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Hot Chocolate 15K - Chicago - Run

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Chicago, Illinois
United States
RAM Racing
42F / 6C
Total Time = 59m 3s
Overall Rank = 41/9373
Age Group = M25-29
Age Group Rank = 16/648
Pre-race routine:

Ate my English muffin with honey and peanut butter while sipping on coffee. Started 2hrs and 20 min before race time. Finished the coffee 2 hrs before race time. Sipped on some Chia fresca (water, chia seed, agave nectar, lime juice) on the way to Chicago and rested up. Just kind of hung out. Even though we arrived an hour before race time, we had to walk around quite a bit to find our corral and gates and stuff. This was a pretty big race. Although at times it felt kind of lonely. Had to be because there were so many more people in the 5k than the 15k.
Event warmup:

Found the corral entrance with the girlfriend and she waited around while I did my warm up. About 5 min of jogging in a big oval followed by about 5-6 strides to get some of that speed in my legs. I felt good about it. Although my warm up was too long before the race. I was cold with about 10 min left before the gun went off. Oh well.
  • 59m 3s
  • 15 kms
  • 03m 56s  min/km

Race strategy I made up before the race: 1st 5k in 20:00, 2nd and 3rd 5k: 19:30 each.

I'm satisfied with this time. My goal was to go under an hour and I got it. However, if I hadn't made a few mistakes I think I could have gotten almost another minute off of that time. I started out WAY too slow. I was having a hard time judging pace after the gun went off. The 5k and 15k runners were mixed in the same chorals, so it was tough to judge who was running what. I came through the first mile at 7:00 even. Goal pace was 6:20 per mile. Ouch. I made up a good chunk of that in the next mile and came through the first 5k right at 20:00. I was hoping to go through there around 19:40. I was satisfied (not happy) and was on pace. I decided to run with my bottle of Chia fresca as well which I regretted and ended up tossing at an aid station.

After the first 5k, I made my strategy to be consistently reeling in the person in front of me. I did well with that for the next 5k. I felt that I did well during this middle portion. I didn't feel like I was hurting too much or too little. There was one point where I was running with a small group but felt them start to slow, so I left them behind. This was the hardest portion of the race for me. I was dealing with some leg fatigue and know that I still had a ways to go. After the first mile, I was definitely on the edge of lactate threshold. I was still reeling people in through this point. I went through the 10k mark at 39:30. Not bad. I dropped :30 off of the second 5k. On to the last part.

This is where I hit other runners running at my pace. Shortly after the 10k mark, we hit a section of the course that went underground near McCormick place. I saw a guy in front of me that I had been chasing for awhile and decided to catch up to him and keep up through the finish. This section of the course must have been fast because my fastest mile was here. Mile 8 went by in about 5:48. I eventually caught him and told him to finish it with me. I didn't know if I could hold the pace alone. A few small hills later that we charged up had me feeling odd. At mile 9.2 with the finish in sight, I started gagging and would have thrown up if there had been water or food in my stomach. I had to slowly jog it for about 100 yds before I could pick it back up to finish strong. That cost me probably 20 seconds total.

Overall min/mi avg: 6:21
Fastest 2 miles: mile 2 6:06 mile 7 5:48

Overall I'm pretty pleased with this. It gave me some good feedback for my pacing in marathon training coming up. With the lack of race specific training and pace considerations, I should have given myself some realistic goals. Looking back I think my goal was definitely achievable. I did it in conditions I felt were not optimal. Also, I did not eat or drink anything over this distance. That was a tough decision, but I never eat or drink during 10 mile training runs so I figured that 9.3 at a higher intensity will be nice. Overall, I think that this was the best I could have done on this day and I am very satisfied. A solid race for sure.

I didn't want to scan through my write-up to find the exact spot, but here are my official splits. A little more even than I thought.

5k: 19:46
10k: 39:20
15k: 59:03
What would you do differently?:

- Eat a little bit sooner to race time.
- Smarter nutrition the day before
- Race specific pacing
- Don't throw up coming into the finish
Post race
Warm down:

Calmed down a bit and got my bearings. Drank 7 cups of Gatorade, 3 cups of water, 2 bottles of water. Ate a Larabar and waited for my girlfriend to finish. Found her then got our mug of junk food to eat. Ate some junk food, walked to the car and drove to breakfast back home where I ate a huge omelette (tomato, cheese, avocado), toast, and fruit. Got home, wrote up this report.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Poor 1st mile. Not ideal nutrition the days leading up to the race. This was an important race, but not an A race.

Event comments:

RAM put on a great event. VERY organized from pre-race information to packet pick-up to the actual race. Managing such a huge group of people (the news said 75000 participants and volunteers!!!!!) isn't easy and it went well from my view. I'll be doing more RAM events.

Whatever issues there were in the past seem to have been resolved to some degree.

Last updated: 2013-11-03 12:00 AM
00:59:03 | 15 kms | 03m 56s  min/km
Age Group: 16/648
Overall: 41/9373
Performance: Good
Course: Flat with a few small rises at the end. Through downtown and to some neat sights in Chicago. I enjoyed this course. Lots of fun and I never felt it very crowded.
Keeping cool Average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2013-11-03 12:46 PM

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Waukegan, IL
Subject: Hot Chocolate 15K - Chicago
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