Saturday, May 25, 2013

Soldier Field 10 miler

1:17.33 (avg 7:45/ Mile) for 10 miles
and a 6 minute PR over the 2011 Soldier Field 10., my last race of 10 miles.

57 of 1614 AG (3.5%)
256 of 7167  Women (3.5%)
1204 of 12505 Overall (9.6%)
181 Avg HR, 192 Max HR

Three words to describe this race:  relaxed, controlled, joy.

With temps in the low 40's and the fact I had some of the coolest, boldest, loudest capri pants ever, I made the decision to channel my inner Rainbow Brite.

My goal for this race was simple. HAVE FUN. Another goal was to average less than 8 minutes a mile*.  I havent been doing any structured training while building up my mileage, (i'm just running all the miles) so pinpointing an exact time goal was a crap shoot.

*I also wanted to beat the time my Daad  predicted for me of 1:17:52 Needless to say I was doing complex math in my head at each mile to make sure I would!
L and I walked over to Soldier Field from our place and arrived around 6:30. I dropped my bag off, said our good byes, and we headed to our corrals.

Before the race started, there was a moment of silence for the Boston Marathon tragedy, there was also a ceremony to give an american flag flown over Soldier field to the family of a military member who lost his life in the war in Afghanistan  This soldier had run the Chicago marathon last year and was supposed to come back home in July. His family members ran the race today in his honor. I was in tears.
When the gun went off I realized very quickly I should have made a portopotty stop pre race. FUC%@*$!!! I tried to run through the feeling of having to go, but it was consuming my mind. The first aid station around mile 1.4 had portolets and no line. Less than 45 seconds later I was back in the race. Thats what I get for drinking too much coffee pre race & having a nervous bladder. Damn. 

Other than that snafu and adding 45 seconds to my time, the race went by as uneventful and wonderful as I possibly could have wanted. One foot in front of the other, control my breathing, drink water from my small bottle, and admire the view of the skyline from the south which I dont run down to most of the time due to it not having as many water fountains as the northern section of the trail.

The course was changed from previous years so that the 5 miles south on Lake Shore Drive had no vehicular traffic whizzing by. That was an awesome change!
Right after finishing on the 50 yard line of Soldier Field!

Oh mile 2... the first freaking time i've had to stop during a race in over 2.5 years.

The rest of the race felt controlled and relaxed. I could have kept this pace for many more miles and that excites me going into marathon training.

It was nice seeing Erica cheering at mile 9! Seeing a familiar face gave me a nice boost to kick it in to the finish :)

Inside of Soldier Field

I love that this race is a tribute to service men and women. It is because of them that we have the freedom to participate in events like this. And there is no other fitting place in Chicago to have this race than Soldier field  and on Memorial Day Weekend.
Service men and women handing out the medals

I love this race:
Starts in downtown Chicago outside of Soldier Field
Scenic course along the lake with beautiful views of the skyline on the return trip.
Extremely well organized. Start corrals each held a couple of minutes to ensure no congestion
Plenty of aid stations and a Cliff gel zone
Tribute to service men and women
A unique race distance of 10 miles
Finishing on the 50 yard line of Soldier Field
The AWESOME medal
Soul Asylum as post race entertainment
Sweet post race refresh bag with pop chips, Cliff bar..
Getting to spend time with friends  and the Chicago Running community!
The 10th Anniversary medal
Half of the brunch crew: Myself, and fellow Fleet Feet Cheer friends Vicky & Marla

Pre Race:
-Cheese, Bread, Mortadella, Wine for dinner the night before
- Cinnamon crumpet and too much damn coffee at 4am the morning of the race
-No warmup. Dont feel this impacted me at all since we speed walked to the start less than 2 miles from our place.
-Temps: Low 40's, overcast, very little wind. Pretty much *perfect* running conditions.
-Brought my small green bottle for water. I hate stopping at aid stations.
-Took a vanilla gu at mile 4
-Nike tank
-Nike crazy Capris
-Swiftwick socks
-Brooks Pure Cadence 2 shoes.
I was super proud of L for doing this race for the first time. Especially after returning from Brasil and 17 hours of airports and flights the day before.

