I signed up for the Chicago Indoor Warm Your Heart 5K on a whim. Basically active.com sent me a coupon so I signed up! I mean dangle a coupon in front of me for a race and I'm there!
Packet pickup was at Sports Authority on Clark St just a few blocks from my apartment. Score! T-shirt is a long sleeve orange tech shirt, but it's men's size and it's huge so I'll never wear it.
The race started at 9 a.m. all the way down at McCormick Place. On site parking was $21 bucks so I took the train!
I decided to make an oatmeal smoothie for breakfast: quick oats, almond butter, cinnamon, banana and water. I would have used milk but I didn't have any :( I made so much that it ended up being a recovery smoothie as well! I don't know how much I like the oatmeal smoothies though. Maybe I shouldn't have added almond butter?
Anyways, the race!
I wasn't sure what to expect, I have never run an indoor 5K nor have I ever been to McCormick place. This was the first time I had to use gear check because duh! we were indoors and obviously I didn't need my long winter coat on! I had to wait in line to check my bag but it went pretty quickly and before I knew it they were calling us to move towards the start.
I was in a bit of a panic because with the hour long train ride I REALLY NEEDED TO PEE!!! With less than 15 minutes until the start of the race I figured I was screwed! Well imagine my surprise when I walked into the bathroom and there was no line! Awesome! I think there were a ton of restrooms around McCormick Place and this really helped as I didn't have to wait in line after the race either!
I decided to line up with 10:00 pace corral. Just a few months ago this would have seemed overly ambitious and maybe my PR of 29:08 was a fluke but I really wanted to run 10 minute miles! Each pace group was sent off in 2 minute intervals. Basically the entire 2.1 miles was set up between two big rooms. This meant a lot of twists and turns but it was cool because you literally always were in view of a bunch of other runners. In fact when I got to the 2nd room the first few runners were crossing the finish line and I got to see it!
The twists and turns probably slowed me down a bit as it was hard to maneuver the turns and not run into the other people that were also turning. For the most part I was never running alone as there were others running around my same pace as well as the others that were still zig-zagging through the course.
This was the first 5K I ran that didn't make me feel awful and since I didn't have my GPS I never really knew exactly how I was doing. I didn't end up beating my PR from New Year's Eve but I'm quite happy with how I did.
At the finish line there were a ton of free samples as well as bananas and bottles of water. I drank a bit of water and then stuffed the rest in my bag. I don't usually eat protein bars but I'm kind of excited to try the Cookie Dough Performance Energy Bar!
Finish Time: 29:57
Age Group: 33/153