Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Soldier Field 10M

Soldier Field 10M
Chicago, Illinois
Mileage - 10
AEG - 48ft
Time - 56:41
Pace - 5:40
Place - 22nd Overall

The reason for being in Chicago over the holiday weekend was for my sister's graduation from medical school, so the race wasn't the main focus, it came about after the fact. I discovered the event online after reservations had been made, yet somehow it seemed to fit perfectly into our travel plans. My training for this week had fourteen miles scheduled on Saturday, so I started thinking "Well, if it's 2 miles to the start line from our hotel...I can do a warm up, run the race, and cool down to round out those fourteen miles." Perfect, I thought. I just had to run it by Brittney to see if she was cool with me disappearing for a couple hours while on vacation. Once I showed her the website and she saw the tec shirts and finishers medals, she wanted in! We registered immediately.

Traveling to the city took it's toll, physically. A lack of sleep left me feeling fatigued, pre-race nutrition was a bit off, and I knew I was dehydrated by the time race day rolled around. Brittney and I made the short trip down to the stadium by way of cab around 6:00am and I warmed up there instead. I qualified for the Elite Start Corral, so after running two miles along the lake I found the right gate before their strict 6:45am corral closure time. I glanced around and noticed there were some serious athletes in attendance, afterall, it was the USATF 10-mile championship for Illinois. Competition looked stiff, probably the best runners I've squared off against in the past two years. I began to cool down in those final fifteen minutes and really had to pee with nowhere to go. I mentally blocked out the cold and pressure on my bladder, and tried to get my head in the game. Moments before 7:00am they moved us up to the starting line and then we were off!

The course took us South on Lake Shore Drive for five miles where I averaged a 5:28 pace. Things were going good, even though I was not even close to the top ten pack. I started thinking, "If I can hold this pace, I should be able to finish right around 55 minutes, regardless of rank." Then we took a left turn towards the lake and began running North on the Lakefront Trail. The wind blasted head on and my pace dropped significantly. I ran harder, but continued to go slower and my second half average was a 5:50 pace. Mile six through eight were tough, mostly mental. Two guys passed me, though I knew it wasn't over just yet. After passing the nine-mile mark, I noticed them beginning to slow down and I made my final surge as we neared Soldier Field. Gaining two spots and entering the stadium was a rush, I put the hammer down and crossed the finish line under 57 minutes. Like I said, the race was fast. Fifteen guys beat last years winning time of 55:04, even with the strong headwind. Sure I would've loved to place higher, given the circumstances, I thought I did pretty well. My parents were treated to seeing me come across the finish on the 50-yard line (and displayed on the jumbo-tron) of the legendary Bears stadium! We didn't stay long due to the weather, but had a really great time none the less.


5:30am - 20oz Water

5:50am - 1 Banana

6:20am - 2 Mile Warm Up

6:40am - 1 GU Vanilla Bean

Calorie Total - 205

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