|Me and my neighbors Stacey and Kirk before the start of the Terrapin 5k|
|Post race food: Beer, processed cheese wrap, and a sprinkle donut. Mmmm!|
Mile 1: "Don't start out too fast", I say to myself. My goal is to ease in to the race and run about a 6:30/mile for the first mile. However, I am running with the gazelles and we are going quite a bit faster than I would like. After about a quarter mile we are running in the infamous McCormick Place tunnel from Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon infamy. The tunnel is almost completely dark and full of potholes. Oh well, I ran through this damned tunnel two weeks ago, so I'm an old pro at traversing it. During this mile I keep telling myself to dial it back, however the adrenaline takes over, and I run a 6:00/mile for the first mile! Ooops, I hope I can hang on...
Mile 2: I'm still trying to slow the pace to something north of 6:20, but the dogs are already loose, and my legs feel like they're flying. However, this is a very hot mile as there is no shade as we run alongside Lake Shore Drive. After the turn-around we head north on the trusty old Lakefront Trail. The lyric I am playing over and over in my head is "Feet don't fail me now" by Metric. 6:06/mile.
Mile 3: It is getting really hot. At least there is a tiny bit of shade provided by the tiny trees between the lake and the path. Although my lungs and legs are hurting pretty bad, I realize I have a small amount of juice left in my legs. (BTW, knowing that you have energy left near the end of the race is a great feeling to have). 6:07/mile.
Mile 3.1: There is a group of five runners ahead of me. The little juice I have left put into use. I sprint by all of them in the last 50 yards for a triumphant finish. 6:00/mile. Total time 18:49, a Terrapin p.r.! I lift my arms like some kind of idiot. Four weeks ago, I couldn't even crack 20 minutes. Now, I am running sub 18:50. So obviously, it's time to celebrate!
It was on to meet the neighbors and enjoy the free craft beer, cheese wraps(?) with donut appetizers, and Smoking Popes and Mr. Blotto (who both played stellar sets).
Stats: Age Group: 3rd out of 208. Overall: 27th out of 3,543.
Analysis: The combination of a well-run race, great bands, great beer, and a beautiful setting, the Terrapin 5k is worth every penny. Oh yeah, it makes things all the better when you can run a race p.r. and place in your age group!
I will definitely try and be back next year.