Hot Chocolate 15K *PR*

I’m still a little surprised by how fast I ran this morning. Not only did I PR by over 5 minutes, but I also smashed my goal of running a 1:18
I crossed the finish line and saw this. 
1:15 on the dot, with my official time being a couple seconds faster. 

I’ll start from the top. 

This morning I woke up at 5AM, showered, pounded coffee, and picked out my outfit.

I scrounged around the kitchen for something carb-y and found a baguette in my freezer. I defrosted it in the microwave and had some toasted with coconut oil and fig jam. I also snacked on a couple grapes and drank a couple glasses of water.  I had about 10 minutes to mess around before heading down to Grant Park, so I blogged and took photos of myself. I also put the camera and the map out for my husband so he could find me and take a photo during the race. Apparently, I wanted this day to be documented by pictures from start to finish.

I found Kelly at our Blogger Meet up spot… apparently “Meet Up” meant it was a party of two. Lots of other Chicago Runner Bloggers had run this race previously, and had bad experiences, so the blogger presence was lacking.

Luckily, we were in the same corral (after I had it changed at the Expo) so I just followed her lead and made our way up towards the front to “B”. Being in “B” sounded really legit and speedy, but I was assured at the Expo that this corral was for an estimated pace of 8:00-8:30. While waiting in our corral, we ran into another Chicago Runner Blogger  Amanda from TooTallFritz.

A couple minutes after “A” sped off, it was our turn. We shuffled up to the starting line and we were off. I knew Kelly was aiming for 8 minute miles, and she has more racing/pacing experience than I do, so my plan was to stick with her as much as I could and see how it went.

We started off pretty fast, which worried me. I felt good, but the idea of keeping the pace at this level for 9 miles seemed to be delusional.

Mile 1- 8:13
Mile 2- 7:37 (whoa!)
Mile 3- 8:02 

After Mile 3, the excitement of running downtown was over and it was fairly mundane, running down Lake Shore Drive to the turnaround point. There were also some tunnels, which made for the dreaded “Low Satellite Reception” message showing up on my Garmin. It was actually comical because there was a group of us, and all of our Garmins beeped in harmony with the message.

Mile 4: 7:50
Mile 5: 8:06
Mile 6: 7:59

The turnaround point was just before the 6 miler marker and we still were keeping a solid pace. When we passed the 10K marker, Kelly remarked that our time was almost her 10K PR. I looked down at my watch and saw “50:12″, which was also a 10K PR for me! I knew we were running fast, but it didn’t register that we were running THAT fast. Right before mile 7, I ate an orange Gatorade chew for a little energy and washed it down with some water.

Mile 7: 8:04

There was another tunnel and I think it confused my Garmin, because this looks wack…
?????Mile 8: 9:08
?????Mile 9: 6:09
I’m going to check with Kelly on those splits, but if we take the average, it’s 7:58, which looks on target

There was some rolling hills before mile 9 that were tough, and I was ready for the race to be over. I could feel my stomach getting a little wonky and I reminded myself that I had approximately 5 minutes left of running. I hit the 9 mile marker and my Garmin said 9.21. At this point, I just started booking it. I  was ready for it to be over, and it was going to suck weather I ran slow or fast, so I just got it over with.

Mile 10: 7:16

I crossed the finish line and remembered to stop my Garmin. I could NOT believe 1:15:00.  I had left Kelly about 5 minutes earlier on one of the killer hills, so I knew she was right behind me, so I waited a couple seconds and saw her finish.

We slowly walked a bit, got some water, and made our way over to the chocolate. I was dealing with waves of nausea, but I was all over the idea of hot chocolate warming up my freezing hands.

It was freezing and crowded, so I hightailed it out of there with a PR smile plastered all over my face. 
A huge high five to Kelly for running with me, and pushing me out of my comfort zone for the first half of the race. I would of started out much slower to “save my energy”, but we started AND finished strong and it felt awesome. 

Anyone else race this weekend? How did it go?

Have you ever ran a race with a friend? I have run a mile or so with a friend during the start of a race, but this was the first time I ran with someone the whole race. We didn’t particularly plan on running the whole thing together, and we both agreed that if one person felt strong, they must go on ahead. I totally get the benefit of a pacer, because staying on target with another person is much easier than tackling it on your own. I’ll probably be latching on to people at races from now on. 

  • bobbi

    YAY!! You did an amazing job! Congrats!

  • Kayla

    Congrats on the PR! Great job!!!

  • Amy B @ Second City Randomness

    You continue to get faster and faster! way to go!!!

    Glad you had a solid race!

  • Katie

    I’ve never run with a friend (other than running with people at 5Ks for fun), I think I’d like to run with someone who could pave me!

    • Katie

      Pace… Thank you iPhone

  • Christin

    Congrats on your PR! That is amazing. I love running with friends because it helps me pace. I wish I was fast! Haha :)

  • Maggie Wolff

    Congrats on the PR and the speedy pace!! I’ve done a few races with a friend where I was pacing the friend to a PR or a finish, and Kelly paced me for a few miles during the marathon, and we also did the first 3-4 miles of the Shamrock Shuffle together. She’s a great race partner!

  • Caitlin C.

    I’m so proud of you!!! Congrats on your PR! I love that you had a friend there to encourage you too… that always makes it so much better. So does the idea of hot chocolate waiting for you at the end of a race!

  • meghan

    Awesome job! Congratulations! Those splits are fantastic. I always start out a little slower too to make sure I don’t crash. One day I’m just going to hit it hard from the get go and hold on for dear life. I’ll have to find a 10k to try that with.

  • Pete B

    Nice pictures. Congrats on you and Kelly setting p.r.s in both the 10k and 15k! Fortunately, I got to meet with Kelly after the race.

  • findingblissforme

    Congrats speedy!! That is amazing!!

  • Cate

    Great job Sierra!! Congrats on the awesome PR! :)

  • Meghan

    Nice work! That’s an amazing time, and you guys got some cute pics, too!

  • Beth (@RunTraveler)


  • Michelle Lorch

    Congratulations! Speedy!

  • Michelle Lorch

    Congratulations! Speedy!

  • Amanda – TooTallFritz

    AWESOME JOB!! I was thinking of you and Kelly the entire time hoping that you had a great race. So exciting. And it was great meeting you. I look forward to following your future adventures! Cheers!

  • Jordan

    Congrats! Awesome time!

  • Bethany

    You’re just a PR queen lately! Congrats on such an awesome and speedy race!

  • skinnyrunner

    congrats on your PR, girly! you a stud muffin.

  • Erin @ Loop Looks

    Great job!! Isn’t having someone to pace off of just the best?

  • Alyssa Neiers

    What an awesome race for you! Congrats! I’ve never run a race with a friend when I’m trying to PR. The one friend that I usually run races with is a faster runner than me.

  • Kelly @ Running Kellometers

    Congrats on a great race! I had so much fun running with you! I think we both helped push each other which is sometimes much better than trying to push alone. :)

  • kilax

    Yay! Congrats on your awesome race! You rock! I bet Kelly is a lot of fun to run with! I have done a lot of races with friends! Usually I am the pacer. One time I had a friend pace me! :)

  • Irina @ Chocolatea Time

    Congrats on the new PR!! At least something good came out of a race that so many people had problems with!