The dreaded 5K…….or at least that is what I had always thought about running a 5K. Before I was a “runner” 3.1 miles was unthinkable to do in a race setting and now that I have been running long distances for a couple of years the 5K was scary, actually terrifying and something I never wanted to partake in. My thinking being 3.1 miles is just to short of a distance for my longer distance runner’s liking, knowing I would have to get in quicker miles than I ever have on a half marathon (my preferred race) just seemed impossible…….BUT then I saw the name of the race BURGERS & BEER! Give me a reason to eat and have a beer, I was sold immediately! My friend Stacy was shocked when she asked me to join her in the race and I said Yes, since she knew I wasn’t a fan of the 5K, in fact I had never ran one before.
Stacy, her friend Kristi, and I got to the race site with extra time to relax before the dreaded 3.1 miles. Although I was pumped for the Burgers & Beer I still had to get through that 5K first.
The race was held downtown Chicago on the lakefront, which worked perfectly being on a Monday since I work right there. The convenience getting to a race has never been easier.
I initially was planning on just having fun during the race and not really pushing myself. Then by the time the race started I told Stacy I planned to do 8 minute miles, I figured that way I wouldn’t have to really push myself, but wouldn’t be disappointed in my results.
Well I thought I needed to push myself harder to make those 8 minutes and then as I was, my watch was showing my pace under 8, but I was comfortable so I went with it. It took me the first mile to get into my groove, but then I felt pretty comfortable under the 8 minute goal pace. Well at least until the end when I upchucked soon after crossing the finish line, which reminded me of the high school track days when I would drink a sports drink soon before my run. Maybe that pomegranate juice that afternoon wasn’t a great idea! Seeing my results and being satisfied with the numbers made me rethink the 5K being so terrifying.
Eating the burgers from Goose Island and the 312 beer was a great way to celebrate finishing my first 5K.
Although I felt like I rocked the 5K I am not sure I will be jumping to sign up for the next. I think going forward I will look at the 5K race as a “fun race”. Something I will do to have fun with friends when it’s a festive event.
What is your favorite race distance to run?
What was your funnest 5K you ever did?
And just because of the 5K name-what’s your favorite beer?