Freihofer’s Run for Women 5k Race Recap 6/1/19

The main thing you have to know about Freihofer’s Run for Women: the atmosphere is just amazing. Think any race you’ve ever started in and take it up a few notches. It’s why we come back, year after year, despite the heat, the narrow streets, the never ending hill at the start, and the crowded conditions.

It was a nice little expo (just need more food options than burgers!)

Packet Pickup
Parking is free, but it’s really, really crowded. The Race Director had really talked up the expo this year — I do think it was better than last year, and I actually made a couple of purchases.

They spread it out so you went one place to pick up your bib, another to pick up your race tee, and another to pick up your cookies and bread. Which of course sort of forced you to check out a lot of the vendors, but I wanted to anyway.

One unfortunate snafu was that there were supposed to be clear plastic bags for your gear check — except there weren’t. I regretted using one of my previous ones for that clothes swap earlier on, but I had another, thankfully. You have to use clear plastic bags for anything you bring into the race.

Those fries were sooooo good (the sandwich, too)

There was supposed to be more food and my friend & I had planned to eat there, but there was only burgers. We ended up stopping at a restaurant on the way home, which was thankfully open, and had a very pleasant al fresco lunch.

Most of the friends showed up

My Race Plan
Not much of one, again. Not a whole lot of running, and a lot of slow running with the mentees. I knew I wasn’t in PR shape, but I still wanted to do the best I could do, and I was hoping to keep it under an 11 mm the whole race — unfortunately that didn’t happen.
So how’d that work for me?

  1. Mile 1: 10:50. Last year my watch played tricks with the first mile — this year it was accurate. I wanted to be conservative, not go out too fast, and while I wished it was a bit faster, I was pleased with this mile. Especially as it seemed like we were climbing uphill the whole mile.
  2. Mile 2: 11:20. Almost a full minute slower than last year; this is why my overall time was slower than last year. I only took two walk breaks during this race. I actually didn’t feel it was quite as congested as years past, or at least I didn’t feel I was really held back by other runners.
  3. Mile 3: 10:36. Mile three seems like it’s completely downhill towards the finish. Which isn’t quite true, but it is definitely a nice downhill for most of the mile and that saved my finish time for this race!
  4. Last .16: 8:19. A downhill sprint to the finish line.

34:35 — Official Time
10:59 — Average Pace
111 out of 233 in my AG
1385 out of 2649 runners

2018: 32:57
2010: 40:58

Last year I’d run 3 5ks in the 6 weeks before this race. I was in the middle of training for a half. This year I’d spent the majority of the spring either sick or simply rebuilding my base.

Classic: smile for the photographer (once I see them)

So I guess it was a pretty good showing, considering; fairly solidly middle of the pack. I was just kind of disappointed in myself slowing down so much the second mile. I ended the race feeling good, not the least bit sore . . . and I knew I hadn’t really given it my all.

You can view a video of the finish line here. The cool thing is you actually get to see the elites finishing the race if you start at the beginning. I come along roughly at 18:30, although as usual, I’m obscured by other runners until I’m at the finish line.

Our boxes of cookies weren’t quite that big, LOL!

The weather & dressing
The weather is one reason I love to hate this race. I swear it’s always hot. Often it’s suddenly hot, and that was the case this year — it was unseasonably cool both before and after the race, but race day was warm. In fact, the previous two Saturdays had been beautiful running weather. Thankfully it was not humid, and the cloud cover held for most of the race — it’s been worse.

Cool It Skirt was my go-to skirt for hot racing last year, but being a shorter race and not terribly hot, I went with my Hover Skirt and Racecation Tank (so happy Racecation came back this year — one of my fav tops for hot weather racing/running) from Skirt Sports. It was a great outfit (My Cool It Skirt with my Bonita Racecation Tank would have been a nice combo, too).

I learned from past mistakes, and took my cool it scarf along — and wore it — but I didn’t get it wet enough, so I’m not sure it really helped much but it didn’t harm either.

Training group
Skirt Sports Ambassadors/Wearers

Was the race well run?
Freihofers is mostly a well oiled machine, but there are always a few little hiccups. Like the fact that the main ramp to where I park was closed (a surprise to both me & my friend) — luckily I had my friend (aka my human GPS) to navigate me to the parking and we still managed to get there in time for the photo of the training challenge.

