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Showing posts from May, 2012

Soldier Field 10 Mile

One of my friends picked me up first thing this morning (by that I mean 5:20) to head over to Soldier Field for the race. For some reason I figured we had to get there around 5:30 to make sure we found parking... It ended up not being a problem at all - we went right in and parked without an issue, which was pleasantly surprising. Although I did notice that all the signs directing cars to the parking lots said "Soldier Field 10K" - sign fail.

Anyway, we ended up with tons of time to spare (my estimating skills are off for parking since I'm used to just taking public transportation). There was a lot to see, including the tiling of the finish area and the set-up of the finish (below).

My full review of the race is at Newcity.com but the shortened version is: it was really sweet.

The only downside was that I had registered a while ago when I was running at a much slower pace than I am now so I was in corral 10, a bit farther back than I should have been. I probably could …

Lakefront summer running guide (and running on Northerly Island)

Obviously I couldn't cover every bit of amazingness that is the Lakefront Trail, but I wrote a little guide to running on the lakefront during the summer for this week's issue of Newcity - the Summer Guide issue (appropriate right?). Grab a copy at any of the newsstands - there are also a bunch of other really great summer-related articles!

My write-up covers Montrose Harbor, North Avenue Beach, Oak Street Beach, Northerly Island, the hill at 47th Street and Promontory Point Park.

My favorite is still Northerly Island. I've had some great runs there, though I guess they weren't really isolated runs, they were more like mini-runs within a longer run - after all, you have to get to Northerly Island somehow.


Anyway here are two of my favorites:
In 2008 I was training for my first marathon (Chicago) and one of my long runs happened to coincide with the Air & Water Show. Since it was my first summer in Chicago I didn't know what a big deal the show was and how…

A No-Race Weekend

This weekend was the first weekend I didn't participate in an organized race since mid-March. It felt kind of weird not to be waking up early to head out to a starting line somewhere. Luckily my wife got me motivated to get out for a long run anyway, since we're both running the 13.1 Chicago Half Marathon next month.

So on Sunday we ran 10 miles on the lakefront, making our turnaround at Montrose Harbor, after cutting through the quiet nature trail just south of Addison: 
And then finding out that the trail on the east side of the golf course (the one that takes you right into Montrose Harbor) has been mostly washed away... and transformed into a pretty sweet obstacle course:
After traversing the sinking trail of doom we passed a few other runners heading south from Montrose Harbor that probably made it across this challenge, but there were also two bikers and a guy with a dog that I'm pretty sure had to turn around. Instead of just heading back down this trail we chose …

Running in the Rain

The good news: I own two pairs of waterproof socks.
The bad news: I was not wearing either of them this morning.

This morning I ran my first half marathon of 2012 (and the farthest I've run so far this year): The Magellan Development Group Chicago Spring Half Marathon. My full review of the race is up at newcity.com


It started off as an ideal day: 60 degrees, overcast, 30 percent chance of rain. Most of the runners either didn't bring jackets or checked them before the race got started (I was in the second group). And both of these seemed like good ideas at the time. But it started to rain early on and that rain quickly turned into a serious downpour. With the wind thrown in to the mix it made for a less than enjoyable run.

But, as I noted in my review, that kind of weather sometimes makes you feel like you're really accomplishing more than just a half marathon - you're accomplishing a half marathon in the rain. And even though that might actually seem like a bad i…

Sunday double-header!

After the Run to Remember yesterday, today was a double-header, starting off with the 4-mile C4 Miles at 8 this morning in front of Peggy Notebaert and wrapping up with the 5-mile Cinco de Miler at 9:30 in Montrose Harbor. I was a little nervous about being able to make it to both, but I ended up with time to spare (thanks to the help of a cab that dropped me off at the packed turn-off to Montrose Harbor). Biking from the first race to the second would have been ideal... but I don't have a bike. And I wasn't about to run the three miles between the races carrying my gear check bag.
Anyway, my complete reviews of both races are up on Newcity.com: C4 Miles reviewCinco de Miler review The races really couldn't have been more different:
C4 Miles was a quiet, relatively casual event, with probably around 350 participants (half running/half walking) and no pace groups. Since runners quickly got spread out, other runners on the trail sometimes seemed confused about what I was d…

Run to Remember

Walking up Roosevelt from the train towards Soldier Field (and the start of the 8th Annual Run to Remember), I was amazed by the cool weather and the amount of fog enshrouding the city, especially since only a few days earlier I had run to the Chicago Police Academy in the morning to pickup my packet in 80 degree weather.

The fog gave the starting line an air of mystery, partly because I didn't really know exactly where I was going and partly because it hid a lot of the buildings until you got close to them. This made a lot of the apartment and condo buildings down Roosevelt look a lot cooler.

For the walk down Roosevelt I was glad to have the Patagonia houdini - for such a thin jacket it provides a surprising amount of warmth. It was also super-easy to take off and put in my pocket just before the race, since I had decided not to check anything.

Anyway, Soldier Field looked pretty impressive in the fog at the starting line: There were a lot more people than I expected at the st…