After a three year hiatus, I was finally back in Wheaton for the Run for the Animals 10k. I had not run a complete 6.2 miles since the Lincolnwood Turkey Trot back in November. My training for this year's race consisted of a month and a half of three mile daily run/walks and a few weekend seven mile run/walks. I also walked the dogs 2.5 miles a day. So for the four weeks prior to the race, I was at least on my feet and in motion in some capacity for ~30 miles per week. So my main goal was to finish the race without walking. I knew the key to accomplishing this would be a slow first mile or two.
Tuesday, June 7, 2022
Run for the Animals 10k 2022 Race Recap
I woke up at 5:15am and after packing my backpack and letting the pups outside (and back in). I headed out at around 6:00 am for the 45 minute trip to Wheaton. Once there, I quickly found adequate parking which was surprising, as in years past there were usually a lot of people already parked at that time. However, this year the race is not on the CARA circuit. I believe the Run for the Animals race was replaced on the CARA circuit by the Chicago 13.1 on the West Side of Chicago (it was taking place on the same day). Anyway, the temps were seasonable at around 70 degrees with little wind.
Mile 1: I lined up in the 8:00/mile section of the corral and at 7:30am we headed out. The first half of the race is a giant loop (see above picture - the square on the right hand side). This loop is the section where the the 5k runners share the course with the 10k runners. 8:09/mile.
Mile 2: I was in a throng of 5k runners who were gradually falling back. 7:44/mile.
Mile 3: This stretch has a long downhill portion, then an uphill portion just before the 5k finish line. Just before the 10k runners approached the 5k finish line we veered to the right. 7:30/mile.
Mile 4: The race suddenly became much less hectic as it was only 10k runners at this point. 7:43/mile.
Mile 5: A little bit of trail running in the suburbs? Perhaps, but it was mostly just running on gravel around Northside Park pond. At least it was something different than roads. 7:35/mile.
Mile 6: A young guy started to pass me and I said "good job" to him. He acknowledged and replied to me "good job" as well. I spotted what appeared to be a very young runner ahead of me (turns out they were 9 years old). 7:34/mile.
Mile 6.23: My legs were holding up remarkably well despite not having run over 5 miles consecutively since November. I gave it all I had, but my legs just wouldn't get a ton of turnover. Some young guy flew by me like I was standing still. I hit the finish line with my hands overhead and I was done! 6:42/mile.
I picked up my finisher medal and banana, met my dad and sister and went to breakfast at an outdoor restaurant with my dad.
I'm happy to have run an entire 6.2 miles without stopping, My fitness slightly improved over my fitness for the 10k in November. I would love to run another race this summer. After a few days of rest, I'm going to research some ideas.