Thursday, September 29, 2016

My 2016 Chicago Marathon Training - By the Numbers

After wrapping up my miles for the week, I have officially finished "training" for the Chicago Marathon. With less than ten days remaining until the race, all runs from here on out are "just-keep-the-legs-fresh" type of runs. My fitness is 100% locked in now and no workout, no matter how difficult, is going to improve things enough to push that number to 101%.

I thought it would be interesting to see how my training for the Chicago Marathon compares with my training earlier this year in preparation for the Carmel Marathon (3:00:20). Here is a comparison of cumulative mileage over both 20 week cycles:
I ran 547 more training miles for the Chicago Marathon (1,607) versus the
training miles for Carmel (1,060) - over 50% more miles. This is by far the most I've ever trained for a single race. 

Some more stats:

Training By the Numbers: 2016 Chicago Marathon vs. 2016 Carmel Marathon

Chicago 10/9/16 Carmel 4/20/16
20 Week Mileage Total1607 1060
Average Weekly Mileage
Number of Runs in 20 weeks211
Number of 80+ Mile Weeks14 0
Number of 50 to 79 Mile Weeks6 14
Number of Weeks Less Than 50 Miles0 6
Last Race Before MarathonOui Run 5k Shamrock Shuffle 8k
 Last Race Finishing Time/Marathon Equivalent Time17:54/2:54:25 29:11/2:52:34
 Actual Finishing Time?? 3:00:20

The predicted marathon equivalent time for Carmel was (surprisingly) almost a full two minutes faster than what is predicted for Chicago (2:54 vs 2:52). Why does the last race before Carmel appear to be so much "faster"? There could be a few reasons for this:
  1. I wasn't racing the Oui 5k as hard as I was the Shamrock Shuffle
  2. Since my mileage was higher in the weeks before the Oui Run 5k, I had less of a "taper" than I did for the Shamrock
  3. I had a lot more cumulative fatigue going into the Oui Run (i.e. more miles = heavier legs)
  4. Race temps were more favorable for the Shamrock
No matter what the reasons, I'll take a gander that a 2:54 marathon time with an average weekly base of 80.4 miles is a more accurate prediction than a predicted 2:52 supported by an average base of 50.3 miles/week. Therein may be the problem with my frustration in predicting marathon times using shorter distances. Marathons demand a higher base mileage so you can "hold pace" from mile 20 through mile 26.2. I can always count on race day adrenaline and leg speed carry the day for races 13.1 miles or less. However, the adrenaline in a marathon wears off for me after mile 18 or 20 and I need to "fall back" on my base mileage for the remaining handful of miles. Yes, a 50 mile training base can let me run a decent and even marathon pace for 20 miles, but then things start gradually slipping away. For Chicago '16 I'm putting my chips on the fact that my volume will allow me to hold onto that adrenaline fueled pace for the remaining 6.2 miles.

We shall see....

Monday, September 26, 2016

Oui Run 5k Race Recap

I'm in the middle of my four week Chicago Marathon taper and I normally like to reserve my tapers solely for rest and recovery. However, I couldn't pass up running the inaugural "Oui Run 5k" during my taper since it was taking place so close to my house. Besides - I figured running a 5k during this time frame would not only inject some life into my tired legs, but at the same time it would be a confidence boost if I could run a 5k in a sub three hour marathon equivalent time (sub 18:28) heading into October.

Over the last two months I have pretty much run all slow, marathon training type miles and not anything near the speedy miles that a 5k demands. In fact, I hadn't run a fast (i.e. sub 6:00) mile since the Rock n Roll Half Marathon in July. Would I be able to run three in a row at this race?

After walking the dog, I ran a 5.3 mile shakeout run. Then I got my dad and we ran another mile over to the race. Once there I ran around the block and used the facilities which surprisingly had no lines.

The Race:
The Oui Run 5k starts and finishes on the campus of the Lycée Français de Chicago on Wilson where the students speak French all day in each of their classes.

"Oui Run" Start (I'm on the right side of the middle pylon) (src)
Lining up at the start line, French was essentially the only language I heard as I was packed in with the students from the school. It was strange to hear so many American kids speaking to each other in French. I sensed a lot of excitement in their voices as pretty much everyone knew each other and were anxious to tear down the street and race right in front of their school. I stepped forward right behind the line and then the race director sounded the horn and we were off!

