You may have seen me use this word on Twitter in the past few days. What does it mean? It's the anniversary of when I started running. In other words, it is the anniversary of the day that I changed my life forever.
|After the 2012 BTN Big 10K (5K)|
Come race day, I'd never run before, but I vowed to try to jog as much of it as I could. I finished the 5K in 41:09, and was totally exhilarated.
After a few days, once my soreness subsided, I wanted more. I wanted to run. I bought a Couch to 5K program for my phone and the rest, as they say, is history.
This year, I was pleased to find out that the Big Ten Network had indeed decided to make this an annual event, and I signed up for the 10K race only hours after registration opened on the website.
Friday night, now a seasoned runner, I did as any nerdy runner would do. I laid out my clothes for the next morning, down to the socks, and meticulously packed my race bag (selecting a bright yellow bag that I'd gotten from a previous race so as to make gear check easy).
|Before the 2013 BTN Big 10K|
The corrals, in my opinion, were still a little too over-full for the size of the course, and Mile 1 was largely spent bumping into people. The lakefront trail is not a wide avenue, and much of the race I felt boxed in and stuck by the swell of people. I think my pace probably suffered as such.
I ended up being about two and half minutes over my goal finish time, finishing with a 59:19. I wasn't happy about my time, but I did also hit a big wall at Mile 5 with a problem that seems to keep happening.
This particular time, I was breathing fine, my heart rate was fine, but yet, suddenly, it felt like my lungs were in a vise. I could still breathe just fine, but the chest pressure of course made me panic, which made me then feel even more like my chest was being crushed. It was a big vicious cycle. Does anyone else experience anything like this? If so, how do you combat it, distract yourself, or at least calm yourself down so you don't end up making it worse? This has happened my last two 10Ks and it's really caused issues for my times, not to mention my sanity!
My own problems aside, while I was happy that the race had such a great response and I believe the organizers said they tripled their registrations from the previous year, I think that the literal width of the course is just too small for that many people.
The organizers do have to consider how a bottleneck venue will perform with as many entrants as there were. It was a bit of a mess as people (very) slowly shuffled to claim snacks, water, Gatorade, and bananas, then proceeding to the medals.
Of course, all in my corral had the same gear check station, sectioned by bib numbers (of which all in the corral were of the same bib range). So as lines were scant at other gear check locations post-race, since of course my entire corral finished at basically the same time, there was a huge line to pick up gear at my section.
I picked up my free school sunglasses (thankfully I didn't go to Illinois -- that sunglasses line was longer than the free beer line, whereas Northwestern's tent crowd was nonexistent). After picking up and guzzling my free beer and my free chicken sausage, I was about done with the crowds and was just so tired. I ended up stopping for breakfast at a nearby breakfast place on Michigan, but then headed home.
Do I regret doing this race with those... disappointments in mind? Absolutely not.
My runnerversary is a reminder of how far I've come and how much my life has changed in the past year. In a way, this race is responsible for my entire transformation. I'm a runner now. I have my good and bad races and my pace isn't perfect, but I am a runner.
BTN Big 10K
July 27, 2013