After two solid months of training, a 5k and a 3.5 mile race, I was finally ready to tackle a 10k in Wheaton for the Run for the Animals. I had not run a complete 6.2 miles in a year since I ran the Run for the Animals 2022 Edition. My training for this year's race actually consisted of a few "long" runs of 5+ miles. The Sunday before the race, I actually ran/walked 10 miles to Fullerton Ave. beach. Since that didn't kill me, I had some confidence going into the race that I could run the whole thing without stopping.
Monday, June 5, 2023
Run for the Animals 10k 2023 Race Recap
I woke up at 5:15am and after packing my backpack, letting the pups in the backyard and pouring a travel coffee, I headed out at around 6:15 am for the 45 minute trip to Wheaton. Once there, I found adequate parking, but it's not surprising as this once super crowded race is not on the CARA circuit any longer. The Animals race was replaced on the CARA circuit by the Chicago 13.1 on the West Side of Chicago (it was taking place the following day). Anyway, the temps were a little warmer than I'd prefer at around 77 degrees with little wind.
Mile 1: I lined up about 20 rows back in the corral and at exactly 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. Lots of weaving. 7:42/mile.
Mile 2: I was in a throng of 5k runners who were gradually falling back. More weaving 7:19/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. 7:16/mile.
Mile 4: The race suddenly became much less hectic as it was only 10k runners at this point. 7:24/mile.
Mile 5: A I like this stretch for the tiny bit of "trail running" on gravel around Northside Park pond. At least it is something different than roads. 7:26/mile.
Mile 6: As I passed a couple of people, they offered encouragement. The heat was starting to get to me and so where the gradual uphills, I seem to always slow in this last mile. 7:48/mile.
Mile 6.23: I gave it all I had, but the heat was dragging me down. Luckily no one passed me like in previous years. I imagine everyone was suffering due to the conditions. I crossed the finish line and was done! 7:03/mile.
I picked up my finisher medal and water, met my sister and went to breakfast at a place in downtown Wheaton.
I'm happy to have run an entire 6.2 miles at a faster pace than I ran my 5k a month ago. My fitness definitely on a strong upward trajectory as big fitness gains are easier to get when you start from scratch. I would love to run train another month and then race again this summer. Maybe an evening run would be cool and cooler as we head into the dog days of summer!