Mile 1:
So many kids shot out in front of me at a 5:00/mile pace that I intentionally sped up so I didn't get passed by too many more. I knew it was foolish for me to start so fast, but I really don't like getting boxed in by runners who had gone out too fast. After the initial mayhem, I wove my way up to about sixth place by the half mile mark. As I settled in behind the runners ahead of me, I started to evaluate my competition. The fourth and fifth place runners were wearing headphones, so I immediately took them off of my mental list of those that would be competitive and passed them with confidence. I tucked in behind the second and third place guys, and as I glanced at my Garmin, I noticed that we were actually starting to slow down ever so slightly. This was a good sign for me, as I knew I could easily hold my current pace for another two and a half miles and that they were already slightly fading. I passed them and was soon in 2nd place. The lead runner was still out in front of me as we passed the "Mile 1" marker in Lincoln Square and we headed east on Lawrence. 5:46/mile.

Mile 2:
As the first place runner and I began to head eastward on Lawrence, I decided to make my move to get into first place. I stepped on the gas and slowly passed him. He sped up to match my surge, but when I noticed this, I poured on even more speed. Suddenly I was leading the race all by myself! I then tucked in behind the four bike escorts. Since I occasionally like to chase after bikes as a fartlek exercise on the Lakefront Trail, I locked my gaze on their rear tires and started to fly along with them, just like I was running on the trail. As we headed south on Ravenswood Avenue, a car from the east started to make its way onto the course. One of the lead bikers sounded a really loud horn and chased the car down and got it to turn around. He rejoined the other bikers soon thereafter. Whew! Most of the volunteers along the course were shouting encouragement in French: "Allez Allez!" 5:36/mile.

Mile 3:
Once I had established the lead - the pressure was on to not relinquish it. Not knowing how far ahead I was, and not wanting to look backwards, I mentally timed how many seconds it took for spectators who cheered for me to once again start cheering for the second place runner. At first it was a few seconds, but as I kept up a fast pace, eventually I could no longer hear cheers for the second place runner behind me. Since I hadn't run a sub-6:00 mile in over two months and was in the middle of my third consecutive one - my lungs started to feel the strain! However, my legs felt great and I knew I could at least hold on to my pace until the finish. 5:46/mile.
Making the final turn (src)
No one behind me (src)
Starting to raise my arms (src)
Mile 3.1
Still by myself, I made the final turn back to the campus and saw the finish line ahead. I poured on what remaining speed I had because I didn't want someone to come out of nowhere to challenge me. Before I crossed the finish line, the announcer said, "there is no one behind you at all!" and "dude, were you wearing roller blades out there?" I raised my arms up and was done!  4:45/mile.
La victoire! (src)

  • Official Time: 17:54
  • Age Group: 1st out of 36
  • Overall: 1st out of 559
Second fastest 5k ever and the third time I've ever won a race in my life. 10 seconds per mile faster than plan, but I'll take it, especially since I won the race. I think the mid-race surge to take the lead explains my (somewhat) uneven splits. In any case, so much for worrying about how slow my "marathon legs" had become! 

Post Race:
The race director ran over to congratulate me and to make sure I was okay. After telling him I was fine, I grabbed a banana and Gatorade and watched a few runners cross the finish line before I headed back out onto the course to run with my dad. I caught up with him and ran with him to the finish.

We had to wait about an hour before the awards ceremony due to the three kids races that were being held after the 5k. So we enjoyed some of the post-race goodies which included french pastries, ham and cheese baguette sandwiches and cold foamy espresso on tap! Finally the ceremony started and they called my name and I accepted my medal on the stage. My prizes included a free entry to the 2017 Shamrock Shuffle, a gift certificate to a running store and a three month pass to the local gym! 
Accepting my Medal
My dad won his age group and got his medal on the stage as well. After he got his award we walked home. 

It was fun to race a local 5k and was a great feeling to attain and actually hold onto the lead for a mile and a half for the win! However, my real goal race has always been the Chicago Marathon. My 5k time bodes well for a sub-3:00:00 marathon, but it doesn't mean I will definitely do it. Racing 26.2 miles is completely different than racing 3.1, so I need to keep that in mind when I do the conversion. Over the next 13 days I am going to focus as best I can to be rested and relaxed so I can set myself up for success on October 9th!

Next Up: Chicago Marathon in 13 days!

