So yesterday for the 3rd year in a row – I ran the Lakefront 10 Miler. It is still one of my favorite races ever. There are many reasons why I love it, and obviously not a lot (if any) cons – as I signed up, ran it, and enjoyed myself three years in a row.
I wondered if changes if were coming this year, as in years past the named sponsor/partner was First Merit Bank – this year it changed to Live Grit – a fairly new triathlon store in the West Loop neighborhood of Chicago.
But like all years past – I signed up, with ease on the CARA (Chicago Area Runners Association) website. The packet pickup was held at Live Grit- which is a pretty cute place – I picked up some cute Balega socks BOGO 50% off, and these ridiculously adorable tights.
Packet pickup was really easy, I was in and out really quick with my bib, and the folks at the store were really nice.
My only gripe – and I will say this up front – when I went to check my results I typed in my last name – and nothing came up, so then I tried my bib number – this worked but the name linked with my bib number was “Sarah Wilson”…. so I am not sure how it happened, but I thought it was annoying all the same.
So onto the things I love about this race:
1) For Chicago standards – it is a cheap race, especially if you register early
2) The course is beautiful, and (MOSTLY) flat – there is one whammy of a hill they make us run up
3) They have a nice post race party
4) It is a “smaller race” – the whole experience is very personable, and nice, and there is always A LOT of volunteers and course support.
5) And yeah, they give you a nice tech shirt, medal, and a beer ticket (Lagunitas their “Runners’ HI- PA, and their Pils)
Overall it is just really solid race to sign up for- obviously with it being Mid-April in Chicago, the weather can go either way – but yesterday it was really really nice (minus the wind) – and the temp did drop by the end of the race- but it was a sunny, clear, and overall pretty day.
So as I said there was some wind. It was coming from the North – so this was not really an issue at all until the last 4 1/2 miles… you know the toughest miles. I’ll circle back to this.
Overall I was pleased with my performance – I ran a personal best to compare:
In 2013: 1 hr 48 minutes and 50 seconds at 10:53 pace
In 2014: 1 hr 36 minutes and 24 seconds at a 9:39 pace
In 2015: 1 hr 33 minutes and 44 seconds at a 9:23 pace
I always like reflecting back on this race, as I’ve done it for three straight years, and it is a good benchmark to use in terms for progress.
It was my plan to use this race as a tune up, and to see what works, and what does not in terms of a plan, and pace for Kalamazoo in a few weeks.
I went out at a pretty liberal pace – around 8:57-9:00, and comfortably maintained that pace until 6 1/2 miles in. This was where things turned a bit on me. 1) These last miles were all into 15 mph winds- head on. 2) I tried a new way of taping my knee, and it was not effective, and also since the increase in mileage my hip has been bugging me again. So. Wind + a little pain – meant for a perfect storm of the last 3 1/2 miles sucking. At the turn around I was at 9:02- so from 6 1/2 to 10 I went from that to 9:23.
However again – even in the wind – which is something I know I can’t control should I encounter it at Kzoo, however I know I can run, minimally at PR pace, and on tired legs, running in the wind. So still a win in my book.
While no one from Venados ran this race – I did bump into a really good friend Tara – so I was able to share my post race beer with her and her friends.
Overall it was a fantastic day, fantastic & well executed race – followed by what became a fantastic brunch at Stout!!
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