Chicago Urbanathlon – The results are in…..

Saturday I had my final big race of the season for me. This crazy race was my final big test that I set out to accomplish this year as I set a goal to get in shape and push my body. I have posted many, many times on this blog on my training and the races and am currently working on a final post of my thoughts on my goal setting and accomplishments. This post is not about that, but the actual race that I ran this Saturday with some other excellent athletes from my school staff.

Friday night I could not sleep. We drove to Chicago and had a good meal to get ready. When it was time to go to sleep my wife who has been battling a cold had a coughing fit from 12:00 – 12:45. After that point of hearing her struggle I was wide awake and my brain was going crazy. I had about a million thoughts racing through my head. I could not get myself to relax and fall asleep. Finally, at around 2:30 I dozed off and woke up to my alarm at 4:15 am.

I was tired. My eyes felt heavy and my legs felt like cement blocks. I was mad because I felt so bad. I started to get nervous about not being able to run well. I just had to stop the thoughts and get my morning ritual going on race day. I brewed some coffee, ate an egg and ham sandwich and just chilled reading on my iPad. I tried to stay offline all weekend to give myself a break from the internet and computer. As time slowly ticked by I felt better and more and more nervous. I don’t know why I was so nervous, but I think it was because I could not anticipate how I would do on the challenges.

We left at 6:00 and got to the starting line area around 7:00. We all got ourselves ready to go and Mr. Uhde took off on the bus to his station, Mr. Shepherd took off to get to his relay station, and Mrs. Reid made her way to the assigned wave for the start of the race. I also took off and waited to hear the horn.

7:45 the elite runners took off and Mario Lopez kept the waves moving every couple of minutes.

We had beautiful weather. The sun was out and it was not too cold, but not too hot and I felt good. I took off at a pace faster than I wanted after ran the first mile in 7:39. I ran the second mile in 7:37 and hit the first obstacle of the tires and balance walk. My third mile was around 8:07 with the obstacle. I was moving at a good pace and felt good. I hit a wall at the fourth mile like I always do, but overcame that and continue to run at a pace around 8:08 for the next mile. I wanted to push on the bike path and cranked out a 6:16 mile at one point. When it was all said and done I ended up with the following results:

Overall, I felt quite pleased with my time. I had a goal of 90 minutes and I accomplished this feat. However, I was a little mad because I still had some left in the tank and in hindsight know where I should have pushed harder on some of the running portions. I honestly think I could have ran at around a 7:50 mile pace, but that would be extremely hard and not being able to do anything else the rest of the weekend. At the time I was not sure how to gauge what to keep in reserve because some obstacle early on really taxed me when I thought they would be easy and the ones I was worried about I breezed through. Next year I will have a higher goal for myself and do feel quite good with my results. 
My body is very sore today. Will take things easy for a week or two and then get back into the swing of things. This was a fantastic race. The course is beautiful. How often does one get to run on Navy Pier when nobody is around or run up the stairs of Soldier Field and see the whole stadium? The Bettendorf Relay team of Mr. Uhde, Mrs. Reid, and Mr. Shepherd kicked butt running in 1:30 and taking 17th in their  relay division out of 244 relay teams. Everyone trained hard and pushed themselves and the results showcase the hardwork. Good job to everyone and look forward to doing this race again next year.
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