I kind of knew I shouldn't run. I'd taken a few days off to try to let the inflamation in my heel calm down. But sometimes, well fairly often, I ignore that inner voice suggesting I do the safe thing. So I ran Wednesday night. And now I'm paying the consequences. But at least it's a stylish walking boot I'm sporting right now!
If it was gonna be my last race for a few weeks, at least it was a fun one. I have to admit, I wanted to do this race immediately when I first heard about it. And not just for the running part. The inaugural Urban Hoedown looked like a blast. A 5k on the lakefront path by soldier field, with a concert afterward by a country band on a beautiful weeknight after work? Count me in!
Over the last few years, I have developed an appreciation for country music. I would bet I'm not alone, judging by the number of big country concerts in places like Soldier Field, Wrigley, and other big venues this summer. Having spent several years working in the southwest years ago before coming back home to Chicago, I've been exposed to country music for a long time, and there is a lot of it that might have been considered soft rock when I was growing up.
There have been several other music themed races already this summer, from the Rock n Roll half marathon to the Elvis is alive and the Rock the night 5k's. So the folks at F3 racing had the excellent idea to start a country music themed race. They gave out cowboy hats, and instead of finisher's medals, handed out western style bolo ties. After the race the band played lots of familiar country music, and encouraged runners to join line dances. At that point I was already hobbling on one foot after running, I did not join that group!
As for the race itself, it was pretty simple. We started on McFetridge drive on the south side of Soldier Field, and headed to the lakefront path going south for a mile and a half. Then we turned around and came back.
Unfortunately, I was in pain from the warm-up on. I managed to go out the first mile in about 6:30, which is right where I would normally have liked. But the second mile I felt like I was running on one foot, and I slowed significantly. I crossed the line, and immediately went to the medical tent to get an ice pack! I never even checked my time at the finish, but I believe I averaged about 7:30 pace for the 5k.
At the finish shute, I saw my friend and fellow Streamwood high school alum, Rob Chenoweth. I had seen him during the race earlier, just after the turn-around at the halfway point. He was battling for the lead, while I was struggling with heel pain. It turned out he was able to pull away and win. So I was able to celebrate vicariously.
And the post-race music sounded great, so I plopped myself down on the lawn and iced my foot after the race while enjoying the band! It was a nice race and a great evening. So maybe I was right not to listen to that inner voice. I'm hoping I won't be laid up too long as a result.
I usually finish these entries by writing, 'see you on the roads....' It seems more appropriate to just wish you good running for the next couple weeks...