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Sunday, September 16, 2012

Race Recap: Bucktown 5K

This is probably the first race I went into KNOWING that I could run the entire race.  I've run 3 miles plenty of times now so I had that confidence.  This meant I was pretty sure I'd be able to snag a new personal record (PR).  If you follow me on Twitter or are friends with me on Facebook you know that not only did I get a new PR I crushed my old one!  My last PR (37:24) was from the Journey's Marathon/Half/5K back in May.  My shiny new PR (32:28) is from the Bucktown 5K.  But let's back up ...

The start -
it was crowded so I circled my head,
in case you don't recognize me
I went to Deerfield on Thursday to pick up my packet and was super pleased with how packet pick-up was done.  I was in and out of the store within minutes and while I could have stayed longer to shop I had lunch plans that I was already late for.  The fact that I walked in, presented the QR code on my phone and was handed my bib and goodie bag in less than five minutes of walking in made me super happy.

When registering for races run by RAM Racing you have to specify your average pace.  Since I registered for this race back in May I used the pace I was running back then.  Today I ran much, much faster than whatever pace I registered with (likely a 12-15 minute mile) back then.  It did, however, give me an opportunity to meet one of my Team Challenge (TC) teammates.  I was wearing my TC training shirt and she came up to me and we had a nice chat before the race which was really nice because it seemed to take a long time to actually start running (20 minutes for my corral to get to the front) so warming up seemed like a waste of time.

What's that?  Thumbs up?  I actually feel good!
Once we were running things were good.  I felt like I was darting around people like crazy so I was a little worried that I'd burn out because I was trying to get around people.  I was amazed (and still a little worried) when my Garmin ticked off the first mile and I read that I finished it in 10:39!  While this pace was comfortable I was worried I wouldn't be able to keep it up and I remember thinking that I needed to slow down.  Imagine my surprise then when Garmin ticked off the second mile and I read that I finished it in 10:17!!  That mile also included the water stop which I did not walk through but I knew I slowed down because everyone else slowed down and because I knew I needed to get some water in my mouth rather than just all over my shirt, like I usually do.  I knew that I'd see Dan shortly because there was only a mile left so I tried to keep my eyes on the crowd and it wasn't long before I saw him and we tried to get a quick photo.  Turns out when running that's more difficult so ... whoops!  Pretty soon after that I saw the last mile marker and knew that I was almost done.  I did another quick check of my form, corrected my arm swing and pushed forward.  I about wanted to cry when I saw the numbers on my watch - Garmin said I finished in 32:31 which I knew was a lot faster than my last PR.

After I crossed the finish I grabbed a bottle of water (seriously they were handing out full bottles which was awesome because I was hot.  And thirsty.), a banana, apple and a granola bar.  I realized I got a text from Dan that he was already at the car because he saw the crowd at the finish and knew we wouldn't be able to find each other so I walked to the car.  After a quick "HOLY CRAP GUESS WHAT I JUST DID" phone call we went to Revolution Brewing for our post-race celebration.  We had some time to kill so we walked around for about 30 minutes and then went in to have brunch.  At this point I pulled up the official race results and was amazed that the chip time was FASTER than my watch time.  I'm not sure why but I'll take it!
Official Results
Overall this race was fun and the goodie bag included a very cool sweatshirt.  There were plenty of port-o-johns available at the start/finish and that was appreciated.  I don't really remember much of the course because I was pre-occupied with making sure I wasn't running into people.  I will very likely do this race again because it was managed fairly well.


  1. Jen, you are doing so well! I'm so proud of you! Get used to the weaving. That is how Vegas will be. Congratulations on your rock!!

    1. I'm hoping or thinking it will be easier in Vegas because now I know that's how it will be plus I'll be in the appropriate corral based on the pace i'm running now, rather than what I was running 4 months ago!

      or so I hope.

  2. Great job!!! it's stories like yours that give me hope and inspiration that I can lose this weight.