After my meandering PAWS 5K which I dawdled my way through with Buddy two weeks prior, and with “National Running Day” coming and going without me lacing up, I was moderately ready for the next race in my self-proclaimed and then quickly ignored “Summer of Fitness” series of races. Starting off in essentially the same place as the PAWS race, and a short walk (in my case, Divvy ride) away from our apartment, it seemed natural to pick this race as my #2.
The Chicago Tiki Run is a cheerful little race series all compacted into one day – you have the option of running the 10K, 5K or for the ultimate challenge, both races on the same morning. The 10K runners were off first and then later the 5K race began. If you were doing the full 15K, the length of your break between races ultimately depended on how fast you were.
I only did the 5K. Untimed.
I’d been using an app on my phone to try and train up to running 10K continuously with varying degrees of commitment and therefore success, so I decided to follow the prompts for the first couple of miles of the 5K and then when that training ran out, just run to how I felt for the last mile of so. I had no other goals aside from “try not to be last”, especially considering that some people were doing 15K that morning.
I arrived early to look around at the race village, which didn’t really take long, then grabbed a water and sat down to watch the first 10K runner finish.
Before long it was time to line up for the start of the race.
I snapped a quick selfie to remind myself what a pre-melted person looks like.
It was a sunny 70 degrees, which doesn’t sound hot until you’re running in it feeling flabby and out of breath – something which I discovered between Mile 2 and Mile 3.
I try not to be too hard on myself over this photo, because it’s a place to start. I don’t love how I look, and it’s hard not to compare it to other, older photos of me at a more fit place in my life. I’m owning it. I’m working on it. I will say this – my face shows a glimmer of happiness. This race sparked a reminder in me.
I kept track of who was around me. I tried to see who I could catch, pace, pass… I saw other people struggling so I knew it was ok to struggle. There were people of every level of fitness around me, so I knew it was ok to be where I was, working my way back. The race felt welcoming and community-based, which I appreciated.
I had a humbling moment as I chased down and eventually passed a person I was eyeing. I realized I was passing her because she was a) in pain and b) was at the end of the 15K challenge. I was just finishing 5K. She was busting out 15K. I checked myself and kept moving, impressed.
I kicked it to the finish line as best as I could lumber along, and hit my Nike+ RunClub app on my watch. According to it, I had managed negative splits and a race time of 38:55 or 12’29″/mile. I’d hoped to keep it under 39 minutes, so I was very happy with that time.
And how cute is this medal?
I took one last selfie to remind myself what hard work looked like:
Overall, I’d be happy to run this race again. It was smallish, but I’m finding that here in Chicago small races have a lovely, community feel to them and seem welcoming to all athletic abilities. Heck, next year I might actually be up for the 15K challenge!
Next up, I take on the Chinatown 5K – totally by surprise!