Monday, July 27, 2015

Double Race Weekend Part One: Proud To Run 2015 Race Recap

I am FINALLY getting around to my part one post about my double race weekend I had last month on June 27th. Can you tell that this momma has been busy, busy, busy and struggling to catch up on the blog!! I set a goal to run two 5K's in a single day. It came about when there were two separate races I wanted to do on the same day. Not to mention, it would make for awesome training for my 10K in August.

After the news was announced for the legalization of same sex marriage in ALL 50 states and just a few days before Pride Weekend, I was even more EXCITED to do the Proud To Run race and attend Chicago Pride the following day!!! The news couldn't have come at a better time!!! 

We were running late like always and arrived 5 minutes BEFORE the 5K start. We got our Proud To Run shirts - I did wear it the next day to Chicago Pride. Woot woot!! We got everything that was included in our packet, except for the Whole Foods Pride bag. I didn't realize it at the time and after the race I wasn't sure where to get it from, I figured I would just email them later to find out if they had run out and maybe that was the reason we never got one. After check-in we rushed to put on our bibs and joined the end crowd of the 5K participants as they were crossing the starting line. 

I went ahead of hubby and my daughter to find a good pace and to stick to it. I passed a group of cheerleaders cheering us on during mile 1. There were volunteers cheering us on at every mile, which was amazingly awesome! Surprisingly, my body was not tired at all. I had no pain after dealing with foot and knee pain for the whole week leading up the race. It all went away on race day. The course was absolutely beautiful!! I didn't notice any mile markers on course, so I had rely on my Polar watch to let me know what mile I was on. I really enjoyed this course. The scenery was so damn beautiful. As I was running, I looked ahead and slightly to my left only to find a beautiful scenic view that reminded me of Hawaii or a part of California. I had to get a photo and sadly, this photo doesn't do it justice.

Such a beautiful course with lots of puddles to dodge.

This course did have a flaw. On a part of the course, I am not sure if it was during mile 2 or 3 - might have been during mile 3. As the race participants on course are making a slight left, there were runners and bikers who were not a part of the race on another path, which collides with the one we were on and the path we had to make the slight left to get onto. Those people came close to colliding with race participants NUMEROUS times. I highly disliked that part of the course and feel that something needs to change for next year. I felt that those runners and bikers who were not running the race were being extremely rude. They weren't watching where they were going and they felt that they had the right of way. Bikers were also too close to the runners, zigzagging through participants and splashing them with puddle water. 

I finished my race and felt amazingly awesome afterwards and that is a feeling I don't get too often after races, though a feeling I wish I experienced more of. I knew I didn't have any finish line photos of me and I wish I did because this race was everything to me and I had a strong finish. There were so many reasons as to why I was so pumped up and had that extra push to do my best during this race. I do feel that race photography is a very important part of ANY race and I feel that it should be included.
Since I crossed the finish line before hubby, I thought I would get some finish line photos for him :)


After crossing the finish line, I noticed that I made a PR!!!!!! My official finish time was 47:10! I shaved 6 minutes off of my last 5K time. 

I ran this race for many reasons, some of which I cannot share, but others... 

I ran this race for equality, love, lgbt community, celebration....

I also dedicated my run to some special people in my life. 

This race was just amazing! So many awesome things to celebrate and it really showed with my official time and my face that I was filled with so much joy for so many reasons.

After hubby crossed the finish line, we made our way over to the Athlete Village and Festival. Hard to explore with a stroller in the crowd, but we managed. 

Whole Foods hooked it up after the race with amazing post-race food. They had fruit, bagels, and all kinds of bread and different spreads like cream cheese to put on it. They might of had more. I wasn't paying close attention. I was rushing trying to get out of the crowd with my stroller and finish making my rounds in the Athlete Village before I had to make my way to my next race event. I really wanted to get pictures of their set-up display, but I was so frazzled with everything that I totally forgot.

CSMA (Chicago Metropolitan Sports Association) had a tent and was giving away rainbow bracelets. REM-Fit had a tent and were engraving medals for $3. I was going to get it done and then changed my mind at the last minute and now I am really kicking myself in the ass for that decision because I really want it engraved now. :'( 

Photo credit: Maria Alejos Photography

The medals always go in her mouth! Later in the year I think I might compile all of the, "medal-in-the-mouth" photos to share with you all. You know I had to dress my girl in a cute rainbow-colored outfit.

After exploring the Athlete Village we waited around to hear the awards and raffle prizes.

Giving away awards and raffle prizes.

Love the medal!! This one has a special place on my medal wall display.

The following day, I went to the Chicago Pride Parade with my hubby, daughter, brother, and nephew. I wore my Proud To Run shirt and hubby wore his medal. During the parade I saw another person wearing their Proud To Run medal in the parade.

Chicago Pride Parade 2015 with my brother

Few goodies I picked up from the pride parade.

It was a fun weekend. Loved the race, the parade, the whole experience and celebration. Can't wait for next year! I think this may be a new tradition. Proud To Run.... Kudos to you guys for all that do to put on a nice local race/celebration during Chicago Pride weekend.

Disclosure: I have received a comped entry to this event in exchange for posting about the event and reviews of the individual race experiences.

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