Monday, October 31, 2011

Chicago Lakefront 50/50 10/29/11

The Chicago Lakefront 50/50 is a combination 50 miler and 50k race on the lakefront bike path south of downtown Chicago. The 50 milers start at 6:30am and do 4 out and back segments (about 6 miles each out) of the path. The 50k runners start 2 hours later at 8:30am and do 3 out and backs of a slightly shorter segment of about 5 miles each out (and thus back). I ran the 50k. It was a bit chilly until the sun rose over the lake but it was gorgeous when it did.

There is a similar race that is held in the spring. I started out as usual at the back of the pack and started out at a "coasting" pace and see what the day held. As I warmed up I gradually sped up through the first out/back segment. Runners costumes I saw were superwomen with yellow hair, raggedy ann, and a guy with a racing singlet that was muscles like out of a anatomy book. It warmed up quick and as I completed the first section I ran to my car to drop off my gloves and long sleeve shirt. I was able to continue to maintain my speed, chatted with runners along the way although tons of people had their headphones in which messes up the whole talking thing. My true goal for this race was to meet local ultra runners. At the halfway point I realized that I would be able to break 5 hours if I maintained the pace, and luckily I was able to stay mentally strong and push myself to accomplish the goal I set mid-race. I had also promised myself that I could take the day off from school work and I could get a large frappachino from the Starbucks at the Oasis (rest area with several restaurants along the tollway for those that do not live near a tollway) on the drive back to Milwaukee.

With less than a mile to go I very slowly had caught up to a lady running and I tell her when I get to her that "if we keep our pace we can break 5 hours." We start running side by side and keep our pace, and I immediately in my mind concede that I will let her pull ahead at the end (I was at the edge of puking at this point). Well, on the last tiny uphill before the finish I pull ahead and that was that. Just after the race guy pulled of my bib tag and the lady put the finish medal around my neck I turned and took a few steps away quickly and threw up the liquids (half water half gatorade at that point) from the last 6-8 miles. I went to sit down on the side walk for a few minutes, then headed to my car to head home. Once in the car I always get to be reminded that I drive a stick, which is always very apparent after a long run. 

Slow traffic in downtown Chicago (this is about 2pm on a Sunday) but once I cleared downtown it was smooth sailing. I ended up stopping at a Culvers (burger and frozen custard place that is all over the upper mid-west) instead for a pumpkin spice milkshake. Got home, showered, put the legs up in the lazyboy chair, dinner at Beans and Barley. 

Great run, great weather, great people, great run!
Time (not chip timed) per Garmin 4:57:40 (official race results not yet posted)

Next up, City of Oaks Marathon in Raleigh, NC on Nov 6! If I complete the race it will be State #19!

Fox Cities Marathon Appleton, WI 9/17/11

*This race was about 6 weeks ago and I am just now getting motivated to write a brief race report after a good few weeks of running.*

Fox Cities Marathon was a Marathon Maniacs' reunion run. Despite that this was a repeat state I figured this would be a good race to pull me out of my typical low-mileage-due-to-very-hot-summer routine. I did not know how this race was going to play out but I knew I would be able to finish. Not to be confused with the Fox Valley Marathon held on the same day nearby in Illinois. Nice course, well organized, small confusing expo, good frequent bus shuttles from the finish area to the start of the race. The two best things were the Cottonelle TP (as Kimberly Clark is a main sponsor of the race) in ALL of the port-a-potties (!) and the Marathon Maniac race medal in addition to the marathon completion medal. I also loved that there were several people that had run the North Face 50 miler and 50k in Wisconsin the previous day and were up early for another long run.

I drove up to the expo the night before and back in time for dinner, then drove up that morning for the race.

Chip Time 4:36:50, Pace 10:34

I completed the Chicago Lakefront 50k 2 days ago, race report to follow. Next up is City of Oaks Marathon next weekend in Raleigh, NC.