We ran the Lifetime Fitness Run Wild 5k on Saturday at the Brookfield Zoo. This was my second ever race and Dave's first (he ran one in high school with his dad, but it's been 12 or 13 years so we're this his first) Maggie spent the night at my parent's house so that we wouldn't have to wake her up early. They brought her to the zoo and got there to see us finish. We got up early at like 5:30 and got ready and were out the door by 6:10. There was no traffic until we were close to the zoo so that was good. We got there and I brought my bag in thinking there might be a gear check place like there was in Chicago. We picked up our packet and our shirts (not technical shirts, cotton and bright yellow) and then headed back up to the car to put our stuff down. I called my parents and they were not going to make it by the start of the race so I told them what color shirts we were wearing and we made a plan of where to meet afterward if they didn't see us.
We had looked at a map of the run before we got there, but the starting line wasn't clearly marked so Dave asked a Lifetime volunteer and she pointed us in the right direction. We went to where people were lining up but we couldn't see the actual start so I wasn't sure where we were pace wise. The pathways are narrow so they were encouraging people line up according to speed but we couldn't tell where we were. I thought we were in the front of the middle of the pack and figured that would be too fast for me but we stayed where we were.
I was a little nervous because I was really hungry. I usually run in the afternoon/evening so I haven't figured out my early morning eating routine yet. I only had peanut butter on toast and meant to eat a banana on the way, but forgot until we got there. My stomach was growling before we started.
We didn't hear a gun or an announcement that we were starting, but all of a sudden we started moving. I realized quickly that we were much closer to the start than I thought, oops. I started my nike+ right when I stepped on the mat. About 2 minutes in I knew I was running faster than I should be, Dave was already gone, I told him not to wait for me, but reminded him to not start out too fast. I pushed the button on my iPod and the lady told me my pace was 9:55. Yikes! 10:45 min/mile is really good for me so I knew I had to slow down or I was never going to make it. People were passing me like crazy and I tried to move over to the side as much as I could. I was still going too fast I knew because I was tired before my first song was over. I tried to slow down a little more and then I felt better.
I was surprised by the 1 mile marker and I pressed my iPod button again. It said ".88 miles completed". Hmmm, the course was not certified, but I was surprised that it was that off. I was running at about a 10:25 min/mile pace. That was still faster than I normally run, but I felt good so I decided not to worry about it.
At mile marker 2 my iPod said somewhere around 1.8 miles. I started to wonder if the whole course would be short or if the last mile would be really long. I started to get tired and was back up near 11 min/mile pace. I knew there wasn't much left in my tank, but I was not giving up. I told myself that when the iPod lady told me that there was 5 minutes left I would pick it up. She said 5 min and I tried to go a little faster. It was tough though. When I knew I was close to the finish I ran as fast I could. I finished in 32:06. This was a full 2 minutes fast than at Wrigley 3 weeks ago. My iPod said it was only 3.07 miles though, I don't care, I still count it as a PR! I was happy.
I saw Dave and my parents right away, but I couldn't talk to them. I had to walk a litttle. I noticed in Chicago too, people just stop the second they hit the finish line. I think I might die if I just stopped, especially after I sprinted the finish (sprinted being a relative term) I walked around a little bit, and over to the food and water area. I was starving!!!! I ate an orange slice and half a banana and felt better. I didn't stretch afterward either like a usually do so my legs were definitely not very happy with me.
Dave finished in 29:30 so under 30 minutes! I am very proud of him! We went to walk around the zoo but it was around 9 and the zoo doesn't officially open until 10 so there was not much to see. You'd think that if they were going to have 2000 people in the zoo early they would want to have their vendors open and the gift shops open and the animals available so that people would want to come back some day. The entry to the zoo was free to runners and spectators so you'd think that they would really want to have stuff open for people to spend money. That was disappointing but we walked around enough that the giraffes were out by the time we walked around the whole place. The giraffes are Maggie's favorites! It was starting to get busy by the time we were done and we were all hungry so my parents took off and we ate lunch by the car and the went home.
It was a good fun run, but if we do it again next year I don't know that we will bring Maggie since there was such a gap between the run being over and the zoo stuff open. I was sore though and I wish I could have cooled down a little bit more. Guess that's what I learned for next time. No matter what walk for a few minutes and find a way to stretch even if my butt will be in the air for all to see! :)
Quick Question: My Nike+ said my time was 33 something, but my chip time was 32:06???? I know I didn't start or end it a minute early/late. I would assume that the chip time is the most accurate right? What do you think?