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Hot Chocolate 15K - Chicago - Run

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Chicago, Illinois
United States
RAM Racing
52F / 11C
Total Time = 1h 17m 20s
Overall Rank = 922/10906
Age Group = 30-34
Age Group Rank = 128/634
Pre-race routine:

Due to a friend's recommendation, I decided to sign up for this race, hearing great things about the course, the organizers, and the many volunteers who make this event go smoothly. I certainly wasn't disappointed in that regard! Anyways, back to the actual race. I woke up this morning with mild soreness in my quads due to a long skate from the previous day. Didn't exactly push it hard, but did enough to cause DOMS. I thought to myself "oh great, now I'm going to have a terrible race". I had my 2 eggs in the morning along with a few waffle slices to carb up, while continually drinking water. Packed my bag with my trusty water bottle which I would sip on all the way to the race, and dressed warmly before taking a cab to the event. At this point I was just hoping to run sub 9 min/mile.
Event warmup:

Once I arrived at the event, I went to gear check to check in my bag, my hot chocolate 15k fleece, and my sweatpants and immediately felt the rush of wind coarse through me, so I couldn't wait to get started with the race. The temps were in the low 50s, which is perfect running weather, but just a little too cool at the beginning of the race when the muscles aren't all warmed up yet. I completed a few light stretches and then made my way to my corral when I realized they blocked off the first 2 corrals A and B! (I was assigned to B due to my previous run times). They let me into corral C, and using my wily ways I snuck my way into B. Finally made sure that my iPhone was all set in the armband, and that my 80 min spotify playlist was all ready to go. I did some last minute stretches, and once corral B moved towards the front, I was all ready to go!
  • 1h 17m 20s
  • 15 kms
  • 05m 10s  min/km

Started the race very conservatively due to my perceived condition and not wanting to blow up too early. I started out in a corral of 8:45 pace runners and to my surprise the group started out slower than anticipated, so I started running around and passing people. To my surprise, my soreness went away after the first half mile, and by around 5K, I realized that I was on a good day. My 5K split was 26:21 for a 8:29 pace. At the same time, I found another runner that was running with consistently good form, and was looking strong, so I decided to run after/with him. We were both drafting off of each other for the next ~7K, by which point we had already picked up the pace by ~10s/mile. Finally in the last 3K, I kicked it up another notch and left my companion behind and by the time I reached the finish line I ran a 8:18 min/mile pace over 15K and felt very fresh. I thought to myself that I had started too slowly! Oh well, next time I suppose.

The course had many high school students who volunteered and were staffed around every mile or so with hot chocolate/marshmallow/energy drinks/water, and were amazing supporters.
What would you do differently?:

Considering the circumstances, not sure if I would have done anything differently. I could have started faster, but then my last 5K leg wouldn't have been as strong (last 5K was over 1 minute faster than first 5K).
Post race
Warm down:

After the race was over, I waited for my friend who started 2 corrals behind me. He ended up finishing only 1 minute after me, but 7 minutes faster than my time. We grabbed our medals, got my gear check, and headed towards the tents with the hot chocolate, which is why we really came to this race :)

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Muscle soreness ? Not sure, I could have perhaps ran even faster, but having never done a 15K, I suspected my pacing would be a little off regardless.

Event comments:

Overall, a great event! Organizers were all extremely friendly, and they had enough volunteers along the course to make the race go smoothly. The post race festivities included live stage music, and chocolate served in various ways.

Last updated: 2016-11-01 12:00 AM
01:17:20 | 15 kms | 05m 10s  min/km
Age Group: 128/634
Overall: 922/10906
Performance: Good
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
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: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2016-11-01 2:52 PM

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Subject: Hot Chocolate 15K - Chicago
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