Imerman Angels

Monday, May 25, 2015

Soldier Field 10 mile recap

Up until last Thursday (May 21), I had no plans to run this race. Originally I planned on being down at the state track meet. Unfortunately, an athlete I help coach did not make it to the finals and I made the decision to run. It is always a fun and well organized race. My night before/morning of races can tend to be a little crazy. This did not quite get there, but it came close. We will start this recap with the day I signed up for the race.

I completed a tempo run after getting done with working and it was kind of rough. My legs were pretty dead. Instead of just stretching and foam rolling, I did a 15-minute leg workout through the Nike Training Club ap. Stretching and foam rolling came after completing the workout. Normally I would have just stayed on the floor resting up, but I had plans to go the Matt and Kim concert. I got home after the concert and planned on an early morning run before the long Friday. 

                          Race outfit 

With my legs being pretty sore, I stayed on the slower end of my easy pace that morning. This run needed to happen early due to work and having to be at a track meet in Lisle most of the day. All things considered, the run went well and it was time to get ready for the day. Work and the track meet came and went. After eating at Culvers, driving back to school, doing some stretching and getting a ride home, I ended up going to bed around 2 a.m. The plan was  to get to Soldier early so I could get a couple of miles in as part of a warm-up( I had been scheduled to do 14-miles that day, but it did not end up happening). My nice little nap ended quick when my alarm went off a few hours later and I made the trek to the race. 

My legs were a little sore and that made me wonder if they could hit the prescribed pace for them that day. Eventually I got a warm-up in and should have gone to the bathroom before the race started, but I got a little distracted. I talked with people, took in the scenery and wondered if I would use music or not(I ended up not having any music. This is the longest race that I have not used any music). Things got somewhat interesting because corrals one and two had a hard close of 6:45 and I was in a bathroom line at 6:43. If someone reading this is good at predictions, the guess that I never made it to the bathroom is a good one, because I never did. 

Corral one closed as soon as I got there. The guard sent me off to corral two and this is where I thought I would start the race. With the help of some other runners who also got locked out of corral one, we wiggled our way up to the corral. I did the dance everyone does when they are doing there best to not use the bathroom right then and there. I figured I could get to a bathroom once the race started;should have known myself better. I took a my Huma Gel and felt ready to go. This is where my bladder and I had to have a little talk. I said, "please be nice to me and I will finish this as soon as I can.

The race started. The bathroom trip I kind of of planned never came and my bladder decided to play nice for the moment. Having no music was interesting because I could hear everything around me. The only annoying thing was this guy who just breathed really heavily for the first few miles. I did not know whether to ask him if he was ok or just assume this is how he always runs. Someone finally asked, but I did not hear the answer. During the first few miles a speedy little 12-to-14 year-old boy passed me. Unassumingly, he became my running buddy for a large portion of the race.

He stayed ahead of me for a good portion of the race. I focused on him but felt determined to keep my pace and run my own race. Around mile eight is where I caught up to him. It seemed like he was struggling a bit and I asked him, "How are you doing?' He responded, "I'm good." We continued for a little bit and I did my best to encourage him to finish strong and say things like, "We are almost there. Focus on the building ahead." It may not have sounded like much, but I hope he appreciate the nice words. Soon after this point, I took off and hit the home stretch.

I sped up a bit around mile nine and started my final kick towards the 50-yard line. Once I finished, I really had no idea what my time was. I knew I had beaten my goal and felt great. I hung around the finish line hoping to see a few people and I saw my 12-to-14 year-old running buddy. I congratulated him on the race and he smiled. This is one of the things that I love about running. He is probably someone I will never see again, but it felt cool to share that brief moment. All in all, Soldier Field went great.

                           Post race 

That bathroom trip I promised my bladder also finally came. We were both happy and celebrated the day with other runners. 

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Lesson learned

I should set the scene for this blog post.

It started around 3:30 a.m. when I woke up to head to Nike Chicago downtown. I, along with a few others, got asked to do a small photo shoot. It sounded like a fun time and I jumped at the opportunity. Having never done of these ever, I had no idea what to expect. 

We left for the first location (Buckingham fountain/queens landing) and did some light running action shots. This seemed like it would be a fun low key day. The group also was enjoying the warm sunny day we were having. I could not predict what the combo of the sun, a good amount of running and little sleep would do to my legs. 

By the end of the day,  my legs were pretty tired. We did a pretty good amount of running. At a few of the locations we did some pretty fast runs. We were done around three, got coffee, and went our separate ways for the day. My body felt ok then, so instead of going home, I headed to Fleet Feet to drop my bags off and attempt to run this tempo. 

Once I arrived, the pre-run routine to get myself ready started. Things were looking good and I felt excited for the tempo. My legs even felt great during the warm-up mile I did. Maybe this was my body playing tricks on me? 

The answer to that question would be yes. The first two miles of the tempo run were great! Despite how great they felt, I felt an impending doom coming. Did that stop me from slowing down to the pace I actually should have been aiming for? Nope. I pretty much even predicted when this breakdown would come. 

Mile 2.5. The turn around point of my out and back tempo run. It is also the point where legs fell apart. Maybe, mentally I knew this turn would be tough because I gave it in to it way before it even came up. Either way, I still had half of my left to go. 

At the turnaround point my legs did their best to hang on. It also did not help that my stomach started acting up, my mouth got really dry and my Zoom Elites felt so heavy(definitely not the shoes fault). I stopped a couple of times after the turnaround to get water and hope my stomach would settle down. A public bathroom is not something I wanted to spend time in. My pace slowed a decent amount, but this run needed to get done. 

Eventually, my run ended. I felt pretty terrible. Typically some would think I might have been disappointed with it, but I laughed and I loved it. Those things came out of it because I knew I just learned a few lessons from it. Lessons learned from the run include:

-Stay at your prescribed pace even if the first few feel good at a fasteh.

-this counteracts the first point, but it is ok to take chances every so often. 

-It is not easy adjusting to the heat. If you have to carry water with you, do it! I ended buying a Nathan Speeddraw plus handheld and like it more than I thought I would. 

-Appreciate your runs. They may be a struggle, but things could be worse.

The best part about it all is that I got a great run in the next day.