Soldier Field 10 Mile Race Report - Great Training Stimulus

I ran the Soldier Field 10 Mile for the first time on Saturday morning.  I ended up getting 5th in 51:54.  Usually this time would be good for top three, but not this year!  Managed to pick up $50 for the finish, which nearly covered my entry fee anyway.  And now that I got in the top 5, I get a comped entry next year, so that's good.  I didn't have very high expectations of myself in this race, as it came exactly 36 hours after the Chase Corporate Challenge, where I was pushed all the way to the line.  Further, I only got 5 hours of sleep the night before due to rehearsals for a wedding band I was playing in on Saturday night.

I originally had a harder marathon workout scheduled for Saturday, knowing that Sunday was out for a quality day due to the wedding Saturday night.  However, I was worried that I wouldn't be able to work out very well on 36 hours rest from the Corporate Challenge, which was probably a legitimate concern.  So instead, by forcing myself to race the SF10, even in less than ideal conditions, I was able to get a better training stimulus than I would have been able to on my own in training... due to race day adrenaline and competition.  My plan worked perfectly as I was able to run 5:11 pace for 10 miles on dead legs.  I felt like garbage pretty much the whole time, and was in no-man's land from 3.5 miles on, stuck between the first and second packs.  There was a slight headwind on the way out, which certainly contributed to my negative split (26:11/25:43), but I was still happy that I was able to cut it down the last few miles, running 5:09, 5:09, 5:12, 5:06, 5:03 for the final 5 miles.  

The race was pretty competitive up front.  Moses Waweru, a Kenyan based in Wisconsin, took the win in 49:41, defeating Jordan Horwitz, who ran 49:59.  Chas Gillespie and Chad Ware ran 50:29 and 50:51, respectively (results here).  I was happy with my race given the circumstances.  I'm pretty confident that if rested and having a good day, I could have mixed it up with the front group and perhaps gone sub-50:00.  And this based on marathon training, which is of course not ideal for racing the shorter distances.  So in the end, the late addition of the SF10 to my schedule was a good move.  The marathon workout I had originally scheduled for Saturday has been moved back to Wednesday and is the last hard workout before Grandma's on June 18.