a little while, as the gear check area was not nearly as well organized after the race as it had seemed before the race. Even so, I soon had my bag and was ready to party.

So. Much. Watermelon.
Much like the Run for the Zoo, this was one of my "just for fun" races. My only goals were to finish the race and have fun. I wasn't planning on getting a new 5k PR, but that's what I did, finishing the race in 30:39.

Results were printed out and stapled to a large piece of plywood. 
I'm super excited that my hard work and consistency are finally paying off. I'm finally seeing improvement! When I started running, I was averaging 12 minute miles. Then, earlier this year, I got down to 11 minute miles. Now, I'm consistently around 10. Maybe, if I keep it up, I'll be averaging 9 minute miles.

I stuck around to enjoy my cold can of PBR, some watermelon, and some Pringles. There was great music, and runners and volunteers all seemed in a festive mood. After the race, they announced the winners and handed them their awards. There was also a raffle held after race, with the prizes being free entries to other Fleet Feet races.

Once I was ready to leave and had filled my belly with free post race goodness, I made my way to the el. The rain started falling right as I got to the train, so Mother Nature had my back this time and didn't make me trudge through the mud.

I had a great time at this race. Fleet Feet puts on some great races, and they have quickly become a reliable source for fun, well organized running events. I still have some things to work on, but I achieved my goal of having fun and got a PR at the same time. 

1 comment:

  1. Congrats on the finish and getting your mile times down.