Wrigley Field / Soldier Field – Runs

I have not written in a while.  If you come upon this blog and/or follow it, you are about to get bombarded.  Life has me pretty busy these days.

Last you heard from me, I ran a ½ marathon in Louisville and didn’t die.  Super stoked about that by the way.  I successfully trained and didn’t die.  Yea!

After that race, I had zero concerns about the next two:  Wrigley Field 5K and the Soldier Field 10 Mile.

Wrigley Field 5K

This was a fun race.  The night before, Julia had a Cinco De Mayo/Derby Party and now I’m convinced tequila is good luck.  We show up at the race, both of us, sweating out alcohol.  We were in Wrigleyville so I think most people were sweating out alcohol.

We started off the race at a steady pace.  It was one of those box race paths so you knew how close you were to the end based off what intersection you were running through.  There were a lot of young kids running along with moms pushing strollers.  The moms pushing strollers really make you feel like an out of shape piece of shit.  Like the only thing worse would be to see an old man pulling a ricksaw pass you.  Great motivators though!

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Despite the hangover, I finished very well!  The race was cool and was a great way to wrap up the weekend after I drank and ate like a beast.

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Soldier Field 10 Mile     

WHAT A RACE!  Seriously, this race is always fun but the weather, the day of, can make or break you.  The week following up to it, I kept checking the weather.  98% humidity 90 degrees….oh boy…this was going to be tough.

A few days before the race they moved the start time an hour early.  I guess they wanted to get people going before the sun was really beating down.  Either way, I was prepared.  I hydrated like crazy and ate a big dinner.  The weather was going to be tough and if you do not show up with your body prepared it will be the longest 2 hours of your life.

The next morning, I picked Julia up and we headed to the race.  We met up with my dad in the corral.  He was talking to a random guy and when we showed up goes “Oh!  These are the two I was talking about – my daughter Serena and her friend Julia!”.   Side note:  My dad is very socially awkward at times but other times he loves to chat random strangers up.

The opening ceremony is such a beautiful tribute to the troops.  They pay tribute to the runners in the past who have since passed away and give a scholarship out.  I’m total waterworks during most of this.

When the first gunshot went off to start the race, I got my music going.  This is important.  I’m such a psychopath that I know based on what song is playing how far I am into the race.  This is just me.

Starting this race in particular is always madness.  You have to run through the tunnel under McCormick Place for the first mile.  After you get through that, the path opens up and people are able to spread out.  It was here, I did notice my dad in front of me.  My dad is an amazing runner.  If I’m a good runner it is only because I get it from him.  He will be 58 this November and has run this race with me the last 5 years.  That is very impressive and something I hope to be doing at his age.

At around Mile 3, I did pass my dad.  Later, I found out he had to stop because it was so hot and humid that the sweat on his face was causing his glasses to fog up and slip down.  I think he ended up finishing the race with his glasses hanging around his neck.

The race was very tough.  Around Mile 6, I was feeling very done with it.  I made sure I grabbed water at every station though and just pushed through.  Mile 7, a man passed out in front of me.  That was scary.  He wasn’t a man that looked out of shape either.  He was very fit and looked to be about 28 or 29.  I pushed through that too though.  Mile 8, all I thought of was the beer at the end.  That free beer was going to be the best thing in my life at that moment.

Mile 9, I started getting excited.  When you run through that tunnel and out onto the field, it is such a rush.  The anticipation leading up to it is just an unreal feeling.  I FINISHED!

Immediately after crossing the finish, I turned around and waited for my dad and Julia.  They came through shortly after and we all finally got what we needed: that free cold wet towel and BEER.

What a race though.  It was tough.  The only thing that helped was how well I prepared and the clouds that came out around Miles 5-8.  It was still so hot but that shade was everything.

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Same time next year….maybe =)

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