Friday, September 23, 2016

Oui Run 5k: Pre-Race Thoughts

Yes, you heard it correctly: I'm running a 5k on Sunday - a mere two weeks before the Chicago Marathon. Just like the Ravenswood Run which took place only one week after my PR at the Carmel Marathon, this race course winds its way through my neighborhood - hence I couldn't pass up running a race so close to home - regardless of how few days separates it from my goal race. The Oui Run 5k course not only runs along Welles Park, where I run with my dog every morning - but it also runs down the east side of Ravenswood Avenue on the Chicago Mikkeller Running Club "course".

The race is being hosted by my neighborhood French immersion school Lycèe Francais de Chicago and it starts and finishes on their campus - hence the "Oui Run" name. Anyway, it will be fantastic to actually run through more of my stomping grounds on blocked off streets.

Speaking of the course, check out this cool video:

I have 10 to 12 training miles on the docket for Sunday, so I will have a seven mile shakeout run prior to the race and then do a couple miles after for a cool-down. During the race I will try and keep my pace at around 6:00/mile. I am capable of running faster than that, but that's not the goal of this race. If I can run somewhere around 18:35 that will give me a little confidence boost for the marathon, but at the same time I'll still be respecting the fact that I'm in taper mode. That said, I will pull back on the stick if I need to. No use in overdoing it so close to my goal race just to finish a few meaningless seconds faster. In short, my main goal will be to have fun and remain healthy for the marathon. À dimanche!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

"Rock & Roll Half" Age Group Award

After finishing third in my age group at the Rock n Roll Half Marathon in July, I've been waiting patiently for my age group award to arrive. It finally came in the mail yesterday. I know some people were curious what an RnR "trophy" looks like so here's a picture of mine - a pretty decent sized wall plaque:

RnR Chicago 2016 AG Plaque (quarter to right)

In other news, my taper for the Chicago Marathon is on. My last big run will be my 20 miler on Sunday, then it's all easy medium and short runs until October 9th! The excitement builds...

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

I Ran 400 Miles in August

I ran 400.46 miles in August - a new monthly PDR. My previous monthly PDR of 375 was set two months ago. I can safely say that unless I move to a much colder climate someday, I will never run that kind of mileage in the month of August again for the rest of my life! The heat and humidity combo over the last four weeks made almost every run an uncomfortable, laborious, dehydrating slog with drenched shirts and shorts that I literally had to wring out in the sink when I got home. I could bitch about it, but I realize I chose to run in the swampy air and am lucky to have had the energy and opportunity to do so. Even if my marathon falls short of my expectations, I can be proud of myself for pushing through the muck and not bitching too much in the process.

In any case, you can probably tell I'm feeling somewhat drained by my marathon training at the moment. I'm considering taking a three and a half week taper instead of the two and a half one I had planned. I feel I have much much more to gain fitness-wise by getting myself rested and refreshed over the 3.5 weeks prior to the marathon than running an additional high mileage "junk" week and only giving myself less than three weeks to get my racing legs back.
Before my run this morning
So that means next week is my last long week and then it's taper time! I'm looking forward to the shorter runs and maybe getting some pep back in my step as the weather cools off and those nasty "heat indexes" fall off of the weather forecasts. Simply getting through next week in one piece will be my main goal - then I will treat myself to those incrementally shorter weeks and some hearty eating, which comprise a quality taper. I will top off my last long run at 20 miles three weeks out, but that will be by far the hardest run that my taper will entail. Fresh and fit for the start line will be my goal over the next five weeks!

98% of the hay in the barn. It's almost here....

August By the Numbers
Miles Run
400 miles
Rest Days5 days
Average Miles Run Per Calendar Day  (i.e. 400/31)
13 miles
Average Miles Run per Run Day (i.e. 400/27)
15 miles
Number of "Marathon Equivalents" (i.e. 400/26.2)15 "marathons"
Number of Runs45 runs

Friday, August 12, 2016

Chicago Marathon 2016 Training Update

Finishing the Carmel Marathon in April
I came up a mere 21 seconds short of a 2:59:59 marathon in Carmel in April. Since then, I have doubled down on my efforts to help ensure that I will be fit enough to give myself a chance at redeeming myself in October at the Chicago Marathon. In order for redemption, I have changed my normal marathon training plan in only one regard:

Run more miles than ever before. A lot more miles.

