After the half on Saturday I napped pretty heavily and moved around minimally. Sunday morning I was up bright at early - even earlier than I did for the half out in the burbs. I met a friend at the bus stop then we picked up Jennifer along the route. It was still pretty quite at Grant Park when we got there so we used the facilities before any line formed. It definitely felt warm out and I was already starting to sweat a little just standing around. Our other friend eventually met up with us at gear check and we hung out until the race started. Soon enough we headed to the start corrals and I broke off from the girls and headed towards the faster corrals.
It was kind of nice once I got up to the 7:30 pace group and saw lots of open room. I don't like being packed in like cattle. I also knew there was no way I was going to run a 7:30 pace so I hung out in the back of the group and was hoping to keep it around an 8 minute mile. After the national anthem we were off. My legs were not happy with me. They were sore, stiff, and heavy. I was a struggle at first to get my feet high enough to clear all the cracks in the sidewalk. Halfway through the first mile my ankle started to scream in pain. I eased my pace and tried to settle into a nice jog to compensate. A little over a mile in I was still in rough shape and contemplated walking. I told myself there was no way I was walking 5 miles, it would take forever - you're gutting this out! Soon after I got to the first water station and walked through it making sure to drink enough water on the sun exposed course. I soon started running again with some difficulty. My first 2 miles clocked in at 8:10 and 8:53. Sometime during the 3rd mile my body finally relaxed and I could start to run with a bit more ease. I still walked through the next water station, but I was no longer struggling. My pace started to pick up a little and miles 3 and 4 were at 8:34 and 8:32 respectively.
Once I was in the final stretch of the race I told myself I could pick up the pace even more and see how things react. My body started taking it pretty well. Not even the sun was bothering me. I don't know if my body just turned off pain receptors or what. I still wasn't anywhere near top speed, but was running a respectable pace that I would probably maintain if I were doing mile repeats. Mile 5 was done in 8:04. I kept up the same pace for a bit and told myself that I would kick it into gear after the last water stop. I once again lollygagged my way through the water stop and then did just like I said I would and booked the 6th mile in 7:59. I pushed even hard for the last .2 miles, even though it was uphill, and ran that portion at a 7:24 pace. It was kind of nice knowing I could still kick things into gear temporarily after 19 racing miles in a weekend. I sure hope that holds true in 2 months at the Chicago Marathon.
The Chicago 10K was an alright event. It felt a little crowded out on the course and its a route run by many races so it is getting a bit overdone. The medals were definitely a great design with the "EL" train background. This would strictly be a race to have fun at and not one to try and set a PR. Or its a good race to do something dumb like me and run back to back races.
I managed to run another 7 miles Monday night bringing my 3 day total to 26.3 miles completed in 3:53 which is a nice confidence boost knowing my goal is to break 4 hours for the marathon. My ankle acted up a bit during Monday's run as well so I am switching my Wednesday off day with my Tuesday speed day to give it a short break. Seems like there is a rash of injuries going around with Declan and Pete also dealing with issues. I'm not going to overreact at this point though. I know the joint is just a little inflamed from the uptick in hard miles recently. I just need to run a little easier for a bit and warm up longer to let things loosen up. I couldn't help but consult Dr Google who let me know I may have a condition that leaves me more at risk to ankle/heel/Achilles/shin injuries than most people. There is a bone in my foot that sticks out a little further than it should which indicates I have either Accessory Navicular or just a dislocated Navicular bone. Neither would be really fun since it causes extra stress to be placed on the tendon there which controls your arch. It explains so much since I've had issues with plantar fasciitis in just this foot and have a greater tendency to get shin splits or a sore ankle on just my right side and not the left. It also wouldn't be surprising if its the Accessory Navicular since I have already had an extra wisdom tooth(yes I had 5) removed as well as an extra ligament in my knee removed as well. Yes I'm a bit of a mutant, but without all the cool superpowers, just ones that injuries or pain.