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Chicago Get Lucky 21K - Run

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Chicago, Illinois
United States
Team Ortho
30F / -1C
Total Time = 1h 23m 47s
Overall Rank = 29/1446
Age Group = M25-29
Age Group Rank = 7/100
Pre-race routine:

Chipotle for dinner the night before (with no meat and just a pinch of cheese). Had my baked oatmeal and coffee approximately 2 hours before race start. Ate a banana about 1 hour before race start. No big preparations for this one because this was simply a fitness gauge for marathon training.
Event warmup:

Ran the first half mile of the course nice and easy, then did about 4 100m strides once I got back. Used the Porta Pottie and hung out in the corral line waiting for the race to start. Chose to wear my thick winter mittens to run in at the last minute which turned out to be a great choice.
  • 1h 23m 47s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 06m 24s  min/mile

I pretty much trained through this race. I took it easy during the 2 days leading up to the race, but I didn't really taper. This race put me at 70 miles for the week. I figured I'd go out aiming to beat last year's HM time and see what happened. I brought along my new go-to nutrition: watered down Naked Juice. I've been loving this on my runs. Delicious, easy, and it gives me calories. Unfortunately, I made a dumb choice to not drink any on the run knowing that it would slow me down to take a drink and I love passing people at aid stations who slowed down for water. I need to get over that.

I chose to run with my thick mittens and I'm glad I did. My hands get really cold and today showed a healthy North wind. I still finished with cold hands, but not as bad as they would have been if I'd gone for the fleece gloves.

Mile 1 6:31
Mile 2 6:26
Mile 3 6:30
Mile 4 6:31

I decided that I wouldn't look to start passing and racing aggressively until the first turn around, so I focused on running an even pace here. I was running with a group of about 5 for the first 1.5 miles. They started to slow a bit, so I took the lead of the group and picked up the pace a bit and took a few with me to help the pace. They dropped off he back after a bit. So I focused on running even miles close to 6:30.

Mile 5 6:29
Mile 6 6:22
Mile 7 6:21
Mile 8 6:22

Turn around was just after mile 5 and I had just caught someone running pretty even 6:30s. We ran together for awhile but he dropped off when we got to a hill. I noticed the splits dropping during this section and that's probably because the wind was at my back and the pace was starting to feel good, so I tried a bit faster and felt good about it, so I went with it. Two other guys caught me at that hill and we ran together for the next several miles.

Mile 9 6:19
Mile 10 6:26

Ran with those two guys for awhile. One was from my hometown who I'd met on a training run earlier that week and the other is running Boston in a few weeks. Had a good chat and we stuck together for awhile. We pushed each other and encouraged each other. These were my favorite miles. The pace was good, the company was good. Mentally and physically I was at a great place from miles 6-10. There were several muddy go arounds in the path due to ice, snow, and standing water which may have added some time, but not significant. I got a bad side stitch in here, but ran through it thankfully.

Mile 11 6:37
Mile 12 6:38
Mile 13 6:22

So this is where some of the more difficult miles came in. They were running a 7k on the same day that had about 1700 participants (approximately 1500 for the HM). We shared the MUP for a portion of mile 11 with them. Most of the ones we encountered were walkers enjoying themselves. We were shouting out our passes and calling for some space and weren't getting anything. It was like weaving through a crowd at a concert. We were running on the left side of the MUP to avoid most of the crowd and people on the other side were yelling at us and we were trying to hold the 6:20 pace. We eventually got through them, but the mental damage had been done. For the last 2 miles, we were with them again. This is where it got bad. TONS of 7k walkers. The MUP was in poor condition here with narrow sections due to lots of mud and water and snow. It was just too crowded and inconvenient for the faster half marathoners. It wasn't fun for us and it wasn't fun for the 7k people either. A guy was running with the first woman (who did AWESOME) shouting "FIRST WOMAN FIRST WOMAN!!" and doing all he could do to clear the way for her. I finally finished and was pretty pleased with my time. If I had drank any of my juice, I wouldn't have faded as much in the last few miles.

What would you do differently?:

Drink more
Run with a wider area
Post race
Warm down:

Walked for a bit, got my free food and medal. Found my dad and walked about a mile back to the car.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Crowded MUP. That got to me mentally.
Not drinking enough.
Eating too soon before the race.

Event comments:

It looks like last year they ran this race on the roads and the MUP was new this year. I say go back to the roads. The MUP was beautiful and let us run right by the lake, but it just got WAY too crowded and wasn't fun for anyone once we started running into the 7k participants.

Last updated: 2014-03-15 12:00 AM
01:23:47 | 13.1 miles | 06m 24s  min/mile
Age Group: 7/100
Overall: 29/1446
Performance: Average
Course: All on a MUP that happened to have many sections of ice, snow, blown sand from Lake Michigan, water, with a few areas where we had to run through some mud to avoid the more dangerous ice. Out and back then a small loop, and another small loop leading into the finish.
Keeping cool Average Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 3

2014-03-16 4:49 PM

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Waukegan, IL
Subject: Chicago Get Lucky 21K
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