I remember that I tossed my jacket to my dad when the course looped back to the start/finish. I remember that it was VERY cold and that I had a pretty good run. No, I don't remember my time. It was faster than this year. I know that for sure.
8K, nearly 5 miles, is now a longish run for me. Since the "back" incident I've been doing lots of short runs and having fun doing them. So, lining up for an 8K was more nerve-wracking than you might expect.
This year's race, like most year's, was COLD. COLD COLD COLD. The advantage this year was that instead of having to find a place to park and walk to the start, Jenny and I stopped by friends Sheri and Tom's apartment that's just a few blocks from the start. Standing in the apartment, looking out the window, we could see everyone gathering at the start. I did occur to me that a hot cup of coffee and watching the race from there was a better plan than leaving the warm, cozy spot and going outside.
But, guilt - more than eagerness - got me out the door. Standing at the start I looked around to see if I knew anyone. I did, but not as many as I thought. It was a "younger" crowd. Twenty-somethings. Couples. Small groups. Social groups. Fun groups. This was clearly a holiday crowd. Out for a good time, if not a "good time".
I met up with Vivian, a "running friend" that has helped with the Chicago Distance Classic since the very beginning of my involvement, and we agreed to stick together. I was planning on using a run 7/walk 1 strategy and my "hope" was to finish in under an hour.
We talked, and laughed, and complained, and ran silently the way all good running friends do. As we approached the finish, seeing the 59 and change on our watches, we just smiled. We'd done it.
This was another "modern era" personal best for me. The February column will talk more about it, but I've given up on absolute PR's. But I'm ready to start thinking about some "modern era" PR's at various distances. I got my 5K MEPR [Modern Era Personal Record] in Toronto, and now have my MEPR at 8K.
I'll look for a 10K this spring and then move to the 1/2 marathon and MAYBE a full. Stay tuned.