Yes, I did it! I set a new PR for this race. It was not much, but it still counts! I am simply amazed that I accomplish this. Yesterday, I ended up going to my chiropractor to get my shins taped, which really helped a lot. (Just don't go to a music festival afterwards and stand for 2 hours - NOT GOOD!)
Anyways, I woke up this morning at 6:15 with an optimistic attitude. I was determined to run this 5K and finish. Yes, I have the shin split issue, but I know I can overcome. I have done it in the past and have succeeded.
Josh and I along his friend, Shea walked to the bus stop and took it to near the starting line near the CARA "drinking trough" south of Diversey. We arrived around 7:45, which was great timing because the Athletico people were there starting to give pre-race stretching. I was the 2nd person in line and was worth the wait. The PT was very nice and helped me as she stretched me by providing some tips to deal with the shin splints (besides being totally amazed with taping job on my legs). The stretching really felt so good because I was a little tight still in the calves.
After the stretching, I prepped my lungs and then preceded to do a quick 1/2 mile warm-up to get my legs ready for the 5K. The warm-up was great. I spent a few more minutes before I went to the starting corral for the 5K. I was starting to feel myself get pretty excited to start the race. Then we were OFF.
I felt the energy of the crowd during the 1st mile. Because I was wearing Josh's Garmin, I caught myself going too fast at 8:15/mile pace - Oooops! I quickly corrected it because I know that I was pay for it at the end of the race. There were no signs of the shin splints during this time compared to the training run where they hit right before the first mile. That's an awesome sign!
After I passed the mile 1 marker, I felt good, but also starting to struggle a little bit. I kept on looking for Josh and Shea, which kept me motivated. Eventually, I saw them on top of the Fullerton bridge at the 1.43 mile marker as I ran under it. I shouted to Josh, "14:30" giving me my current time.
Then I headed into the hardest part of the race where I struggled mentally as well as physically. My legs were not hurting, but it was my lungs that were trying to catch up with the pace. I slowed down a little bit to get them some time so I did not get sick or pass out. The frustrating part was seeing all of the runner coming back the opposite direction and looking for the turn around point. Once I passed the mile 2 marker, I told my negative attitude to SHUT THE FUCK UP and let me RUN.
I was able to pull my 2nd wind and push myself through the last 1.1 miles. As I came to the bridge and went through, I saw Josh and Shea and again, who cheered me on and keeping me motivated since I was only 0.25 mile away from the finish. In the end, the 2nd and 3rd mile ended up being very consistent in pace and helped me to gain the new PR.
As I got closer to the finish, I kicked ass and took names. After I got through the finish corral, I saw Josh and literately collapsed in his arms. He carried me to the stinky pot-a-potties where I desperately needed to use them. I was totally worn out and exhausted. After a Jamba Juice sample and a banana, I started to feel a little bit better.
Then I got myself a SECOND professional stretch - at Josh's insistence - with another booth that was doing them free. I was even half-assed tempted to go the National School booth where they were doing free chiropractic adjustments, but I knew that I could make it until Monday AM. Oh well!
Then we head to the hospital where I work at so I could change into something dry in my office. Afterward, we headed to the Chicago Half-Marathon expo where Josh and Shea picked up there race packets. I enjoyed all of the free goodies and took home a lot of stuff on top of the stuff from the race before heading home.
Now I am sitting here - tired and slowly losing energy - feeling good about myself. Tomorrow's Josh's day so I will be helping him out and turning the tables onto him. Right now, I need a NAP.
Mile 1 - 9:19
Mile 2 - 10:18
Mile 3 - 10:17
Unofficial Finish Time: 30:27 - NEW PR!
Avg Pace: 9:58/mile