2012 Run For Blood 5K Run Recap

On Sunday, Sept. 23rd my sister and I ran our very first race together – the Run for Blood 5K. It all started when my sister, who enjoys running in her free time as well (just not long distance), texted me asking to sign up for a race together. Ummm YES PLEASE. I always get excited when someone wants to run with me (or just run in general), so I immediately searched for and sent her a list of 5K races we could run. We ended up choosing the Run for Blood 5K, which was not only for a great cause but the route was a short walk from her apartment. I immediately registered both of us. This was also going to be my first official 5K race, meaning an instant PR.

I crashed at my sister’s the night before the race, and we spent the evening watching some major Kardashian drama and eating chocolate…basically the perfect night.

My current favorite nightly snack: mashed avocado + grainy organic mustard + mashed hardboiled egg on Ezekiel sprouted bread

My sister picked up our race packets earlier that day, and I was a big fan of what was inside:

(A nice tech tee and a metal water container)

The best part was my bib number!!! My lucky number is 2, and having the bib #222 was a good sign. Or so I thought…

I guesstimated what I would wear the following morning based on the weather report, and laid out my options for easy access the next day.

The alarm blared at 7AM the following morning. I slept very well and only complained a tiny bit upon getting out of bed. I prepped my traditional pre-run breakfast for both of us: coffee and half of an Alvarado Street Bakery sprouted cinnamon raisin bagel topped with almond butter and banana slices.

My sis apparently needs to have a full breakfast before any sort of exercise, so she also made herself a hardboiled egg.

I quickly ate my half of the bagel, foam rolled, and got dressed:

(I wore: Lululemon Wunder Unders, Lululemon Run Swiftly tech tee, Brooks PureCadence shoes, a shiny headband made by yours truly, Garmin Forerunner 305 & heart rate monitor, and a random sports bra)

Can you tell how excited I am to be wearing not only my awesome bib number, but the bright pink Lulu shirt that I bought 1.5 months ago and have been dying to wear ever since. I was slightly worried about overheating, but given the short distance I had minimal problems. Yes, I pulled a runner’s no-no and wore something new on race day (again), but Lulu didn’t let me down.

I popped a TUMS pill (running heartburn cure-all!)…

…and then we headed out to the start and arrived to a large group of people just standing around in confusion.

Even though we were not planning on running together, my sister and I were still happy to be running a race “together.” It’s all about the sisterly experience!

Eventually we lined up and were ready to go. The weather was perfect – chilly but it warmed up quickly.

(Notice that the banner says “Finish” instead of “Start”? So weird…it bugged me a bit)

There was no countdown or announcement made indicating the race was about to start. To everyone’s surprise, the horn just went off and awoke my sister and I from lala land.

Mile 1
8:52 min/mile
The race started out in slight confusion. I didn’t start running immediately after crossing the start line, and I forgot to turn on my Garmin because my sister panicked when Pandora wouldn’t work on her cell phone and I panicked too. The first few steps felt heavy and messy, and I worried that there would be a repeat of last week’s race. Luckily (lucky #2!), my body got in the groove, my heart rate fell under 170, and I sped up comfortably.

Mile 2
8:56 min/mile
The second mile began right around the time we turned to run alongside Lake Michigan. It was a straight path but I enjoyed the gorgeous views of the city up ahead. There was an awkward turn-around point at mile 1.5, but I was immediately excited to see my sister running. She wasn’t too far behind and we happily spotted each other with big smiles on our faces. I maintained my speedy pace as thoughts of clocking in under 27 minutes floated to mind. My body was starting to feel the faster pace, but I kept going.

Mile 3
8:37 min/mile
My heart rate starting climbing soon after my Garmin chirped at mile 2 completion. I was tired as hell, but knowing that I only had 1 mile left in the race helped push me onwards. Every tiny hill made my legs ache and my heart rate complain in acknowledgement. I sped up around mile 3.70 and then sprinted the moment I saw the 3 mile marker. Dizzy and delirious, I crossed the finish line at 26:59, according to my Garmin, but I knew I didn’t break 26 minutes because I started my Garmin a few seconds late.

So here’s the catch – my timing chip was defective!

