Sunday, June 30, 2013

Proud to Run 5K

Yesterday morning, I ran the Proud to Run 5K that was part of Chicago's Pride weekend. It was the third 5K that I've run in June, and my ninth overall, so I felt more confident going into it than I usually have with other races.

After the race!
The weather didn't work out in my favor during the last two races that I've run, but fortunately, Proud to Run stayed dry! With that issue out of the way, I felt that I could really focus on what mattered, which was trying to set a new PR, or to at least do better than my previous time.

About half an hour before the start time, some trainers from FFC-Halsted led us all in a warm-up stretch. I was dreading the possibility of it being just a simple leg and arm stretching session, and as we were packing into the stage area, I whispered to Ginger, "You know, I could really go for a dance party right about now." Either the FFC people heard me, or I must be psychic, because a dance party is exactly what we got! Sure, there were some parts where we did the basic leg and arm stretches, but more so than that, it was a high-energy and high-intensity warm-up dance routine. It was like Zumba, only with a lot of jumping jacks and "raise the roof" moments thrown in. I almost didn't want it to end, but then I remembered, oh yeah.. I'm actually here to run a 5K.

Like the Biggest Loser 5K from two weeks ago, I decided to run this race without any music. It was sort of an experiment to see how well I would do without the distraction of headphones falling out, adjusting my playlists instead of focusing on running, etc. In that regard, it felt liberating to not have to constantly check to make sure my earbuds were in, and to listen more to the natural rhythm of my body, rather than that of, say, Kaskade. On the other hand, I did miss my running app that helps me to pace myself with running and walking intervals. Overall, I don't see any considerable gains from my experiences with running without music, so they'll probably be back with me for my next race.

Admittedly, I didn't do a whole lot of dedicated training for this race, so I didn't truly expect to set a new record. My main goal was to work on my pacing and breathing, and in those regards, I felt that I did well.

Time: 46:51 (an improvement from two weeks ago!)

Pace: 15:05/mile

Organization: They gave us a whole week to do packet pick-up in Lakeview, and I was able to pick up both of our shirts and bibs in less than 3 minutes. The whole race seemed well put-together from start to finish, with plenty of water and snacks available, and the warm-up dance activity was a great inclusion that more races should have. I would only deduct one point for the fact that at the start time, there wasn't an announcement to welcome us to the race and tell us that the start time was getting near. I could tell that a lot of people were surprised when the horn suddenly sounded, and then it was time to begin. 4/5

Course: I appreciate the fact that there weren't any parts where the course looped on the trail, since that would have felt too cramped. However, there were a couple of sloping hills along this part of the lakefront trail near Montrose, but those were relatively minor compared to the upward hills in other races I've done (I'm looking at you, Run to Remember). 4/5

Total: 8/10 - Would definitely run again!


  1. Congratulations on finishing so many 5Ks. I ran Proud to Run last year and really liked it as well. Good luck preparing for the 10K!

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