Although I ran less overall, I didn’t give into any pressure to run half marathons like my other buddies (I know which distances work for me), nor to run races in town because they’re popular. I sought to do only “away” races (except for a special one, and you’ll see why in a sec.
Chicago Women Rock was my second race of 2015, but the first all-womens race I’ve ever done. That is really light, considering I used to run a race just about every month. But I’m making changes to my racing budget and doing more things with my business, thus racing is not as high a priority. I volunteer for races sometimes locally, as Atlanta is never short on a race. But I now prefer to do mostly destination races instead of repeating the same ones locally. So I headed to Chicago on the eve Chicago Women Rock, which was held on Saturday, September 19.
I arrived in Chicago 4 pm the day before the race. It was gray and had just started raining when my flight landed. It rained very hard, almost nonstop until just before my 10K started the next morning. Traffic was horrible, and I had a slight ordeal at the rental car office, but thanks to Google Maps, I finally made it to the 63rd Street Beach House on Lake Shore Drive about 40 minutes before the expo was to close.
This was the smallest expo I’ve ever seen. I only recall a few vendors: race tees & socks, Nissan and a company selling pretty headbands. I went to the back of the hall to find the table set up with volunteers handing out jackets and bibs for this race as well as the Monster Dash 5k.
A lady in front of me in line was kind enough to tell me I had to know my bib number to pick it up. Well, I received exactly two emails since I registered, which were the automatic confirmation of my payment back in July, and a promotional email 2 days ago about a different race. She said I had to go to the organizers website (Team Ortho) and confirm something to look up the bib number. Turns out they found my bib using my name, and handed me a small envelope with the bib and safety pins. On the back were detailed instructions about placing the chip on your shoe, but it was the bib that had the timing chip. There was nothing in the packet about where to park, start times and locations, Porta potty/water stations–zip.
I got in a second line to pick up my awesome jacket. Let’s face it, that was the last influencing factor in me flying my fam to the Chi to run in the cold 🙂
Then I went to find someone who I could ask a few questions about race logistics since none were in my packet. Parking is what causes me the most anxiety the night before a race in an unfamiliar city, so I made sure I had that info.
It ended up being a long evening driving in the pouring rain, so I had McDonald’s as my dinner around 10 pm and only slept about 5 hours.
I headed to the race with my fam early and arrived around 6:20 am. Another race was in progress (probably the full and/or the half) but thanks to my sister’s disabled parking tag, we were able to find a spot in a lot across the street from the beach house and near the pedestrian walkway without circling. I paid the pay station $2.25 for 3 hours with my card. However some folks struggled because the signs said it took coins, but would not accept them. Pay stations aren’t the responsibility of the race organizer, but parking logistics factor into the race experience, so to me, it’s worth mentioning.
Sitting in the car without it running, we weren’t cold. But as soon as you opened the doors, you couldn’t hide from those gusty winds. I shot a few brief Periscope videos as I approached the start line and waited, but I stayed cold until about mile 2–including my hands. It was about 61 degrees, so I was surprised.
FAVE BIB – Rise Up & Run (5K) with the Atlanta Falcons, October 18 (coincidentally, my bib number is also my hometown’s area code)
FAVE MEDAL – Peachtree Road Race (10K), July 4
Sometimes I like running more when I’m not doing it. 🙂
Enter Runner’s World magazine. I read each issue from cover to cover, usually as soon as I get it. And of course, it’s chock full of race ads and recommendations. So when I first saw that RW was going to have an inaugural race in Boston, I was stoked. I started running a few days before the marathon bombing in 2013, and I have some special friends there. So I when I made my 2014 race calendar, Heartbreak Hill (HH) was a firm fixture on the list. I chose the 10K.
The expo was at the Silvio Conte Forum at Boston College. Bib pickup was well-organized, in the hallway outside the Forum, while the main floor had the vendors and the area to pick up your tees. I think I was spoiled at a previous race because I was able to exchange my hoodie for a different size–not so here though. Thankfully I actually picked the right size– it just looked too small in my hand.
I got in a short line to take a picture for a mock RW mag cover, and then popped over to get a branded tank. The weather report was looking good for the weekend, and I wanted to be cool and comfortable for those hilly 6.2 miles. Continue reading “My Encounter with Heartbreak Hill”
In teams, everyone choreographed a 2-minute number to perform during the conference. Now I can say I performed in Vegas.
When starting this A to Z Challenge on April 1, I didn’t know where I was going to pull 26 blog posts from. I schedule myself time to draw up an editorial calendar so I can plan out my content, but I mostly write here when inspired. My thanks to all the new readers and subscribers (some of whom are also victors in the Challenge). I received more consistent comments in this one month than most of the 6-year history of Daree’s Insights.
Continue reading “Zoom Zip Zing–In the Zone!”