Not faster miles, not miles at any particular pace - but a lot of miles at any pace. It was an audacious plan which has been difficult due to this summer being relatively hot and humid one in Chicago. As someone who dreams and loves running in the arctic chill, these are not ideal temps to be hammering out 80+ mile weeks. But, you know what? I am trying not to complain. So I put my head down and power through the goop. If I have a 10 mile run planned for the middle of the day, I get outside, start running and then mentally countdown the miles remaining until I can take a cold shower, chug a glass of ice cold water and lounge in an air conditioned room when I get home. If it's gonna be hot on race day, I'm at least giving myself a chance by not cowering from the heat during training.

Anyway, here is a comparison of my 22 week training mileage from my previous two marathons (Chicago 2015 and Carmel 2016) mapped against my current training plan for Chicago:

The green line is actual + forecast for my 2016 Chicago Training (taper is on the right - weeks 20,21,22)

For those of you keeping track at home here are the totals:

I'm running 45.8% more miles this time around
So, if everything goes to plan, I will be putting in over 45% more mileage in the lead up to the Chicago Marathon in October than I did in the lead up to the Carmel Marathon in April. Here's hoping that that will translate into at least 21 second faster result. Fingers crossed for decent weather conditions and that I come up with a proper pace and fueling plan!

I'm going to take a three week taper this year and am planning on taking a cutback week soon. So, I only have four more weeks of high mileage remaining. It's almost here...

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Rock 'n Roll Half Marathon 2016 - Race Recap

I had long ago filed my half marathon PR of 1:23:53 in my "Unbreakable PR" folder. In a single race in May 2010, I annihilated my half PR by taking 14 minutes off of my previous time of 1:37:29. I have vivid memories of running the last mile of the 2010 Indy Mini with my legs feeling fresh and flying down the long final stretch. In fact, that moment was so euphoric - it's my favorite running memory ever. It was one of those rare moments in life when the impossible became possible.

Celebrating my impending PR
at the Indy Mini 2010 (1:23:53)

For the past six years, I've been chasing a new PR, but come up short in the 20 subsequent slower half marathons since.

Before my 21st PR attempt at the 2016 Rock n Roll Half, my chances of a PR were looking good. Coming into the race I had trained more than ever before, and I knew from the race conversion tables that a PR was within reach. In fact, the McMillan site predicted a 1:22:00 half based on my most recent 10k time. So, I knew I needed to just arrive to the starting line rested and in one piece, and if I played the pacing game correctly, I could likely cross the finish line and do what I hadn't done in six years and 20 attempts at the distance.

It didn't hurt things that the course is my favorite half marathon course which I look forward to tackling. The main drawback to RnR Chicago is that it usually takes place on one of the hottest days of the year. However, it does start at 6:30 a.m., so the first 45 minutes is usually in the shade. Luckily, this year the forecast called lower than normal temps - it was "only" 70 degrees at the start.

Time goal: First and foremost I wanted to PR so I knew I'd need to run a 6:21/mile pace at the slowest. I also knew the McMillan predicted time might also be in reach so I could allow myself to run 6:14/mile at the fastest.

Age Group goal: I noticed that a sub-1:28:00 would have gotten me first place in my age group in last year's RnR Half, so I thought that if things played out like last year, I might have a shot at at least a top 3 AG placement.

I woke up at 3:45. After breakfast, I packed my race bag and drove down to "my" parking lot about 1/4 mile from Grant Park. I used SpotHero for the first time and only paid $10 for a parking space. Anyway, once I walked over to the race, I used the more-than-ample facilities, got a start line picture...
At the start line before the race
...and then checked my bag. I did a 3/4 mile shakeout run on the sidewalk along Lake Shore Drive. As race start time got closer, I headed over to the first corral for the race to start. The "wheels start" went off a few minutes before the general 6:30 start and I noticed there was a woman pushing a baby stroller in the wheels group! I would see her later on during the race.
Start of the race (I'm at the tip of the red arrow with the green hat) (src)
A few minutes later our corral started and we were off!

The Race:
Miles 1 through 3:  My goal was to start the race at a 6:40/mile clip. However, this year there were 10k runners mixed in with the half marathoners, so loads of people shot out in front of me. It was tempting to speed up and join the fun, and I probably did a little bit of that as my first mile was around a 6:20. I was carrying a water bottle - that way I could blow through the aid stations early on and drink whenever I wanted. 6:19/mile
Mile 2 over the State St. Bridge
carrying my water bottle
Miles 4 through 6: This was the western-most portion of the race which leads down Madison Street, over the bridge a couple of blocks there and back. There were lots of spectators cheering us on as we headed down State Street, but once we veered onto Lake Street under the Green Line tracks, it became pretty quiet. I was enjoying the relative silence since I never experience the Loop without noise (except for this race). 6:13/mile

