Friday, July 10, 2015

Bastille Day 5K -- July 9, 2015

Coming home from Chicago last night, my feelings about this race were definitely mixed. One one hand, I had a great time -- it's always fun to run in Chicago along the Lakefront, and I really enjoyed catching up with my good friend, Scott Goddard, who I hadn't seen since my wedding last July.

On the other, the running portion of the evening absolutely sucked. While my time of 28:01 was right about where I had hoped it would be, it was how I got it done that was so disappointing. But more on that later.

As a suburbanite, it's kind of fun to go into the city on a weeknight. Actually, in all honestly, I kind of prefer it. The only problem is that it's a pretty substantial commute if you want to use public transportation. From when I stepped on the train in Aurora until I arrived near Lincoln Park on the Red Line, it took about one hour, 45 minutes to get there -- and over two hours to get home. Oh, well, like anything else (long car rides, long flights, etc), I'm not too bugged about it, because while it is kind of inconvenient, the payoff at the end is definitely worth it.
So after a train ride, walk to the Red Line, and then a walk to the park, I was there at about 6:15. For some reason, I had it stuck in my head that the race started at seven, but it turns out it didn't go off until 7:30, so I was there in plenty of time!Scott had texted me that he was on the bus (he li ves on the north side) and that he would be there soon, so I just hung out and people watched for a while. One other thing about being in the city is that people watching is a lot more interesting than the burbs! 

Scott had gone to packet pickup the day before and had grabbed our stuff, so he had my number and t-shirt for me. I went with my RaceRaves shirt, of course, which felt a little smaller than the last time I'd had it on.

This was the third time in the last four years Scott and I have run this race. It was actually my "comeback" race in 2012, so it has a bit of a special place in my heart.

After a disastrous Chicago Marathon in 2008, I ran a 4-mile race on Thanksgiving and outside of a couple of Ragnar Relays, that was it for me as I went into a sort of semi-retirement when it came to regular running.

But I met Darcy and in the spring of 2012 started working out with a friend, Bernie Salazar, who was a contestant and at-home winner of Season 5 of the TV show Biggest Loser. Bernie and a friend of his ran a bootcamp on Sunday mornings, and he and I got together for runs as well. His enthusiasm and determination really made an impact on me, and it really stoked my desire to start running again.

So Bernie, Scott and I ran the race in 2012, and though Bernie has moved to California, Scott and I have put it on the calendar the last two years.

With that in mind, I really wanted to run well, but I started out way too fast. Remember how I bragged about my Runtastic app back in the spring? I'm really believing that I am getting too dependent on it and just running to a number instead of just running by feel and letting the race evolve. I think the next time I run a race it will be old school, with just my iPod and my (non-GPS) watch.

The scenery was -- as usual -- beautiful and inspiring, especially while being bathed in the setting sun, but it was such a grind for me. I ended up doing a lot of starting and stopping in the last mile. It was just so frustrating -- I was doing my best but, like Saturday, no matter how hard I tried I just couldn't keep going. That and I was way too stubborn to just slow it down and jog it in.

In the end I'm a little glad that I didn't set a new PR because I didn't think I deserved it. It would've been nice to run sub-28 but if I did I'd have a bad taste in my mouth as to how I did it. It's one thing to plan to run/walk a race -- and I support anyone who does that -- but to plan on running the whole thing and walking out of pain or frustration is kind of lame. Did I mention I'm kind of competitive?

I think, at least right now, my eyes are bigger than my stomach when it comes to running a sub-28. I need to take a step back and do what I preach to y'all about -- trusting the process! I start marathon training on July 20 and I need to just train and do speedwork and all of that will happen.

Two cool things about Thursday night. First was that the race was one of the selected race of the Chicago Bladerunners, an organization for runners who are amputees. They have a presence at several races in the city every year, and it's really cool to see the Bladerunners in action. Some of them are pretty freaking fast too!

This photo is of their table, and you can see one of their runners. Scott and I both picked up a pamphlet from their table and it seems like it might be a fun group of people to volunteer with. It's something I'm definitely going to think about.

If you want to learn more about the Bladerunners, check out their website.

The second, of course, was to get a chance to hang out with my friend, Scott. He moved to the area in 2008 and his son, Christian, became a classmate of Matt's in seventh grade, and I coached them in basketball that year.

At the time Scott had been divorced for several years and since my marriage was ending at the time, I leaned on him for lots of support. No matter what, he was always available to talk, and he became one of my best friends.

A couple of years later, he met his wife, Lori, and moved into her place in Chicago when they got married three years ago, and then welcomed their daugther Viv in November, 2013. Needless to say, Scott is very busy so we don't get many opportunities to get together, but he's one of those people that when we get together we pick up in a way that feels like we'd hung out just the week before.

I am forever grateful for Scott and what he did for me back in the day, and though I miss spending time with him I am so thrilled that he met Lori (who is an absolute sweetheart) and they have started a new life together. Good things happen to good people.

So I decided to take off today, but will be back at it tomorrow when Kevin and I head out for a run. Bad patches come and go, hopefully this one goes away soon!


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