Race Recap: Warm Your Heart 5K

Runs last week:

✧ 2.27 miles, hills, 32:00 – 14:05 pace
✧ 4.5 miles, 60:00, BoMF – 13:20 pace
✧ 3.1 miles, 29:38, Warm Your Heart – 9:33 pace

WYH Start

At 6:30 on a Sunday morning, you wonder why you’re getting up to take an hour long bus ride just to run. Then you remember you paid $35 to do it. Such is the conundrum of racing. Ah, well.

So, the draw of the Warm Your Heart 5K, which benefits Northwestern’s Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute, is that it’s the world’s only single-loop indoor 5K. Sounds cool, doesn’t it? I imagined getting to run all through the bowels of McCormick Place, passing through the different halls and see what shops and convention rooms were housed there. This is what the race course actually looked like:

WYH Course

There were two rooms that we ran through in a winding fashion, curving around artificial corners between taped aisle markers. A little disappointing. After realizing this was the case, I strategized a bit and turned the corners as closely as I possibly could, then cut through the aisle to hug the next inner line. If it meant shaving off a few seconds, I was doing it.

One thing I know I need to practice is pacing myself during a race. I have no problems on my regular runs because I know exactly how far I’ve gone and how much more I have to go, but in a race it can be so difficult to tell…particularly when there are no mile markers! (Well, no mile markers that I noticed until mile 3, at least. Perhaps I just missed them.) I had to run by effort, which I also find difficult in a race because, in the beginning, I just want to separate myself from the throng at the front. I seem to have done okay, running at a decent pace for the first half, then stepping it up to comfortably hard, and pushing it at the very end. I can’t lie, it was rather satisfying realizing that I was passing a bunch of runners in the second half.

Warm Your Heart Collage

You would think that running indoors,and, thus, on a completely flat course would make everything easier, so I was quite surprised to find it toward the contrary. Sure, there was no wind, but the lack of any sort of elevation change really put the hurt on my shins in a way that normally doesn’t happen. I also ran a good half of the race fighting a side stitch, which is a problem that I haven’t experienced in some time. Focusing on breathing in for two and out for three helped, as it always does, but it was not the super easy flight of a race that I expected it to be.

The happy thing, though, despite the shin and side pain, is that I totally made my goal of completing a sub-30 5K this year. Woot! Cross the first of my nine New Year’s Goals off the list. Actually, I finished in about the top third of all sub-categories too, so that was a pleasant surprise. On to tackle the next goal and perhaps run an even faster 5K come April!

Warm Your Heart Race Results (2)

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