Miles 7 through 9: Did I mention the sky was covered with clouds and there was a strong wind blowing from the South? Probably not, because I didn't notice how strong the wind was until this section. It was a headwind, which meant if I played it safe now, I would be able to take advantage of the tailwind for the return trip to the finish. We left the Loop and ran by Grant Park southbound on Michigan Ave. This is one of my favorite parts of the course as it covers some of the last three miles of the Chicago Marathon in reverse direction. I finally took the last swig from my water bottle then ditched it at an aid station. Just like the Hot Chocolate 15k course, this race burns up a mile by running a boring out and back down MLK Drive before heading out to the lake. So much for course creativity! At that point, I noticed that the woman who was running with the stroller was ahead of me and really flying at a fast clip. I was amazed that she could go so fast pushing a stroller. Lots of people were yelling encouragement to her since it was surprising to see a stroller moving so fast. After about a half mile of following her, I slowly passed her and she shouted out "nice job!" to me as I passed! I could only muster a hand wave back to her as my breathing was labored. I would find out later that not only was she Julia Webb, wife of racing legend Alan Webb, but she also broke the stroller half marathon world record at the race! 6:17/mile

Miles 10 through 12: I was super happy to make the turn northbound on Ft. Dearborn Drive (which runs parallel to the Lakefront Trail) because now the headwind was a strong tailwind out of the south. I started to really push myself to speed up as we joined forces again with the 10k runners once again. They were supposed to be in a separate lane marked by pylons, but I did have to swerve a couple of times as some of them ran or walked around the pylons and into the half marathon lane. Anyway, I was slowly gaining on a woman running the half marathon, but every time I would think I was gaining on her, she poured on the speed and remained ahead. I dumped a cup of water on my head and it got my sunglasses' lenses wet, so I took them off and carried them. 6:09/mile

Miles 13 and 13.17  I was trying to figure out how I was doing relative to my goals, but my math skills were mostly out the window at this point so I focused on maintaining a decent pace. I felt like I could fade at any moment, so as a confidence boost, I thought back to the 100 mile week that I ran 14 days before and told myself that the fitness gains from that week would help me maintain my pace over the final stretch. In fact as we crested the last on-ramp to get back onto the downhill straightaway on Columbus Drive, I started to really speed up. The woman who was in front of me also turned on the jets and we both flew down the final stretch, although she continue to maintain her 20 yard lead. 
Totally serious as I run the last few yards...
finally starting to celebrate...
and finished!
Elated after six years and 20 attempts -
 a new half PR!
I threw my arms overhead and was finished! 5:53/mile


Official Time: 1:21:54
Official Pace: 6:15/mile
Garmin Pace: 6:13/mile

Place Age Group: 3rd out of 480 (AG Goal accomplished!)
Place Overall: 46 out of 11,016

Analysis: PR by two minutes! My "unbreakable PR" has finally been broken! The McMillan table was almost spot on again. There was only a six second difference between their predicted time and my actual time! Here are some other stats I cobbled together:

  • First 6.55 miles were run in 41:15
  • Final 6.55 miles were run in 40:39 (sweet negative splits, how I love thee)
  • First mile was a 6:20
  • Final mile was a 5:57
  • First 5k was run in 19:51
  • Final 5k was run in 18:36
All-in-all I think I ran as fast as I could given the conditions and my one week taper. If I had tapered longer or it had been 10 degrees cooler, maybe I could have run 30 seconds faster, but that's about it.

Post Race: 
I slowly walked down the finishers' chute and collected my medal.

After exiting the finisher's chute and getting my bag at gear check, I changed into dry clothes. Soon thereafter, I bumped into Annabelle and we walked over to the beer garden. Not more than a few minutes after getting our beers from the bar, the band on stage announced lightning was headed our way, so instead of pressing my luck with possible electrocution just to drink a can of Michelob Ultra, I decided to leave and offered Annabelle a ride home. We got into the garage just in time, because as soon as we drove out onto Lake Shore Drive, it started to rain cats and dogs.

The Future: 
Now it's time to focus solely on training to set myself up for a great Chicago Marathon. I just need to keep doing what I'm doing and I should be able to do well there. So, Grant Park - I'll see you again in October!