Final Thoughts:

Fleet Feet put on another stellar event and I cant wait for the 11th edition!

A day where you can have fun and enjoy every step is always a great day in my book.

I am so excited to begin marathon training in a few weeks :)

Next up: Chicago Women's Half on 6/23

- xaar


  1. awesome job! I like that you 7ish min miles are 13 minute miles I am dying ;)

    1. Being consistent makes everything easier ;)

  2. Great job, even with the potty stop! I love love love those bright colorful capris, you totally rocked them. Those splits look great and so consistent. Great job to Luis too.

    1. Thanks! The capris made all the difference (mood lifter) :)

  3. so proud of you char! this is awesome! you are off to another great start for the year and i can't wait to see where all your hard work leads you!

  4. Great job! After reading your recap I almost wish I had done this instead of the 5k I did yesterday. But it was kind of nice to be done with running in under 30 minutes for a change;). Love your outfit, love the medal and am super excited to see how your marathon training goes! Have a feeling you are going to crush it!

    1. It's a fun race :) you definitely deserve a break after all those marathons!! :)

  5. Damn, Rainbow Brite! Look at those splits! I am excited about your upcoming FV training cycle too! Well, I already was (derp) but now I am EVEN MOARRRRR excited!!! :)

    Congrats on a great race! I need to try this one someday! It sounds like they are constantly improving it, with closing traffic, and I heard parking is included (not that YOU need it, ha!)? The only issue I heard about was packet pickup... but also not an issue for you. Anyway, congrats again!!! :)

  6. Nice job!!!!!! You have been running some fantastic times lately. Even with your potty stop you still ran a great pace for the 2nd mile. Can't wait to hear how the half goes for you on the 23rd. I think you are going to do awesome.

  7. Congrats on the awesome PR!! I did this race in 2011 and really enjoyed it, but it's a bit pricey so I haven't been back. But, knowing that they moved half of the course to LSD makes this a strong contender for 2014!

    1. It is a bit pricey- but they also have registration specials ($55 I think) usually around the Chicago marathon.

  8. Congrats on the PR and way to beat your dad's predicted time! I wouldn't worry about the potty stop, it happens! It looks like it only took 28 seconds over your average and it gave your legs a momentary break early on (which is good). Anyway, I did not realize that this had a long stretch on LSD. Makes me want to consider running it next year. Nice recap and excellent pictures as usual!

    1. Thanks! I like how you find the positive in less than ideal circumstances :) maybe that short break actually enabled me to be faster :)

  9. Congrats on your PR! Wow, 6 minutes - that's awesome! And I love how close your dad got to predicting your time. And I'm really impressed at how fast you were able to stop during your 2nd mile!

    I thought this was a really great race too, but I've never been to anything put on by Fleet Feet that wasn't really well-run.

  10. Awesome time and congrats on the big PR! I agree it was a great race.

  11. Xaar!!! I am so far behind on blogging but HUGE CONGRATULATIONS on SMASHING your previous 10-mile PR!!! I absolutely love those rainbow tights and the colorfulness of your entire race outfit. You exude energy and vibrancy! You've had such an amazing running year already - I cannot wait to see how you continue to dominate everything that you touch!!! KEEP IT UP!!! =)

    1. Thanks lady! It's nice to string a few months of running without injury looming over my head :) (and I've been so behind on blogs lately too! It's like a second job hehe)

  12. Great work, and killer effort! Controlled, fun races are such a great way to move into training season. LOVE the tights.

  13. Awesome on the PR! Sounds like a great race. You ran a perfectly paced one looks like. Great pic in front of Soldiers Field. And I think I say this every time, but you run the coolest races.