async="src="/ Taking the Long Way Home: Race Recap: AMITA FitAmerica 5k

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Race Recap: AMITA FitAmerica 5k

As an All Community Events ambassador, I received a free entry to the AMITA FitAmerica 5k. My recap of the race was not influenced by my affiliation with ACE.

Earlier this summer, I optimistically signed up for the AMITA FitAmerica 10k. I really wanted to do the half marathon distance, but I haven't been running much in the way of long distances. Fast forward to some blazing hot, humid weather and after a tough 5 miler the Wednesday before the race, I made the decision to drop down to the 5k. I had been having some success with the 5k distance this summer but with the excessive heat warning the morning of the race, I had no expectations but to finish.



I still needed to pick up my packet, so I got up and out the door by 6 to make the 20 minute drive to the race. I made 2 bottles of diluted Tailwind and drank one of them on the way. I saved the other bottle to drink while I waited to run. The race was to be held at the former AT&T headquarters in Hoffman Estates, Illinois. Although the campus was surrounded by a forest preserve, the course was on the roads and I knew there would be no shade. I hoped that the overcast skies would hold out for the morning.

Parking was easy and I walked to packet pickup, where I received my bib and a gender-specific t-shirt. I liked the design of the shirt but found out later when I was home that it was a little snug. To kill time, I skipped bag check and walked the shirt back to my car. I ran into one of the other ACE ambassadors in the parking lot and we made plans to meet up for pictures before the race. Once there, she introduced me to some other runners she knew, including the guy who led the pace group I ran with last fall at the Schaumburg Turkey Trot. Small world, right?

Fellow ambassador Alice with me
My tummy was bothering me a little bit and I made about 3 trips to the portapotty before lining up to run. Runners from all 3 distances (5k, 10k, and half marathon) lined up together. The Star Spangled Banner was sung, the mayor gave a brief speech, and then we were off. There was still a good cloud cover and a gentle breeze, but it was warm! I settled into an 8:50 pace. Not wearing my headphones, I tuned into the sounds around me. Even a half mile into the race, people around me were huffing and puffing; some already stopped to walk. We ran an out and back, returning to the start area and off to another out and back. Mile one 8:51.

lots of outs and backs
After the second out and back, we ran through a tunnel under the buildings. There were a few small hills, but nothing challenging. I started to slow down, even though I was conscious of my pace. The humidity was definitely taking a toll. People around me were walking. I came upon a guy who was breathing in an alarming manner; he reminded me of the Little Engine Who Could...except he couldn't. Puff, puff, wheeeeeeze. Yikes. Mile two: 9:01.

I tried not to walk. I really did. The sun was out now and it was getting really warm. We split off from the half marathoners and 10k runners about 20 minutes in. That is when I took a brief 30 second walk break to catch my breath and regroup. Once I started running again, I heard the breathing of a woman running just behind me. Have you ever had anyone pace off of you? I think she actually helped push me and I finished that mile without needing to stop again. Mile three: 9:28.

Oh, but there was that last 100 meters. I was so close, I could taste the finish. I could also taste imminent vomiting. I slowed to a walk to avoid regurgitating my Tailwind. The woman who had been pacing me urged me on. She was wearing a Wonder Woman singlet. I couldn't say no to Wonder Woman, right? As soon as I started running again, the nausea returned. I waved her on and walked a little more. This was just making me mad. I started to run the downhill to the finish line, where I was handed an American flag to wave while I crossed the finish line. Photographers lined the finish and I smiled broadly. Finish: 28:57.
not as fast as I'd like, but considering the conditions...
I staggered over to the finish area, caught my breath, and grabbed an orange from the treats available at the finish. There was a band playing and a few runners milling around. Soon enough, another runner started talking with me. About 15 minutes after we finished, the awards were posted. I finished first in my age group! The heat seemed to take a toll on everyone's finish times. While my finish time wasn't anywhere near what I had hoped for, I was glad to have done well enough for an award.

Free race photos for the win!
This was my first time running this race and it won't be the last. I've always enjoyed All Community Events' races--they are somewhat no-frills, but well organized with great course support. I was worried they would cancel the event because of the heat but instead, sent out plenty of notification and offered runners the option to drop their distance or to defer to another race. There was plenty of water available and a volunteer was handing out popsicles at the finish, which I just loved! While the course was nothing exciting, it was fun to cross the finish line waving the flag. I'm so glad I dropped down to the 5k. In fact, I'm really enjoying the 5k distance and I hope to have some cooler conditions in which to push myself to a faster finish time. I know it's in me!

The heat and humidity didn't stop me from winning my age group! /via @oldrunningmom @allcommunityeve @amitahealth #runchat #running #racerecap

Did you race this weekend? Does the heat and humidity affect your pace? If not, can you share your secrets for heat conditioning?

