Saturday morning Matt and i sprung out of bed at 4:45 to get ready for the Soldier Field 10-mile race. Ok, i sprung, he hit snooze, and i had to nag him for 15 minutes. I was really pumped for this race, because 10 milers to me are kind of the "party distance" You aren't running so fast that you are miserable, like in shorter races (at least i'm not) and you don't think about dramatically throwing yourself into the nearest body of water, like during longer races.
AND, you finish on the 50 yard line of soldier field! I can tell you right now, i have been inside soldier field once, and i got no where near the 50 yard line, and it cost way more than this race. So already, i'm a winner. The race had been yellow flagged for both heat, and thunderstorms, you know, because it's me.
I'm surprised people even still showed up to the race after hearing that me and my curse would be there. But somehow, people did still show up - 13,000 of them! AND, while we were all hanging out in our corral waiting for the race to start, they cancelled the yellow flag, and switched it to green....WHAT? I don't even know how to process this!
Matt was feeling nervous because he had never run a 10 mile race before. Or even 10 miles in a row. To be honest, he rarely runs 10 miles in a week. BUT, if he met his goal (which was 1:40) his work would reimburse his race fee. Right there, i vowed to drag his ass across the finish line if i needed to, because for $80, he could take me out for a night on the town. Since the weather ended up being cool and cloudy, i told him our goal was 1:35 (which i knew he was more than capable of doing, based on his 10k races.)
It took us 20 minutes to start the race because we were in corral 5. I had a very weird feeling while standing there. These little bumps formed all over my skin, and i started mildly shaking. It turned out i was cold. Because i was finally running a race that wasn't 80+ degrees.
The first few miles Matt was in a good spirit. Our friend Trisha was running with us, and Matt was surprised when we would pass a mile marker, and say "wow, already?" That was a good sign, until Matt became bored by mile 3 with only me to entertain him. I soon ran out of popsicle jokes and antecdotes. I felt bad because Matt kept demanding i entertain him, but i had nothing! I listen to NPR! I tried to discuss the financial crisis in Spain, but that just seemed to make him angry. I sang a little, and i danced a little, but he was definitely becoming grouchy by mile 5.
Then we hit a headwind. I tried to position us behind some tall people, but it didn't help. Then Matt started to slow down. This was so frustrating because about 5 miles is usually when i start to feel warmed up and ready to start the race. I kept pulling ahead of Matt on accident, because he was wearing the same stupid shirt as everyone else, and was super hard to keep track of. It was hard because if i were by myself, i would have been running a lot faster than this.
Then he started whining. He was about two feet behind me, and he refused to speed up. and just loudly whined that i was a bad pacer because i kept running in front of him. I slowed down multiple times, and often felt like i was running in place. I kept encouraging him, but he was not having it. He kept accusing me of speeding up, and i kept accusing him of slowing down. By mile 8, he was obviously miserable and i told him that in 3/4 of a mile we would get to see Maggie, to which he responded "who is Maggie, and why do i care??" geez. Everyone around us seemed slightly annoyed by my cheerleading at this point. We started a final push just before 9.5, but it might have been premature because Matt started to slow down again by 9.75. I waited for him, and then we sprinted together to the 50 yard line!
I had a great time at this race, probably because i wasn't super serious about it (although i could have smashed my 10 mile pr with this weather...) I loved the crowds, and there were a lot of friends running it. And while the course was familiar, finishing on the 50 yard line was super awesome. I can't wait to run this again!
Well hello runners :) Long time no see on the Gingerfoxxx blog (she refuses to let me post because she thinks that I want to talk about irrelevant things such as "movies that are terrible" and "what sports mascot would kick the other mascots' asses").
I don't see her argument to be valid, but I have to live with her...so I chose to keep my mouth shut for all of these months. And now you have the pleasure of hearing my side of the story when it came to my first 10 mile race.
Now I will say, the last time I ran a solid 10 miles while being decently in shape was senior year of high school....we used to run in the 100 degree weather in 200% humidity through hilly neighborhoods at a 7:30-8:00 pace. Now you can see why I decide to whine to Sara saying "I'll never be in shape again." I have a lot to live up to, to make that kind of time again.
So here's my recap of the Soldier Field 10 Miler:
We arrived at a decent time, and I had a fresh Clif bar in the tummy...so no complaints yet. The one thing I was worried about was how my stomach felt, and if I had to pee right when the race started. So I made sure to use the porta potty well before the race (yet I still had to pee like none other when I finished).
The weather looked sketchy....I peeked at the sky every 5 minutes, and the wind was starting to pick up. But honestly I'd rather it be rainy and windy than 100 and sunny. So after the lengthy 20 minute wait, we finally got to start...so let's recap by each mile:
MILE 1 -
Nothing to complain about, Trisha actually ran into the bushes before mile 1 to piss....and I laughed.
MILE 2 -
I was surprised to reach it so fast, yet I didn't feel like I was really pushing myself yet. My explanation of running style is "it's like how I view stairs...I'd rather sprint up them and be done with it than take it slow and waste my time;" so I was glad to be done with 2 miles so quickly.
MILE 3 -
Nothing to report.
MILE 4 -
I still feel good, but I try and keep myself from looking at my Garmin watch and thinking "oh I'm fucking slow" or "you're going way too fast...I don't see any zombies idiot." Sara yelled at me saying "don't look at your watch, just run." So I ran...
MILE 5 -
Turn around time! AWESOME the wind is "totes" blowing all up in my shit, so I feel like I have to push harder to keep on pace.
MILE 6 -
My body is starting to heat up quite a bit, but the good news is that I've started to pass my 6.1 mile race barrier. So now it's onto my longest yet, 7 miles....
MILE 7 -
Sara is CONSTANTLY pulling ahead of me, and I tell her "hey babe can you please run alongside me?" She responds with a "sure no problem," followed by about 5 seconds of staying next to me. She then proceeds to Michael Johnson my ass and takes off in front of me AGAIN.
MILE 8 -
I'M HOT. WHEN IS THIS OVER? And Sara is STILL pulling ahead of me...this is supposed to be an awesome run filled with joyous conversation, and yet she can't think of a single topic to talk about. Wonderful.
MILE 9 -
Just got some water, and in a quarter mile I finally see Soldier Field. Starting to sprint up to a 7:30 pace and get tired as hell again at 9.6 miles or something..,
MILE 9.8 -
Finally get to see the opening to the field, and I catch up to Sara and finish this bad boy!
We are in Soldier Field, can you believe it? Right as that thought pours into my mind and I take a look around, a large man in uniform tells us to basically "get the hell out there's more runners coming."
Glad I paid that $65 entry fee or whatever it was.
All in all, this was to see if I'd do a 10 mile race again...and yes, I will. Will I do a half marathon? Probably not. It's going to take some serious convincing...like a free bald eagle with signup or something.
Cya peeps ;)
Hope you enjoyed our recap! And if anyone knows of a half marathon that gives out baby bald eagles instead of finishers medals, please comment with a link below so i can get Matt signed up!