I ran the Trick or Treat Trot 5K today on the beautiful Chicago lake front, and it was a fun race! 2500+ people running and walking with many in cute costumes.
The day started out, well, late. I set my alarm for 6:00 a.m. because I had to leave the house by 7:25 a.m. When the alarm rang, I leisurely got out of bed and decided to check my email. When I glanced at my laptop clock, it said 7:03 a.m. No... it was only 6:03 a.m., and my alarm clock verified that. Just to check, I turned on the news and saw 7:04 a.m. WHAT???!!!!??? I now had 20 minutes to get dressed, fed, potty-ed, and out the door. Which is not enough time for this no-colon wonder.
I did figure out what happened, though: My alarm clock has a daylight savings time adjustment feature. Daylight savings time typically begins at midnight on the last Saturday of October... but not this year. This year it is starting a couple of weeks later, but my clock did not know that so it kindly adjusted my time for me at midnight last night!!! AHHHHH!!!!
So I did not have time to properly potty or fuel, and I was off to pick up my mother and head into the city for the race. We got to my brother's house in the city to meet up with him and his family (his wife ran the race with me), and then we headed off to Lincoln Park for the race. And then we hit the traffic caused by 2500 runners and walkers and all of the fans trying to converge in Montrose Harbor for the event.
We ended up being dropped off in order to get our race packets and chips. The lines were very long, and we just made it to the start before the race began. And we were off!
Less than five minutes into the race, I needed to go to the bathroom. Badly. I started praying that I could just safely finish the race and make it to a port-a-potty at the end. Then I started having cramping from the need. Ugh. I did make it to the end of the race without having to find a toilet, but it took an effect on my pace as I ran hunched over and slower than usual.
Another thing that I did not account for was the wind. It was a VERY windy day by the lake in the Windy City, and being an indoor track runner I was not used to this! I also did not bring a visor or sun glasses (I forgot to pack them because of my morning rush), and thus it was very bright in my eyes and hard to look far ahead.
But it was a beautiful place to have a run, and I plugged along and did my best given the circumstances. My time was not what I had hoped, but I enjoyed it nonetheless and was very proud when my name was called as I crossed the finish line! My sister-in-law even kept her pace as slow as mine so that we finished together, which was very nice of her since she is in better shape than I.
I learned some important lessons:
1) Get the gear ready the night before
2) Set two alarms ;-)
3) Try something more binding for breakfast
4) Bring a tissue
5) Sunglasses and/or visor must come along
6) Try not to start out too fast even though the rest of the crowd is doing so because you will tire out too soon
7) Have fun and try not to focus on the time too much
The best part was at the finish line where my friends and family were waiting. Delane biked 45 minutes each way to come and cheer me on (thank you!!!) as she rested from micro-tears in her ankles from her half marathon a couple of weeks ago. And my divorced mom and dad were both there to cheer us on... together in the same place for the first time since my latest 7-hour abdominal surgery in December of 2005. Much better circumstance this time IMHO!!! I felt really blessed, and it made the disappointment in my time basically fly out the window.
Then we went out for breakfast at Ina's in the West Loop, and I had some out of this world vegetable hash... YUM!
All in all it was a great day, and I am going to choose to focus on the positive instead of dwell on the disappointing. Live and learn... and keep running!
P.S. My next 5K is scheduled for Thanksgiving morning (the EP Turkey Trot), and I am already looking forward to it!