I have been wanting to run the Lakefront Trail for years! As soon as I realized this race course was partially on it, I had to register for it!
My husband and I decided to make it a mini vacation for just the two of us so he could run it too. We left on Friday and checked into our hotel and caught a taxi to the McCormick Place for the expo and packet pickup.
The expo was slightly disappointing, but only because I was comparing it to RnR Nashville. That expo was tons better! Everything in Chicago seemed so spread out and there weren’t many vendors in comparison. We still spent some time waking around though and got the pint glass (I collect them from the big races).
Saturday we slept in, but went down to the race area for a bit but decided to get out of the rain and head back to the hotel to swim instead (it was just a wet weekend! 😆). I actually swam some laps for the first time in foreverrrr! (Like since tri training 3 years ago lol!) I kind of loved it 😊. It made me want to start using the pool at the gym again, but I just don’t have room in my training plan. However, with this injury I may be in the pool a lot more.
Then we got cleaned up and headed a bit further into town to go shop on Michigan Ave. So much fun! I got this shirt and a casual dress at Nordstrom Rack and a long sleeve shirt from Columbia (which hilariously came from the children’s department! XL youth fit adults! 😆). I didn’t pack any long sleeve tops, so I ended up wearing it a lot over the weekend just because of the rain.
And since you can’t go to Chicago without eating pizza, we went to Giordano’s 🍕 ! They have good GF pizza, nothing like the gluten deep dish I once could have, but still great! I was laughing so hard at our servers shirt (the front said ‘I’m into fitness’).
I set out my outfit, as I always do, on Saturday.
Sunday morning at 6:30 was the start of the 10k (and half). The line for the port-a-potty was so slow moving!
I was so excited to just experience the Lakefront Trail, even if it was in the rain.
The first 3/4 of a mile or so was insanely crowded until the course split from the half marathon pack. I was practically tripping over people, and added a lot of extra distance just going around people. But after the split to the right and onto the trail it it was ghost town territory. So few people do the 10k in comparison, so we had tons of room after the split. 🙌
The race was mostly flat, but some up/down was definitely there. The biggest challenge besides the rain, was the wind that hit us as we turned and headed back towards the finish a little over halfway through. Had I been hopeful for X time, this probably would have really bothered me 😜.
Some positives from the race: I loved running by the marina…made me feel like I was home for a minute! And seeing the skyline was so cool! I also really liked how long the finishers chute was. That part of a race is always one of the most exciting parts to me, so that was fun! There were at least 2 water stations that I recall, and I did grab some at one of them.
After finishing, I got my pic taken at the banner. The food area had granola bars, chocolate milk, gatorade, bananas, and possibly a few other things.
Then we headed back towards the hotel and got another pic over a bridge.
I was so scared how my leg was going to feel, but it didn’t bother me during the race! 🙌 It was a little sore after, but definitely better than 9 days ago! The time off definitely helped me have a more enjoyable race. It felt great to just run whatever felt good and not be so, “I have to run X pace.” Coincidentally, the RnR races in Nashville have been one of the few that I do that at too (most years anyway). Really loved this race so much!
Official finish stats:
We went back to the hotel, chilled in the room for a bit before the pool area opened and then went down there to rinse off in the locker room and go soak in the hot tub to relax for a bit. Probably should have done a ice bath 😆, but it still felt so good . We went back up to the room after and showered and headed to breakfast.
We were at Meli Cafe, and the wait was INSANE. But, the food was great! I had a beet, apple, celery, lemon blend fresh pressed juice and one of the egg and vegetable breakfast bowls. So yummy!
We finally were on the road headed for Michigan again by 12:30-ish. My husband and I both had a great time over the weekend, but man does it feel good to be home and away from the hustle and bustle of a big city! It always makes me appreciate our little piece of serenity in the woods! 😊
Have you run in Chicago (either for a race or just for fun)? What are some of your bucket list races or locations to run?