When my mom decided to visit this weekend I talked her in to doing a race with me. The Proud to Run 5K/10K is a long standing part of Chicago Pride Fest and I have participated in the 10K 3 times before. It’s up at Montrose Harbor which is inconvenient to get to for me, but such a pretty area to run that it’s worth the trek. In years’ past we’ve rented a car, brought Barksdale and enjoyed some time on the dog beach afterwards. Since mom and I were cabbing it, Barksdale didn’t get to go so I will make it up to him by posting past race photos of us.

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It was already 70 degrees when we left the house shortly after 7am and with my marathon being 5 weeks prior I haven’t done any speed workouts or even pushed my pace too much so this was not a year to PR, but rather to enjoy the view and aim for a tempo run. My mom’s fitness outlet is swimming so she planned to power walk the 5K while I ran the 10. The 10K takes off first followed by the 5K 10 minutes later so mom and I stayed together until it was time for me to line up, and took our spots.

Pre-RacePre-race photo op (bright colors encouraged)

The gun went off and I felt anything but fast so I focused on passing a few runners at a time then settled into a comfortably fast pace. By the first mile I felt like I found a good pace and let my mind wander, enjoying the lake view and the sounds of a race. I saw a friend who is training for Chicago and I thought how nice it was to not be doing more than 10K in the heat; my body is not used to it yet! I started to feel fast again past the 2 mile marker and picked up the pace, although with no Garmin I didn’t know exactly what I was running, based on the time splits at the mile markers I was hovering just under an 8 min/mi.

I somehow did not see the 3rd mile marker and kept thinking, “this is the longest mile ever” until I saw mile 4 in the distance and felt some relief. It was pretty humid so with 2 miles to go I focused on keeping my pace steady, not pushing it more but not backing off. The course marshals between miles 4 and 5 were super energetic and their high-fives definitely gave me the boost I needed. One guy yelled “RUNNERS HAVE NICE BUTTS!” so I yelled back, “AND WE KNOW IT!!!” because I really enjoy an interactive race experience.

Once you wind around past mile 5 and onto the final stretch it seems like you are closer than you are and it gets me every time. I kept repeating to myself not to sprint but to hold steady until I saw the finish. I think I was able to kick it a little to the finish and while the guy who handed me my medal (new this year) was a welcome sight, the guy who gave me water was a Godsend. I downed that sucker fast and hung out near the finish to get a picture of mom crossing the finish line. She finished in 44 flat, placing 9th in her age group, proving power walking can indeed be faster than running!

photo 3I finished in 48:43 , 2 1/2 minutes over last years’ time but still fast enough to place 6th in my division! We grabbed some Clif Mojo samples and fruit and snapped another photo before heading back home for coffee.

photo 4I love this race and have full intentions of doing it again. It’s a fun time and for a fair price they include a great shirt, medal and this year gave a tote that I’ve already received compliments on!

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Published by Samantha Kellgren

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