Disclaimer: I received free entry to Cinco de Miler as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review and write race reviews!
Ben, didn’t you just run a marathon the other week?
I did. And yes, Cinco was my first run back after the Illinois Marathon. No, I didn’t plan on even coming close to racing this. Just a casual 5 mile run.
Fortunately, fellow BibRave Pro Amanda was also running the race, and also was not planning to go crazy; so we decided to take it casual. Also fortunate, because she was able to grab my packet, as I wasn’t able to make it to the expo because of a work conference.
We lined up in the start corral just before the Mexican and American National Anthems played, and then we were off.
I had said all week I wanted to stick to 8 minute miles, if not a little slower. Plus, my legs were not entirely ready to get after it, as my quads reminded me the first few miles.
We rolled to the first mile (and to the first turnaround) in 8:02. Perfect. As we came back, both of us saw a few other runners we knew which is always a plus of out and back type races.
Mile 2 saw us turn back north, but my only real memory of this mile was that running with the wind was SO warm, and running against it was SO cold. But we hit Mile 2 in a 7:58, so still sitting right by those 8s. Perfect.
According to my Strava map, we went under Lake Shore Dr to reconnect with the path along the lake. Do I remember this? No.
Getting back on the gravel paths is nice, but with all the rain in the Chicago area, it became more of an exercise in puddle jumping. We snagged Mile 3 in a 7:55.
Mile 4 was memorable mostly because we went off-roading for a bit. That rain I mentioned had flooded part of the course, so we were diverted onto grass. Grass running is better than running through water. At one tricky turn (fortunately, plenty of volunteers) we were wondering if we were done yet. That thought process is likely what fueled a slightly quicker 7:43 fourth mile.
Mile 5 kept us along the lake before turning into Montrose Harbor and back to the finish. We (inadvertently) picked it up a little in the last mile, but it didn’t feel too bad. We churned to the finish in a 7:28 last mile, coming in at 39:23 for the official time.
Here is where I’d like to point out that we finished the race under a giant inflatable pinata. That might have been the best finish line ever.
After the race, we (read: I) grabbed a beer, put that down and went home. I only realized after I got home that was also had a tear off on our bib for food. I could’ve eaten a breakfast taco or two.
There was also a mechanical bull at the finish. And while I’d love to try that, riding a bull after running 5 miles seemed like the perfect way to get injured.
All in all, this was a good morning to run! I’m glad I took it easy, because my body was decidedly not ready for anything more than what I did. Aka: My recovery from Illinois hasn’t been the best.
And in true me form, I’ll be toeing the start line twice this coming weekend, so stay tuned.