Monday, July 11, 2016

Dennis Krzykowski Memorial 5K (aka DK5K) Run 2016: Race Recap

On the Fourth of July I ran a hilly race called the DK5K in Cedarburg, WI. I've entered the race several times over the past seven years and it's the hilliest 5k I've ever run. The first mile has an uphill start then a long descent before another uphill jaunt into mile two. Mile three has several steep uphill climbs lasting a few blocks which lead back to the start. In any case as I've mentioned before, this race is a treat -  it's undulating terrain is a welcome change from flat-as-a-pancake courses. The race also pays dividends to runners who play it smart the first two miles in order to keep some fuel in the tank for the final uphill mile. I didn't have much hill training prior to the race but I hoped that the high mileage training I had done over the previous two months would pay off for me.
Cedarburg Mural
Elevation Chart: Note the two big hills in mile 3
The morning of the race, I drove from my hotel through downtown Cedarburg where residents had lined the streets with hundreds of empty lawn chairs in order to reserve spaces for their three hour 4th of July parade spectacular. I parked about 100 yards from the start line and went for a 4.5 mile warm-up run. During my warm-up I ran part of the course and tried to take the downhills and uphills gradually to condition my legs for the race. After I started to work up a decent sweat, I slowed down and ran up to the registration desk where I plunked down $30 in cash for my race entry and t-shirt.

This is a no-frills race and as such, there were no timing chips. So in order not to give away seconds - I lined up right at the starting line. The gun sounded and we were off!
Balloon start line at the DK5K. Yes, it is an uphill start!
Mile 1:
The first two hundred yards is up a steep hill, followed by a long descent of about a half a mile. A few high school speedsters shot out in front never to be seen again. Another seven runners were between them and me. I had to be careful and hold back once we started downhill because I did not want to over pound my legs (especially my shins). I injured myself in the 2010 version of this race by flying too fast on the downhill portions. I was in tenth place. 5:59/mile.

Mile 2:
This mile is the flattest on the course, and actually probably a net downhill. I began to slowly hopscotch a couple of runners. I may have sped up just a little too much at this point, wasting energy that I should have been saving for the big inclines ahead. But since this mile is relatively flat I didn't fear pounding my legs into an injury so I let them fly. I was in sixth place.  5:48/mile.

Mile 3:
This is the "Mile of Doom" as it's 3/4 of a mile of uphill running. There are two uphill stretches - one 1/4 mile and the other 1/2 mile that take runners near the finish. There was a group of four of us running dead even as we turned up Spring Street for the start of the final half mile of the race. I knew that it was going to be a war of attrition up the hill. As a confidence boost I told myself that I would beat the other three on the hill because I doubted that any one of them had also run 100 miles the week before. Advantage = me! I contemplated when I should make my move and try to shake the other three. I slowly sped up at the halfway point of the hill and only one of the three guys answered my surge and he kept right along side me. I didn't want to chance a finish line sprint with him, so I mustered all of my fading energy into a second surge and turned on the jets right before the top of the hill. Then I kept pouring on the speed when things flattened out. Suddenly I was alone. I couldn't hear the footfalls of the other runners. I had passed an intersection so I thought maybe I had mistakenly made a wrong turn!?  If I had taken a wrong turn, it was too late to go back, so I kept chugging along. 6:01/mile.

Mile 3.1
Still by myself, I made another turn and saw the finish line ahead. The last 175 yards are entirely downhill. I made a mad dash down the hill lest someone come out of nowhere to challenge me. I crossed the finish line and I handed a race official the strip from the bottom of my bib and was done!  5:05/mile.

My Results: 
  • Official Time: 18:20
  • Age Group: 1st out of 12+
  • Overall: 3rd out of 183
This was by far my fastest DK5K since the I started running it in 2010. This isn't a PR course so I was basically gunning for overall placement and I did well in that regard by coming in third. I'm also happy that my fitness basically carried me up the steep hills despite have little or no "hill muscles". I guess having lots of endurance training can help conquer hills. Anyway, I love this race just for the challenging topography alone. It's fun to mix things up (occasionally) when racing!

Post Race:
After stopping momentarily in the finishing chute to hand a race official the strip from the bottom of my bib, I continued to run. In fact I ran another 3.5 miles as a cool down. By the time I stopped for the awards ceremony I had logged a total mileage of 11 miles for the day. At the awards ceremony, I got my age group medal and then went back to the car to return to the hotel. All-in-all it was a great way to kick off my Fourth of July festivities!

Next Up: Rock 'n Roll Half Chicago on Sunday!