Wooo!!! I completed my first 5K of my race season/year this past Saturday, March 21st! The week leading up to the race, I wasn't as nervous as I thought I would be. The nerves decided to set in the night before and even then... the nerves were not as bad as I thought it would be. I had a yummy steak fajita dinner the night before and started getting things ready for the morning. I packed the baby's bag so I had everything ready and wouldn't have to worry about it. Luckily, my girl had a long day and was super tired, so I had absolutely no trouble putting her to bed.
The weather forecast for the day was calling for cloudy skies, temps in the mid to high 40s and breezy. My alarm went off at 6 A.M. I thought about setting it for 5:00 A.M., but I figured 6 AM would give me enough time to do everything and be out the door by 7. Boy, oh boy was I wrong! I got up at 6 and I didn't make it out the door until 7:40. Anytime my hubby tags along to where ever it is we are going, I can expect to be late, or just getting there with enough time to rush! I can't stand that and it makes my anxiety act up big time! This will have to change. I might have to start lying about time in order to get him to cooperate with me lol! So, we got lucky with no traffic and got to Soldier Field by 8:40.
We pulled up to Soldier Field and saw a sign for parking for the Green Beer 5K and people directing the traffic. My husband, being the hardheaded stubborn person that he is decided to stop anyways despite the huge brightly lit sign flashing right in front of him and asked the person directing traffic where the parking for the marathon was. WAIT?! MARATHON??? I said to him, "I didn't know we were running a marathon today!! Hunny, this is NOT a marathon. It's a 5K. There's a HUGE difference!!" HA! I couldn't help, but laugh when I heard him say marathon. I even felt a little embarrassed! An even funnier thing is that I was having this conversation with a group of runners in a Facebook group a few days back about how people call races a marathon... no matter the distance when clearly it's not. Some people just don't know, so we kindly tell them the difference! :)
After we parked I took some time at the car getting the jogging stroller and everything else ready. We head up to the information tent to get our bib numbers and all that other good stuff. I get my bib number and they tell me and hubby that they ran out of shirts and that we will be receiving ours in the mail and they gave us extra beer tickets. I would have been disappointed if I had planned on wearing mine for the race, but I wasn't planning on wearing it, so it didn't matter to me. My hubby had planned on wearing his, so he was a little disappointed. As we were putting on our bibs, the DJ announced over the speaker that they had begun lining up at the starting line and to start heading over.
|Ready to go at the starting line.|
We make our way over to the starting line. Hubby and I get the baby's blankets and toys situated and ready to go. She usually sleeps during training runs, so we were hoping she would sleep during this race seeing as how we couldn't keep her cover open because of the weather. I get my Polar watch ready as well as my music and I am all set to go! Before the horn blew... we were warned over the speaker that the path had a lot of potholes and to watch our surrounds, then off we went! Things went really well during mile 1. I was feeling really good!! I ended up leaving the hubby and baby. I ran a little over half a mile before I decided to slow down as the path got really narrow and crowded. I started alternating between running and power walking while enjoying the beautiful lakefront views until I reached the water station after mile 2. By that time I was starting to suffer from dry mouth, so I was really happy to see that water station! After the water station the course takes a sharp turn to turn around and head back down the same path on the opposite side.
During mile 2, after the turnaround, the winds really started to pick up. Miles 2 and 3 were a little tough because of the wind. My nose started to run and I just wanted to be done already. At this point hubby was pretty far ahead of me for the first time and I focused on catching up with him as I knew the finish line was coming up soon. I finally had sight of him and I caught up with him. We see the finish line up ahead so we run the rest of the way to finish together. Even though he passed the finish line before me, it was only by a couple of seconds!!
|The finish line right behind me!|
After we crossed the finish line, we grab our medals, bottled water and a protein bar. We headed over to the post-race party; there was music, a few vendor booths, photo tent, and the race logo photo backdrop. The race logo backdrop is like the red carpet for races. I did the photo tent, but totally forgot about the logo backdrop, which I am bummed about. By this time my daughter was waking up just in time for pictures in the photo tent. She slept throughout the whole race like I had hoped and thought she would.
After we took pictures, we went to get our green beer! My first green beer!! I didn't drink it all because I didn't feel like drinking empty calories. I took a few sips to enjoy it and that was it. Remember, this momma is still in the weight loss process of this amazing lifelong journey to getting fit and being fit!
|Sipping on my green beer while talking to a group of ladies who gave me compliments on my tutu.|
I made it myself!!
Once we left the post-race party we walked to the lakefront to take some pictures before heading over to the Chicago River to see it while it was still green. The lake was so pretty and it reminded me of the Pacific Ocean when I was living in Hawaii. It was aqua green with spots of blue and other shades of green and the color of the lake kept changing rapidly. It's very rare that I get to see the lake when it looks like that. We got to see the Chicago River, but it no longer looked green. It just looked dirty. I guess we were a week too late! :(
|Super windy!! The sun decided to come out just in time for this picture and then it went away.|
|My daughters first time in Chicago and showing off her first medal!|
Overall, the race was amazing! It was well organized for the most part, but there were a few things that bugged me a bit. They ran out of shirts, the customer service could have been better with a faster response time, and they could have opened up registration a little earlier rather than a little over a month before race day. I consider that last minute planning and I don't like last minute planning. It raises my anxiety levels. The Soldier Field lakefront course was beautiful despite all the potholes we had to dodge. The volunteers/race staff were friendly, some more energetic than others.
The bling was amazingly huge and heavy! I wasn't expecting the medals to be as big as they were! Green Beer 5K really stands by their quote when they say it's Chicago's luckiest finisher medal! It really is! It beat all of the medals for Chicago's St. Patrick's themed races! I have already received a ton of compliments on the medal and people telling me how nice the bling was for being a 5K. Note to you all: There are 5K's with some amazingly awesome bling that exist!!
It will probably be the biggest bling I earn all year. A close contender would be The Glow Run 5K as they have some pretty big juicy bling as well. We'll see who wins for biggest and juiciest bling of the year! Can't wait to see which one wins biggest bling!! We will find out in August!
Would I do this race again?! HELL YES... because you know I'm all about that bling, 'bout that bling... ;) I recommend this race to anyone looking for a fun 5K with a St. Patrick's theme. It is very walker friendly (for those of you who are walkers) and a great option for your first 5K whether you are a runner or a walker. The environment was very non intimidating and comfortable! I hope to see these guys around again next year!