I'm linking up with Kim and Zenaida for Tuesday Topics.


27 comments :

  1. LOL about the heat conditioning. I have both pushed through very hot & humid conditions -- and totally had a meltdown in them. I do believe that is mostly mental, but man, it's tough -- not to mention this weekend was truly dangerously hot.

    Congrats on your AG win! You have to let go of time goals in those conditions. I ran with a slower friend Saturday so mostly it truly was an easy run for me. Which is the only way I got in 6 miles that day without dying.

    Crossing a finish line carrying a flag sounds like an awesome opportunity. Now I want to do that. :)

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    1. I wish running in the heat was mostly mental! That nausea was real and it was not good!

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  2. Great job Wendy! I know that racing in that heat could not have been easy, but you did it! Congrats on your AG award. Glad to hear that the race was really well organized too.

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    1. I would really like to have run faster--but everyone struggled that day!

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  3. Congrats on your first place AG! And you know, congrats on keeping the Tailwind down;-) I've never felt like I was going to actually throw up in a race, but at my last 5k I had a heaving spell after I crossed the finish line, so I took it as a sign that I put the right effort in. I definitely listen to the folks around me in races, loud feet, weird breathing, noisy clothes, it's quite entertaining.

    The best thing I've found for running in the heat is to rub ice on the back of my neck before I start. The temps are finally cooler this week and it is so awesome to be merely sweaty instead of dripping.

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    1. I kicked myself for stopping to walk--I mean, throwing up Tailwind wouldn't be the worst thing I could throw up, right? :p

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  4. Congrats, Wendy! You are doing phenomenal in these 5k races. I love that picture of you crossing the finish line. I am surprised the race still went on when RnR cancelled their 5k on Saturday.

    Thank you for linking up with us!

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    1. As far as I know, everyone did ok at this one. There really was no option but to slow down!

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  5. Congrats!! And Under 30min For That Course, Well Done!!

    Cheers

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  6. Congrats on winning your AG! We're a few days behind with the heat wave - it's hitting us in California this week.

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    1. I'm enjoying some cooler temps right now! The heat will be back. Oh yes.

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  7. You did the best you could considering the heat and humidity - like you said, everyone was suffering, often it becomes a "just cross the finish line" scenario. Big congrats for crossing with a smile on your face, not barfing, and willing your AG!

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    1. I'm kind of kicking myself for not pushing through the nausea. That just made me mad.

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  8. A very good job, congrats! Under 30 minutes, 1st in your a.g. and a wonderful result both overall and gender.
    Beautiful photo.

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    1. Thank you! I'm shooting for under 26 minutes in more optimal conditions. Can I do it?

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  9. Amazing job pushing through with the heat and humidity. Sounds like 5K's are your new sweet spot!

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  10. Congrats on your AG win! I loved reading your recap. Good job pushing through when you wanted to walk! We got flags after we crossed the Firecracker 5K finish line, but I love that they gave it to you so you'd be holding it in your finish line photo!

    I've really learned to love the 5K distance, too! In fact, it's my favorite race distance. When I pretty much ran only marathons, I'd scoff that a 5K wasn't even worth the shower required afterward. LOL

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    1. I used to feel the same way about the 5k--I didn't think they were worth my time or $$. Now I see that it is a distance worthy of training! My knees 100% agree!

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  11. That sounds really well and kindly organised and well done on your AG win - that's a good time esp in that heat, too! I don't like to race 5 or 10k to be honest as I'm slow and I get all sorts of encouragement that is very well-meaning but grates a bit "Come on, you can do it," etc. Mean, snarky old me. Anyway, yay well done!

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    1. I totally feel you on the encouragement...'you look strong' when I'm dying is another comment that makes me cringe...

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  12. You are so strong at the 5K - I bet you will just fly when the weather is better for racing! Congrats your AG win!

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    1. I'm hoping that with a little proper training, I can really fly!

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  13. Congrats on the first place in your AG! Nice run. I think sometimes even though we say that the heat takes a toll on our speed and endurance, we actually don't believe it. I love it when other runners encourage me, especially at the end of a race, and ESPECIALLY if they are dressed like Wonder Woman! :)

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    1. Yeah, I was a little bummed at my finish time--I definitely didn't feel that my finish time matched my effort! But considering that everyone else felt it, I can be glad it was good enough for that AG award.

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  14. Oh man - those are some tough conditions!! Congrats on yet another AG award for you - woohoooo!! Sorry you had a tough race but the heat and humidity are no joke. Sounds like the race organizers did everything right, including giving people options to drop distances. Always better to be safe out there! Hope you're enjoying cooler temps this week - we finally are!!

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