Up until three weeks ago, it had been a year since I'd run. I broke my toe during the Covid Times and then took a prolonged break from running. Afterwards, I did a couple of starts and stops trying to get back into running. Then one day last year I stopped entirely and pretty much didn't restart until now.
I usually walk the dogs two to three miles a day, so that has made up the bulk of my fitness. Three weeks ago, I realized that the annual neighborhood race, the Ravenswood Run 5k was taking place at the end of the month. So, not wanting to sit it out once again, I started training again with the goal of simply running the whole race at whatever pace I could.
I averaged about 15 miles/week of running (and about 15 miles of walking) over those three weeks. I hadn't run the Ravenswood run since 2019, and it was good to have it back on the calendar.
No shake-out run this time. With only three weeks of training, I needed to save strain on my legs and keep them as fresh as possible. I took the dogs for a quick walk and then my dad and I jumped in the car and headed over to the course. Typically we walk over to the race, but we had some errands to run afterwards, so we drove.
My goal was to do a step down in race pace over the three miles:
8:30/mile, 8:00/mile then 7:30/mile.
Mile 1: This is no longer a CARA Circuit race - I think the CARA circuit "Race That's Good for Life" was the same day. So, none of the speedier runners were present. They had a corral system (with 2 minute intervals between corrals), which for such a small 5k makes me wonder why.
I started about 20 rows back. The starter yelled "go", and we were off. We ran by the German International School of Chicago and they cheered us on in German. I went out way faster than planned, but my lungs were handling the load quite well. 7:47/mile.
|During Mile 1. Can you spot me?|
Mile 2: It was about 42 degrees, and I was wearing shorts and a singlet, but was still getting hot. I was not envious of the people who were still running with jackets and long sleeves. I slowly started to pass large swaths of people who had gone out too fast. 7:41/mile.
Mile 3: Right after passing the two mile marker, we ran into the quaint shopping area of Lincoln Square and I once again said my goodbye to the still shuttered Chicago Brauhaus. I was passing quite a few people down Lawrence. I was looking forward to the southbound tailwind once we made the turn onto Damen. 7:10/mile.
|About 200 yards from the finish|
Mile 3.16: My only motivation at this point was to try and pass a couple of people who were ahead of me. They were also turning on the jets, so I couldn't quite catch them. We crossed the finish line within a second of each other.
I stepped on the second (and final) mat and stopped my Garmin. I was finished!. 6:19/mile.
Official Finish Time: 23:38
Official Pace: 7:37/mile
Garmin Pace: 7:29/mile
Place Overall: 145th out of 1,112 (about 50% less runners than 2019)
Place Age Group: 7th out of 50
AG used to be tougher since this was a CARA circuit run in years past. However, I'll take 7th place considering my minimal training.
I ran backwards through the course (using the sidewalk) and found my dad and ran with him a bit.
I'm not going to race for another month until the Run For the Animals 10k. I don't anticipate ramping up the mileage between now and then. I like where I'm at fitness-wise, so I want to keep the positive vibes going. I think a month of consistent yet moderate training will get me to where I want to be for the 10k - (i.e. in just a tiny little bit better shape)!
Run for the Animals in June where I'll be the baby in my new age group!