When I checked my time online, it wasn’t there!!! I felt like I was back in college obsessively checking/refreshing the website to post my final grade on an exam. So you can imagine my disappointment when I got no score time.

Final Time: 27:10 min (approximate – based on my Garmin time + 10 generous seconds added for a delayed start)

I am so bummed about this because the race was my first official 5K and I felt great about my final time. I would have been 7th in my age division! So much for lucky number 2.

–  Small race: this is honestly a personal preference and should not be put into either the pro or con category, but I actually enjoyed the smaller size this time. I think I’m a lover of the hustle and bustle of large races (Shamrock Shuffle, Rock ‘n’ Roll Half, etc.) because you are always running “with” someone, but a small race was a breath of fresh air.
–  Refreshments + snacks at the finish: I was happy to see water bottles, bananas, and granola bars set up for the finishers. Always appreciated!
–  Race tech tees: I might have to say that the shirt may just be one of my favorites. It’s lightweight and has a nice design.
–  Mile markers: I was happy to see mile markers as they validated my Garmin’s accuracy.

–  Defective timing chip: I know this can happen at any race and it’s definitely not the race’s fault. I’m just being whiny…
–  No initial start announcement/countdown: I was disappointed with the start in general. There was no announcement, countdown, or music while we waited and the horn just kind of went off – most people were taken by surprise by it and my sis and I were in the middle of our conversation. The banner above the start line also said “Finish” instead of “Start” which made no sense because we finished on the opposite side of the banner.
–  Route: this is mostly applicable to me because this was the third race that I ran in this location, but I was tired of the route! Can’t we just once go in the other direction along Lake Shore Drive? However, the route is great and scenic for a first-timer.
–  Not enough coverage: I wish the race highlighted the cause (blood drives) more. Maybe set up some info stations?

After last weekend’s crappy race, this run sparked my love for running yet again despite the timing chip fiasco. Ok, so my love never really went away – the race was just a reminder of why running is amazing. My sister totally agreed – she said she could’ve kept running! Her final time was 30:43 (9:55 min/mile average) – a fantastic finish for someone who doesn’t run as religiously as I do.

Here she is finishing strong:

Such great running form! I’m a proud sista.

I might sound a bit crazy to some, but I swear my new bright pink Lulu top mentally helped me run. New clothes always give me a boost of confidence when worn for the first time!

(Wise words written across the bottom inside of the shirt)

Sweaty and happy, we walked back to her apartment and proceeded to make delicious recovery food with a side of Kardashian drama:

I didn’t nearly spend as much time as I would have liked with my sister, but there are races every weekend ifyouknowwhatImean.

Do you prefer smaller or larger races?

What is your favorite distance to race?

Have you ever had a defective timing chip?

♥ Irina


  1. September 26, 2012 / 8:00 am

    That shirt really is gorgeous. I’m taking a trip to the mountains this fall, and I’m scary excited to go to Lulu and pick out a few new cold-weather things. This would be PERFECT for hiking…gosh I hope they have one in stock!

  2. September 26, 2012 / 8:38 am

    Oh man that sucks about the timing chip!!! Last year at the Hot Chocolate 5K they had to re-route due to an accident in the loop so the race ended up being 3.4 miles or something like that. So, they had to estimate our 5K time. It still annoys me to not have an official time for that race!

    • September 27, 2012 / 10:27 pm

      Oh wow that would upset and annoy me too! I guess we can’t always predict what can go wrong during races and we just need to make the best of the situation. Ha easier said than done though…

  3. September 26, 2012 / 9:44 am

    Do you know what the name of the timing company was? The SAME thing happened to me at the Cosley Zoo 10K. The timing company said the chips were glued on vertically and not horizontally (or something) so no official time was recorded and it wasn’t their fault. If it’s not the timing company’s fault that the timing didn’t work, who’s is it?

    • September 27, 2012 / 10:29 pm

      It was a “Runner’s Edge Timing Chip”. Was that the company you had too? I am almost considering emailing them but it’s not like it would help the situation. Oh well…there’s always this weekend’s 5K to redeem myself I guess…

  4. September 26, 2012 / 10:00 am

    That’s so great you and your sister did a race together! I officially signed up for a 5k that’s happening in two weeks! I’m looking forward to it, but I also hope I have enough time to get in some running workouts since school starts tomorrow ><!

