Have kindof gotten in the habit of doing Soldier Field 10 Miler every few years. It is a fun race that is over memorial day weekend that honors military, has a military charity partner and active duty members pass out medals. My sister in law is able to fly for free (with her husband working for the airlines) so we has made it a tradition to fly out for a race each year.
I was still healing from my Knoxville crash and wasn't quite sure how I would do. At one point, I wanted to go for a PR (1:46:XX) but then decided it was going to be a grab bag of outcome. I also knew that there was a chance I would run with my sister in law
(who was visiting for the race) and or Tia who was pacing. I decided to
do a Powerbar giveaway guessing my finish time with my Tri Club and I expected everyone to guess high but they all guessed very close to my current PR (1:46ish). I am guessing there was some Athlinks stalking which I thought was funny.
Rolled downtown with Lani and picked up Joe to drive 3 blocks and park at 9th and Michigan. We walked over to the start and had about 15 minutes to spare. Corrals were closing and we hoped into ours. We decided we would both run our own races and I still wasn't sure what pace I was going for. Gun went off and got going.
Soldier Field 10 is a straight forward out and back course. There is a bit of congestion in the first mile while people are jockeying for position. I settled into a decent pace right away with a 10 min mile. We were in the second group of corrals and only waiting 8-10 minutes for elite gun. I decided that I was going to push as much as I could. I have been putting in the training coach has given me and I figured if my leg/body wasn't feeling it, i would slow down but my tri club (and their guesses) definitely made me want to see how I would do. So, i went. Weather was ABSOLUTELY PERFECT. Not much breeze, overcastish and coolish. PERFECT! Hit the 5Mile mark at 51:33. Was happy with that and felt good.
Right after the 5 mile mark, I saw a guy getting CPR. He was somewhat convulsing and there were lots of medics there to work on him. I wanted to stop, i wanted to see if i could do anything but I have learned that unless you are the first on the scene to either 1. call for help and wait with them 2. provide CPR b/c professional is present 3. provide sort of immediate assistance (like i did in the Glow Run when a girl had a bone sticking out of her leg) or once the medics get there, i can help them.. there isn't much I can do. The professionals were doing their job and I would just be standing their gawking. That is a hard move for me and it honestly was hard to keep running after that... "Was this guy gonna be ok?" "has his family been told yet?" I emailed the race earlier this week and hope he is ok... haven't heard back yet.
So, after that, the race kindof just passed along. It provided me a great opportunity to be reflective about my life and how grateful I am to be able to run and enjoy endurance sports as a hobby and NOT to take it for granted. I struggled to keep my pace and found myself bouncing around in speed. Running 9:00/mile pace and then wanting to walk for a bit... I just couldn't get into a good groove so I plugged through the second 5 miles much more random than the first. I ran/walked a bit and then saw the Stadium and picked it up. Finished strong as we came through the stadium and finished on the 50 yard line. Crossed, was medaled and then met up with Tia and Lani.
FINISH TIME: 1:49:34 --> Approx 2 minutes off PR, i'll take it
And and all, i was happy with my performance, happy to finish with a decent time for me but most importantly happy I am able to run and enjoy my freedoms. Thank you to all those that serve. I have gotten to know many vets through Team RWB and US Military and Endurance. I am grateful for your sacrifices.