Thursday, August 2, 2012

Terrapin 5k Recap: Race PR + Beer + Neighbors = Good Times

There's nothing like a well organized 5k with great music, great beer and partying on the lawn in front of Soldier Field with your neighbors to rejuvenate the tired marathon training soul. Quite a few of my North-side neighbors were running this race, and we had a great time hanging out before the race.  Afterwards, we enjoyed front row seats watching the "Smoking Popes" and "Mr. Blotto."  We may also have had a "Magic Hat" beer or two.  Oh yeah, I had a race p.r. and a 3rd place age group finish!  Awesome, awesome evening. The only kind of evening that a good race and good after-race party can bring!
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!

Here is my recap of the race:

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).

StatsAge 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.
Smoking Popes

Mr. Blotto

16 comments:

  1. Congrats! That race looks so fun, i fully intend to run it one of these years!

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    1. Thanks. You should give it a try!

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  2. Replies
    1. Thanks. I wasn't expecting to run it quite so fast, but I'll take it!

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  3. 18:49! Woot woot Speedy!

    Sounds like a fun race minus that damned tunnel. I hate that thing. Congrats on the AG placing!

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    1. Yeah, could do without the tunnel. I wonder if there is a way to reroute the race to avoid it? Oh well...

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  4. Awesome, congrats on a speedy time!!! I tried to convince my (non-runner) brother to do this race because I know at one time he was a Smoking Popes fan. He didn't seem interested ...

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    1. Yeah, I was stunned that the Smoking Popes were one of the bands at the after-race party. Very cool.

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  5. An impressive race in some opressive heat!

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    1. Thanks! But I am still looking forward to fall.

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  6. Wow, in 4 weeks you went from not being able to break 20 minutes to running 18:49!?!? That is AMAZING!!! CONGRATULATIONS!!!

    I am all about the post-race processed cheese snack and doughnut, too. Awww, yeah!

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    1. Thanks. The processed cheese snack and doughnut were a pretty unusual post-race dinner!

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  7. That cheese wrap was so gross. I ate a corner of it, then decided it had a gas station refreshment quality, and chucked it.

    Holy crap you're fast! 18:49?!?!?!

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  8. Awesome awesome race! Congrats on the PR! A few of my running club friends did this race and I think it sounds like a blast :)

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