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  • Welcome! My name is Kelly, and I am a picky eater. On this blog I share recipes, new (to me) foods, restaurants, and products that I try in an effort to expand my tastes. You might also find me talking about my pug Olive, Miss Kitty, Project Life, my journey with running, and more! Feel free to contact me: [email protected]

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Race Recap: Zooma Chicago 10k

Last weekend I went to Chicago to run my first ever 10k – the farthest distance I’ve ever run!  Here is my recap of those 6.2 miles.

On Friday, the day before the race, I drove down to Chicago to meet up with Mindy and Stina who were running the half marathon. Friday afternoon we headed to the race expo at the Langham hotel – the host hotel for the race.  The expo was small, but so was the race so that was to be expected.  Among the swag was an adorable Zooma bag, race tech tee (my first race tech tee!!), a yoga mat, and water bottle.


At the expo we met up with Aundra, who was also running the half marathon, and headed to dinner.  We chose Sweetwater (which I’d been to before) because it was fairly close to the hotel and had a variety of options.  Food/fuel was probably my biggest concern about running this race.  Not only had I never run this far before (4.5 miles was my longest run) but I also am not at all a morning runner, so thinking about fueling to run before I was normally awake was a bit stressful.  I chose the Waldorf Salad for my dinner, as well as a glass of wine. It tasted delicious.

After dinner we all went back to our hotel rooms and called it an early night.

I didn’t get a great night of sleep.  My stomach was off, and there were definitely nerves.  That along with the fact that I am always paranoid that I will sleep through my alarm made for a bad combination of sleeplessness.

Soon enough that alarm went off and it was time to get read for the race.   I ate about half a bagel and a banana, even though I wasn’t really hungry at all…which is not usual for me.  Although, getting up at 5am isn’t usual either.  Mindy, Stina, and I headed over to the Langham to catch the shuttle to the race…well, or at least we tried to.  When we booked our hotel a couple of months ago we were pretty confident that we would be taking the shuttle to the race, since it was an advertised perk, and the race was a few miles away from the hotel.  However, the week before the race, the Zooma website said that the shuttle was exclusively for the Langham guests.  (If we would’ve known that from the beginning we may have made different plans.) We decided to walk over to the hotel anyways, just to see if they were really checking, but they were actually checking room keys so we ended up taking a cab. Not a huge deal, I mean we still made it to the race with plenty of time to spare, but something that I wish was more clear from the beginning.


(photo courtesy of Mindy.)

After sitting around for a bit, the crowds began to form, and the race was getting ready to begin.  We headed over to the start line.  I decided to stand in line for the porta potties and made it back to the crowd just in time for the race to begin.

The race started out alright.  I didn’t feel great, but I attributed it to nerves and excitement. I made a conscious effort to start slow, knowing that I had never run that far so wanted to make sure I didn’t burn myself out.  The first couple of miles went pretty steadily.  I wasn’t going fast, but I also wasn’t stopping to walk so I’d call that a win!


Around mile 3 or 4 I started to not feel well.  My stomach was so grumbly and slightly nauseous feeling.  Did I eat too much?  Not enough? Was it the heat? I was so frustrated because the rest of my body felt fine! I definitely walked more than I wanted to, stopped at a couple of water stations, and a porta potty, all in hopes to make the icky feeling go away.  But no such luck.  I don’t think the fact that the course was full of twists and turns made me any more confident in myself either.  I had read on other blogs about people that participated in races where the different distances split off at certain points (which this one did), and people either ended up running too much or two little because of missed turns.  In the back of my head was always the feeling of “maybe I was supposed to go that way?” – which was easy to do because the course was filled with many non-race participants (because it was on a public path) so it would’ve been easy to just accidentally follow the wrong person around a corner.  I wasn’t feeling SO bad that wanted to drop out, so I knew I just had to suck it up and do my best to finish.  After all, that was my only goal anyways!


After that mental and physical struggle, I tried to really concentrate on my music and the lakefront scenery in an effort to distract myself. Around mile 5 or so, things started to get better.  I think that once I realized that I had already run farther than I ever had, and felt generally good, I was pretty pumped to give it my all the last mile.  Once the adrenaline took over, my stomach ache went away (temporarily) and I was running like I wish I had the entire race!

It was a bit of a struggle at points, but I did it, I finished! 6.2 miles.  A record distance for me, and the longest amount of time I’ve ever run. It may not have been the most awesome race, but I feel pretty good about it.

15 Responses

  1. And I was so proud of you-especially knowing the struggles now!

  2. Hooray!! So proud of you 🙂 And glad you found a bit of a burst at the end. It always helps me to not feel miserable afterwards 🙂 xo

  3. Way to go! Especially getting past the struggles!

  4. Congrats, hon! So proud of you for stepping out of your comfort zone and signing up in the first place, then for finishing despite that inevitable mental/physical game that is running. You should be so proud!

  5. Congrats Kelly!! I wish I could have run that–the course sounds beautiful! I didn’t realize it was so twisty though. I hate that feeling of wondering if you’re going the wrong way, and those splits for different race lengths are always a little scary even if you’re confident you’re in the right lane! Sounds like you handled it well, despite the tummy trouble–good for you!!!

  6. […] After the race (and after a much needed nap) my family and I headed to Old Town.  (My brother lives in the city, and my parents were in for the weekend) I had never been to Old Town before, so I was excited to see a different part of Chicago.  We were headed to Old Town to see a show at The Second City.  I’d never been there before, so I was pretty excited to see the show.  In case you aren’t familiar, The Second City Chicago is where famous names like John Belushi, Stephen Colbert, and Tina Fey (among MANY others) got their start. We went to see The Best of The Second City show, which is a show filled with sketch comedy and improv, similar to that of Saturday Night Live.  The show was really good.  It was very Chicago-centric – lots of jokes about the Cubs, and Chicago politicians – so if you weren’t from the area I’m not sure it would’ve been as funny.  As I watched I definitely thought about how some of the actors remind me of others, and how fun it would be to see them in bigger shows (like SNL) in the coming years. […]

  7. […] was also the week that I was in Chicago for the Zooma 10k! (My recap is here)  I did a separate insert for […]

  8. […] I was in Chicago last time was to go to a couple of trade shows for work.  After a busy Saturday racing, and then checking out Old Town, Sunday was filled with work.  I had some time for lunch in between […]

  9. […] run a handful of races.  And only a couple of those handful were actual, timed, races. (Crazylegs, Zooma 10k) Even with the little experience I have though, I know that I have not found a race day routine […]

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