Race Recaps: Chicago’s Perfect 10K and Team Fabulous 5K

My, my…I’ve been busy! After a hiatus from running, I got 15K in this past week! Not that I recommend going about it that way because today is my first day of not being sore in about 5 days.

On Thursday, I remembered that I signed up for Not Fast Just Fabulous‘ Virtual 5K benefiting the Challenged Athletes Foundation, a non-profit that provides support, rehabilitation and access for athletes with physical challenges. So hit the gym for a lunch time run. It took me forever to finish, a symptom of my lack of keeping up with my running stamina. All I was hoping for was that I finished in under an hour and I did (in 56 minutes).

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This was a pretty strong indicator of how my 10K would go on Saturday. Several months ago, a friend of mine proposed that we try out a 10K together. I was all for it until I took this little test that let me know I’d be completely wiped out for the next 3 months. And wiped out I was! I signed up for the Chicago’s Perfect 10K and within a week or so I was dealing with first trimester exhaustion and nausea and I set aside pretty much all fitness. I had gone into it with a 30 day plan to get my mileage and strength up but I could barely get out of bed for work most mornings, much less a run. Fortunately, these two races happened as soon I was feeling normal again but unlike my last pregnancy, I’m much bigger much sooner this time and I’ve just had to roll with it the best that I could.

I wasn't kidding about this bump, y'all.
I wasn’t kidding about this bump, y’all.

So I finished this bad boy in under 2 hours (look at that! 2 of my 5K’s put together!) and I was hurtin’ for certain until yesterday afternoon. My nutritionist warned me that running while pregnant could be risky since my joints and ligaments are more malleable and more likely to be injured under a lot of pressure and strain. Boy, my hips were hurting by around mile 4.5 and by the end of Saturday night, my knee was throbbing and stiff. I’ve since then iced and heated everything plus rested and hydrated (and ate all the things too) and I feel like myself again!

Hey nutritionist lady, I got my veggies in.
Hey nutritionist lady, I got my veggies in.

I’m really glad I went through with these runs. I had a moment as I was nearing the finish line of my 10K on Saturday when I started to get really emotional. I thought about my last pregnancy, where I was in my life then and how I would have never in a million years considered doing something like this on a normal day, much less pregnant. I was near tears as I crossed the finish line and realized I just did something huge. I ran/walked 6.2 miles along the lake with the Chicago skyline in the background, one of my biggest fitness accomplishments to date at a time when I could have easily excused myself from such a challenge. Let’s just say, it took everything not to burst out in tears!

My frieeeeends!
My frieeeeends!

As for the race itself, I really enjoyed it! We started at Navy Pier and ran along the lake front path until we reached the museum campus and started the turn by running around Grant Park. Sadly, I took no pictures of the gorgeous Chicago scenery, I really couldn’t stop or I’d never start again! It was the perfect day for a race though, mid 50’s, no clouds in the sky, plenty of sunshine. It was wonderful! My only complaint is that the run back was along the lower lake front path and the cement was severely damaged making it a dangerous path for those that needed to stay to the right. I couldn’t really run along this part if I wanted to, I was too nervous I’d twist my ankle with my floppy ligaments and all. One thing I will say is that trying to run to the end of Navy Pier is like a mind game! You keep thinking you’re close and then there’s like a mile and a half left. You get to the first big ship that’s docked on the water along the pier and think, yeah! almost there! Crap! Half a mile left! So that part was pretty grueling but I probably would have felt that way no matter where I was running. I just reeeeally wanted to finish and this picture was that exact thought crossing my mind:

Am I there yet?
Am I there yet?

All in all, I’m really friggin’ proud of myself! Holy cow, I did a 10K! I did a 10K while pregnant! I think it’s safe to say I’ve arrived on the other side of “would never do it” to “challenge accepted!”. And now I’m a 10K finisher and I know I can only go up from here 😉

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I really need to use the mirror that’s not in the bathroom…also, the sink doubles nicely as a baby bump shelf.
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❀ M.


Race Recap: The Color Run Chicago 2013

20130616-190529.jpgOh my! I’ve been so caught up with other stuff this week I forgot to give you a race recap of my very first 5K ever! Well, I take that back. I walked Race for A Cure a few years ago but this is the first time I have ever prepped to run a race.

On Sunday, I had the pleasure of meeting up with my girlfriends/sorority sisters for what I would call a running/walking party. The Color Run is an untimed race in which you agree to be doused in heavily pigmented powder while you move about the course. The race pack includes a white t shirt, a white sweatband embroidered with “Color Runner” on it, a “The Color Run” tattoo, race bib and your very own packet of color. Mine was orange. Since my bestie Liz picked up my race pack for me, I’m stealing her picture of what it all looked like.

We agreed to meet up before the race on Sunday morning and head over together as a group. Preparations for the start line included checking out people’s white or rainbow tutus, saying hi to the group who chose to dress up as white unicorns, and prepping our faces with our tattoos which only ended up working out the best on me as tatting it up on the street does not guarantee a clean tat-to-skin transfer.

It was a gorgeous day but even at 8 in the morning it was already hot! I have never run in more than 76 degrees so it was a first for me. The race took place entirely downtown, with most of Congress shut down from Balbo to Randolph. This was probably the best thing about the race, getting to run in the middle of downtown Chicago with skyscrapers on one side and Lake Michigan on the other! Beautiful if I do say so myself!


What an awesome view from the train on the way in!

As our wave started, i was really excited to get going. I also realized i was pretty serious about this whole running thing. A lot of people, including my friends walked this bad boy out but i was determined to run as much as i could. This proved to be difficult because every half mile or so there was a color station in which volunteers stood around barrels full of color powder and doused you with it. People went nuts over these stations, begging to get coated, throwing powder at friends and on themselves. Some even went as far as getting on the ground to make color dust angels. But i was not having any of it, i tried moving through the stations as quickly as i could, covering my face with my shirt to avoid inhaling the stuff (note to self: next time wear a bandana on the face). Despite the stations that forced me to walk through, i only voluntarily walked for 2 minutes just a little ways away from the finish. Like i said, it was really hot and my body was asking me to take it easy and not kill myself over a casual, untimed run. I should have brought a small bottle of water with me in my converted purse-fanny pack. I have no idea what my time was, my running apps couldn’t get gps in the area but it looked like i finished in about 40 minutes which is the pace i had been keeping on my own.

owder but it looked like everyone had a really good time! I would do it again, but maybe make a few adjustments like something to cover my nose and mouth from the powder and also a much more creative running outfit! The color powder really follows you around though! It’s still on my shoes, I had to loofah my entire body when I got home and me, mancakes and babycakes all produced blue and green boogers until Tuesday. Ewwwww.

Overall, it was a blast and I would maaaaybe do it again. I will say that if you’re looking for a fun run with your kids, this is it!

❀ M.