Recapping a Race and a Streak

Community Bank of Elmhurst 4 on the 4th Race Recap

I had a hard time sleeping Wednesday night, likely because of the pre-race nerves I seem to get before every race.  It’s so weird that even after running 26 races in the last two years I still get nervous before a race.  Do you get nervous before races too?

When the alarm went off at 5am I was already awake so I rolled out of bed, walked the dog and went through my usual race day rituals.  Shower…check.  Comfy race gear…check.  Garmin…check.  Inhaler…check.  Race bib and pins…check.  Diet Coke…check.  CLIF Bar…check.  At 5:45am I was ready to walk out the door, happy that my husband could finally make it to a race to cheer me on and meet my new run club friends.  The garage door opened with a few unusual creaks and bangs and we knew something was wrong.  Since we were supposed to meet for the club carpool at 6am and there was clearly something wrong with the garage door, I had to leave Josh behind so we wouldn’t come home to a very clean garage and missing lawn tools.

I arrived to the carpool meet-up location right on time, we loaded up and were on our way.  The race was located in Elmhurst, a really nice suburb about 15-20 minutes away (if traffic is good).  Since it was the 4th of July, traffic was very light so the ride was fast and easy.  We arrived and quickly found parking, which was free.  Hooray for free parking!  I usually end up paying anywhere from $15-$36 for parking on top of pricey registration fees for races downtown, so I really appreciate free parking.  The registration fee for this race was VERY reasonable too at $25 for pre-registration and a $5 CARA discount.

After meeting up with other club members at the club tent and chatting for a while, it was finally time to line up.  Due to a lack of sleep the night before and my “tired” legs, I wasn’t feeling up to “racing” but was looking forward to a nice relaxed run.  Thinking about it, I have to say that I’m not really “racing” when I run any of my races.  Sure, I’m working to PR and I’m racing against myself, but I’m not really a competitive person by nature and I’m certainly not fast enough to even come close to placing in my age/gender group.  Maybe someday, but certainly not yesterday!  I’m just happy that I can run and that running affords me an opportunity to meet and hang out with a cool group of people.

The gun went off promptly at 7:15am and we were on our way.  I had a great time running, chatting and cheering on fellow OPRC members with Laura (another club member).  The course was great – it offered a good deal of shade (a welcome perk on a sunny summer morning), beautiful views of residential streets and the neat downtown Elmhurst area, and a nice challenge.  As I’ve said before, Oak Park is very flat, so any course that has more than one hill offers a bit more of a challenge for me.  This course had three…one just after the one mile marker, another at about mile 2.5 and then another right at the finish, which is just cruel.  🙂

Even though I wasn’t racing, I was still happy with my time. I felt good the entire run, despite forgetting to use my inhaler before the start, and I was pleased that the hills didn’t totally kill me.  Here are my stats for the race:

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The Elmhurst Running Club did a great job organizing this race.  There was plenty of water at the finish, as well as Gatorade, bagels and bananas just off the finish line area.  I didn’t take any, mainly because I never take bagels after a race and the bananas were cut in half and I’m a bit of a germaphobe that way.  There is just something about a ton of sweaty hands potentially touching (or even just sweat dripping onto) something that I’m about to ingest.  Blech!

After the race, we all gathered back at the club tent to enjoy good conversation and all of the yummy goodies everyone brought for the pot luck.  We also took a group photo and what a group it was!  There must have been 50 or more club members there…way to represent OPRC!  Have I mentioned how lucky I feel to be a part of this group?  They are truly an awesome group of people.  They all inspire me to be a better runner and person.

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Photo by club member Erin’s husband, Jason.

Runner’s World Run Streak Challenge Recap

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That’s right friends, I am a Runner’s World 2013 Summer Run Streak Challenge finisher!  I have made it through a 39 day run streak, running at least one mile a day from Memorial Day to Independence Day.  There were so many days that I would much rather have been lazy or taken a rest day after a long run (or brutal half marathon), but I’m proud that I kept going.  I kept going through a nasty nagging leg pain, blisters and pug induced sheer exhaustion. I ran through rain, sunshine, heat and humidity…I even ran after a nasty storm hurdling tree branches and dodging downed trees.  The bottom line is, this was a great experience.  I’ve gotten so used to running every day that I feel guilty taking a rest day today.  I might just have to lace up and get in an easy one miler…we’ll see.

Anyway, here are my final stats for the streak:

Total Miles: 104.34

Consecutive Days:  39

Miles to Goal:  25.66 (close, but no cigar)

Total Time Spent Running:  17 hours, 54 minutes and 32 seconds (wow!!)

Elevation Gain:  512 Feet

Calories Burned:  11,092

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