    • September 27, 2012 / 10:32 pm

      Yay congrats for signing up! Officially putting down that “down payment” on a race is such a motivation to run more. Look at running as your after-school stress reliever (because we both know how ridiculously stressful school can be) and then you will be motivated to fit in those workouts!

  5. September 26, 2012 / 10:29 am

    Awwr sorry to hear about the timing chip malfunction, love. I would have been pretty bummed if that happened to me as well. But at least you have a general idea of how you did, and you were able to spend some quality time with your sister 🙂 I’ve never run a race, but if I was to enter one then I think I’d start with a 5K because I’ve never been much of a distance runner so anything longer seems daunting. And I’d also probably prefer a smaller race, because big crowds tend to kind of overwhelm me.

    • September 27, 2012 / 10:34 pm

      Thanks 🙁 I was pretty mad/upset about the whole situation, but then I registered for another 5K this weekend and feel excited again. Maybe I’ll redeem myself? And you’re right – the best part of the race was being there with my sister and I wouldn’t change that for anything.

      You should register for a short and small race! I always love seeing people get in the running spirit 🙂 and Autumn is the perfect time to start

  6. September 26, 2012 / 10:54 am

    Congrats on a great race!

    Ugh! What a bummer about the timing chip! And for your first 5K! 🙁 Ugh.

    That top is too cute! I love the text written in to it! What a clever idea 🙂

    • September 27, 2012 / 10:35 pm

      Thanks! I was upset for a few days but there will be more races (like the Rosehill Cemetery Crypt 5K this weekend)!

  7. September 26, 2012 / 2:44 pm

    Can we pleas talk about how gorgeous you are? You are seriously so pretty. BOO for the timing chip. I had a timing chip fall off once and they wouldn’t replace it. They were so rude to me about it too! Have a great week girl!

    • September 27, 2012 / 10:39 pm

      Aww thanks so much! It’s nice to hear that, especially when I feel really down (it’s been a tough few weeks…) You’re awesome and quite stunning yourself 🙂

      And what is with these companies and races being so rude about timing chips? Someone seriously needs to take the blame for these malfunctions

  8. September 28, 2012 / 8:47 pm

    Really great shirt! I like the thumb loops which are perfect for chilly runs to keep your hands warm. I have the short sleeve version of it and it has quickly become one of my favorite shirts to run in.
    It totally stinks that your timing chip didn’t work, but it sounds like you had a good race anyway. There will be plenty more races to run though! 🙂

    • September 30, 2012 / 10:52 am

      Thanks! Yea it was disappointing at first but like you said…there will be more races (like yesterday’s!). And I looooveee the Lulu shirt. It’s officially my favorite! Lulu products are so great and even though they are ridiculously pricey, I can’t help myself!

  9. September 28, 2012 / 10:18 pm

    Great job on your first 5K! Bummer that you timing didn’t work though!

    • September 30, 2012 / 10:53 am

      Yea it happens I guess 🙁 It’s ok because there will be more races!

  10. September 29, 2012 / 11:32 am

    Sounds like they have some kinks to work out for this run. I agree it’s a really great cause – I really wanted to do this one but was out of town. The shirt does look awesome. And “Run for Blood” is still the best unintentionally creepy race name ever.

    • September 30, 2012 / 10:56 am

      Yea I’m not giving them a hard time about it at all because I think it may have been the first year this race was on (?) The shirts really are awesome in the coolest, creepiest way 🙂

  11. September 30, 2012 / 10:57 pm

    Congratulations on an amazing race and adding yet another race to your list of accomplishments!!! You should be very proud, you ran an amazing time!!! But what a HUGE bummer that your timing chip didn’t activate. That is SO DISAPPOINTING!!!

    My favorite race distance is the 10-miler – short enough that you can add some speed to it, but long enough that it takes some training and strategy! I have to say that I’m starting to like the smaller races more and more – they are just so much easier to deal with!!!

    • October 5, 2012 / 2:43 pm

      Thank you!!! Yes it was disappointing but I ended up redeeming myself the following weekend 🙂

      Wow I wish I could run a 10-miler with ease like you! I found that the longer the distance, the more nervous I am come race day. Hopefully one day I will reach your level 🙂