Friday, May 30, 2014

Race recap: Soldier Field 10 Mile.

I'm a few days behind in posting a race recap from the Soldier Field 10 Mile last weekend, but better late than never! This short week got away from me. The race was on a beautiful sunny morning last Saturday, so this is a photo recap. First, a before shot:

My friend Jess and a few of her friends ran the race as well. Even though this was my third time running this one, it was more mentally tough for me than expected. I anticipated it would be cooler than it was that morning and wore a long-sleeved shirt, only to be very warm the entire race. We started in one of the last corrals, and it was packed - requiring a lot of hopping and weaving around people during the first mile. I'm not kidding when I tell you I teared up when I saw the sign for mile 9 and realized I was almost finished - these legs were hurting.

The results:
  • Finished in 1:47:20, with a 10:44 per mile pace
  • 5 mile split: 52:10
  • Total finishers: 7,942 of 12,271
  • Women's rank: 3,988 of 7171
I had high hopes I could run this closer to a 10:00/mile pace, but I still finished with a PR - in the end, 4 minutes faster than last year. I'll take it.

Even though it was difficult, this is still my favorite race in the city. The finish line is on the 50 yard line at Soldier Field, home of the Chicago Bears. We checked out the finish line before the race inside the stadium, and it was funny to see all of the empty seats.

This year was the 11th annual race, and half of the race is run on south Lake Shore Drive. The second half brings you back towards the city on the lakefront path, with beautiful views of the skyline and lake. I made a few attempts to take a photo with my phone while running, which was a fail. But, I did snap this one at a quick water stop around mile 6.

I learned a few lessons for my next longer race, namely that I need to complete more long runs to be fully prepared. I have been running a lot over the past year, but have maxed out at 5-6 miles for "longer" runs. The longest training run I completed for this race was 8 miles; next time I'll plan to go a bit further and train a few extra weeks.

Runners gathered at the finish line inside the stadium to receive medals from active military personnel- a great way to celebrate the finish, and a wonderful start to Memorial Day weekend. Soldier Field opened in 1924, and is the oldest stadium in the U.S. It is named as a memorial to American soldiers who have lost their lives during war. The Chicago Bears started playing at the stadium in 1971.

I can't forget a tired legs + medal shot, and a friend photo after the finish. The morning ended with a beer and an epic brunch at The Gage.

Have a great Friday!