Friday Five! Race Memories

My main fitness activity is running. There’s no better way to tell you about my journey thus far than to tell you about some races.  I’m going the Friday Five link up with the ladies of Eat Pray Run, DC, You Signed Up For What and Mar on the Run.

1) We’ll go way back, all the way back to my first 5K.  I started running again after I graduated from college and started working full time.  My first 5K was a race supporting a local community college, College of DuPage.  It was a disaster.  Not the race itself, just me.  It was an evening run and I didn’t know what to do for the many hours of the day before hand.  I forgot to eat, then ate at the last minute and had side stitches the whole time.  Hot mess, but I finished.

2) One of my favorite races was the Firefly Run 5K in Chicago. It was pretty warm out, but dark. We ran along the Lake front down town, and it was really cool to see thousands of people running through the dark. The race had given out two red LED arm/leg bands, and then most people also had some glow sticks. Seeing the masses of people boucing through the dark, along Lake Michigan with the Chicago Skyline lit up in the back ground? Gorgeous. The race organization left a little to be desired (come on strollers, to the back!), but over all a highlight.

3) I keep returning to the COD 5k, the race that was my first. So far I have ran it three times. The second year I ran it in 2012 is still my standing PR. I was really tired right off the bat, then I run past the person calling the first mile split, hear thed sub-9 mile time and though, “ah yes… that would make me tired.” But I kept on and kept on. The end of the race runs around about 3/4 of the track at the college.  As I neared the track, I remember thinking, “once you get to the track, pick it up for the end!”  I got around the final turn and could see the clock ticking… 28:50. What?! That got my butt moving and I sailed across the finish line. I knew it was close, but it was a few minutes before I found record of my time. 28:59! Up until then, my goal was “Run a 5K in less than 30.”  Smashed that out of the park, AND got third place in my age group!

4) The start of 2013 was a mess of injuries, more training and impromptu vacations that left my training plans in shambles. My foot injury was mostly cured with new shoes, but I was left with a hurting hip. I was already signed up for a 10K though, and I wasn’t going to DNS on account of “a little pain.” I did what little training I could, and then on that oh so VERY HOT July Chicago morning, we drove into the city for the race. 6:30 am and already about 90 degrees. First three miles? OK. But it just kept getting hotter, and hotter. By about 4-5 it was getting bad. I was in pain, and it was hot. The race finished on the warning track of US Cellular field (Go White Sox!) and even though I thought my hip was going to fall off, I had done it. I came towards the finish line and could hear my boyfriend cheering for me. So hot, so much pain, but that was definitely a race I earned. And even if those types of races hurt physically, there’s something great about knowing that you worked SO hard and succeeded.

5) Saving the big one for last! This past May I ran my first half marathon. It was the First Midwest Bank Half Marathon in Palos Heights, IL. I wouldn’t say I rocked this race, a million things could have gone differently (come back soon for the recap and what I learned!), but I finished. What more can you ask for during your first half? I rocked that medal all day. I do believe I continued to rock the bling even during my post-race nap!


Finish line of my half!

That’s it for my first Friday Five link up! Thanks, ladies, for hosting!