Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Race Report: Esprit de She 5k

Person who really pays attention to my blog/upcoming races section: What?! You ran a race and didn't tell us ahead of time? Me: Yeah, I guess I did. Sorry. So about a month ago, my favorite Chicago Public School Pre-K teacher, former owner of a daycare where my girls went to for awhile, and current part-time employee of the world's awesomest women's feminine but functional athletic apparel store...and employee pretty much for the discount as her entire casual wardrobe is Athleta...she texted me and asked if I wanted to run the 10k in Athleta's Esprit de She, the first time they'd be hosting the race in Chicago. My response?

Fast forward to the weekend prior to the race, when in Chicago the devil and a witch made love and had a baby named "HOT AS F*&% OUTSIDE." Upper 90's and humid. Humid like my hair took on another life, humid. Heat indices were in the 100's. Thursday, the day of the race, was Day 4 or 5 of the madness. I'd missed the packet pickup for my race because...well because who does weekday packet pickup from 10am to 12 noon only on the day before? So of course, the dreaded "race day pickup" was in store for me. As the day progressed, I thought strongly about maybe switching over to the 5k. What do I have to prove? But I sorta fretted about it, as I had been hand-picked to run and represent the awesomeness of Athleta! (Which turns out later all that meant was show up, participate and finish.)

But then like a magic fairy, and email popped up on my screen saying that due to the weather, only the 5k race would occur, all 10k'ers would now do the 5k.
Glory hallelujah!

So I picked up the girls from day camp early and headed on over to Lincoln Park at about 4:30, 2.5 hours prior to race time, crossing my fingers that if I found a good (translation: FREE) parking spot, we would just have to leave the car there. BOOM. parking spot RIGHT ACROSS THE STREET from the packet pickup tent. Picked up the sweet bag and tank top and we were done. No lines, no nothing. Only the buzz of tow trucks towing the cars on the side of the street. (sho hate it!)

Self: You really need to leave your car here, you won't find better parking than this, and if you go to take the girls to eat and come back, you might not find anywhere to park.

Self: It's HOTTTTTTT. and these girls are gonna bitch and moan the entire 6-8 meandering blocks from the park to decently priced food.

So we drove over to Lakeview, sorta DePaul sorta boystown area. Ate. Enjoyed the air conditioned space. Bought Gatorade. Then we went back to the race around 6:15. Went to the Diversey lot and paid $5, which was well worth it, in my opinion.

With no one watching the girls....(DAMN. is this a RACE report or a PRE-race report?) So with no one watching the girls I staked out a spot that was somewhat surround by post-race tents, but right by the start/finish line. They were tall enough to peep over the advertising. After instructions about not moving at ALL, I made my way over to the start line. There weren't that many people there, probably only the crazy ones.

You're awesome...blah blah blah...HEAT....take it easy....then they broke it down and said they even changed the route of the race so that it would go by more fire hydrants for misting stations (or something like that.) And that this new route was different from any 5k in Chicago. (Well amen to THAT as I'm sick of all the races starting to use the same courses---a direct reflection of the over proliferation of races in Chicago.)

So the first mile was ok, ran the whole thing--though very slowly...and right at 12:00. But then came the walking. And stopping for water. And by George, the course WAS different. So I took a few pictures, this one being my favorite, with the contrast of native wildflowers and the John Hancock building off in the distance:

At the end it said my time was 45:23. My SportsTracker app, which is pretty good, had me at 3.32 miles, which is entirely possible due to the last minute course change. The girls were there cheering me on, we all took Gatorade and popsicles, finished them on the way to the car, and then stopped for frozen yogurt, too.

So there's my race report.

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