The free massages are a nice touch

I partook of the massages for the first time this year and it was awesome. For some reason my masseuse took her time with me. I started before my two friends, and they were waiting for me to finish.

Would I run this race again? My answer is always the same: if I’m here, I’ll do it.


Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs each week for the Coaches’ Corner linkup


38 thoughts on “Freihofer’s Run for Women 5k Race Recap 6/1/19

  1. Why I feel like I was there. Ha ha.

    Had mostly the same experience except that you didn’t need a clear bag. I didn’t have one so they just searched my bag and let me in.

    Don’t we always wish we ran faster after the fact. I was happy with my negative splits but if I really trained I could definitely have run faster.

    But this race is always a fun time. I recognized so many runners on the course for a quick chat as they passed me by or I passed them which doesn’t happen in out of town races.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wonder if they didn’t enforce the clear bag because of the snafu? Because last year they strictly enforced it.

      Once I started running, though, I don’t think I ran into anyone I knew.


  2. Free massages are definitely a nice touch! And I love that side by side photo showing the difference once you spotted the photographer 🙂 I always try to do that too but am not always successful at spotting the photographer in time.


    1. The training group is split out all over the area during the week, so most of the time it’s not that many women. Saturday the whole group comes together, but it’s rarely everyone. It’s very popular, though, and people come back to it year after year.


  3. You hit your goal pace and considering all the ups and downs of your last few months, I would say it’s a win. I do like the all women’s races sometimes. They have a totally different feel to them

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Nice recap! Sounds like it was a really fun race. What a huge group of runners in the training group!

    PS you still have the Tuesdays on the run badge on your blog–you know that link up went away a long time ago, right?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for letting me know about the old linkup link — interestingly, I changed it to the correct thing in the tags, but forgot to change the actual link (because I used last year’s as a template). It’s all fixed.

      I have to imagine that Chicago much have some pretty big training groups for the marathon! Oh, and the group does include us mentors, as well.


    1. I can remember one day, before I was part of that training group, I happened to go for a long run at the same place where they do their Sat runs. They just kept coming and coming and coming . . .


  5. There are just some races that we keep going back to no matter what. I have a few like those too. Great job on your race! Don’t be so hard on yourself as 5Ks are hard. And you were sick so that definitely affected your pace.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think the lack of sleep for a couple of weeks before the race actually effected it a lot more than being sick.

      If I felt I’d given it my all, I wouldn’t be bothered (and I’m not really that bothered by it either); I just felt that I could have pushed a little harder.


  6. It’s great to have a fun race you can do again and again. That’s amazing how many friends and skirt sports ladies were there. The vibe for the Parkway Classic is similar — but they need to get in on those cookies!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Sounds like a really fun race. I have a few that I like to do over and over, even though I usually opt to try new ones. Any race that gives away cookies is a good one! I am doing a race on Saturday called the Milkshake Mile (even though it’s a 10k). Hoping for milkshakes after the race!

    I think the second mile of a 5K is the hardest. I always slow down too. Great time, considering how your spring training went. Congrats!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mmmmm, milkshakes! That sounds like a great post run treat.

      I gotta ask, why is it called a mile when it’s a 10k?

      Usually I’m fairly good at negative splits. But obviously, not always.


    1. Middle of the pack is always great for me, because when I started running I was always back of the pack — and still often am, depending on who turns up to race. I’m always happy when I see that!


  8. This sounds like such a great race. The free cookies are always a plus! I’m glad you had a great time. I wish I had a crew like that to enjoy a race!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’d say you did well there, right in the middle and after your difficult spring. Love your smile once you saw the photographer, I’ve got one of me from the last race smiling at a different photographer, not having seen this one!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. That cookie photo is the best!
    Do you need clear bags? I have a ton as we get them for every single NYRR race and I use but one or two a year when I actually check a bag. Happy to bring with when I’m next up or mail if you need sooner. Just text me your address

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Plus I imagine you normally just store whatever in the car and need to carry only your car key in addition to water, gels, etc. I only check a bag when I have transportation to/from. I nee something to read most of all

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s