September 1, 2022
September 1, 2022
The original post title: Summer Running, Had Me a Blast…is it fun and playful or just cheesy and embarrassing, who’s to say lol. But it is how I feel, writing this the week after the Chicago Triathlon which pretty much closes out the summer running season in my mind. Even in my very short time away from running early in the summer, I had so much FOMO that when I started feeling good again I joined in wherever I could. And I’m so glad I did.
Over the span of three weeks in August I ran three races, the Tracksmith Twilight 5000, the Heartbreak Mob Mile, and the Chicago Triathlon. Going into each race I had nerves about how I would be able to show up, feeling like I had lost a lot of progress when I was injured. But ultimately, I decided that didn’t really matter, signed up anyway, and surprised myself at every event.
This race really reignited my excitement for running. In previous years I loved working on my 5k paces and trying to get faster at that distance, but rarely race it anymore other than in a casual Turkey Trot with my family (though some might argue that family friendly trot is less casual than it should be). Either way, I had a lot of bad, hot runs going into this track race.
But when we showed up Friday night, the beautiful 75-degree conditions and the encouragement from friends on the sidelines made the 12.5 laps fly by and it felt great. I finished in 26:53 (an 8:39 min/mile pace). Of course, I’ll always be striving to get back to a sub 8 min pace (and faster!) and often comparing my best to others, but I definitely surprised myself and was proud of what I was capable of in the moment.
I started running somewhat regularly with Heartbreak Hill Running Co earlier in the year. They offer weekly coached speed workouts, which is something I wanted to continue after Find Your Fast, but wasn’t the best at doing them on my own (or pushing myself hard enough when I did). Well, Heartbreak definitely pushes me. The Heartbreakers who show up to workouts regularly are FAST, which is why I was very hesitant to sign up for the Mob Mile.
Again, I had no idea where my mile time would fall this summer, and was kind of nervous about disappointing myself after accomplishing a sub-7 min mile at the end of last year’s FYF training. I ended up finishing around 7:23, which I was happy enough with. Because, beyond the 7+ minutes I was actually running, I LOVED getting to cheer on the other heats with friends connected through so many groups around the city. From November Project to aSweatLife to Heartbreak to the Find Your Fast ladies, I truly felt so fulfilled and grateful to be a part of this Chicago running community.
This race was the perfect way to end the summer running season in my mind. I was so glad just to be able to participate after uncertainties with my knee at the beginning of the summer. I definitely didn’t do nearly enough bricks or probably enough bike rides in general, but despite the high winds and 90 degree “feels like” temps, I surpassed by 2-hour goal and finished in 1:51:56.
I loved the swim even though it was fairly choppy, but that’s typically my favorite sport of the three. The bike was real fun with a tailwind, not so much on the way back with the headwind (so, the usual). And the run was HOT. But I went into that last leg knowing I had plenty of time left to hit my goal so I was in pretty good spirits, even if it wasn’t my fastest pace or best run performance. Overall, it was a lot of fun and I now feel fully ready for fall running and less sweating haha.