Coach Mario C

2010 Chicago Bucktown 5K Race

The 2010 Chicago Bucktown 5K Race was my first race. It all started when my wife got me some running shoes for my birthday. Honestly I never liked running shoes in the past because no matter which ones I got, they would always hurt. I would always just go to any sports store and pick whatever color and style I like the best. There were some pairs that I only wore a couple of times and did not liked them that much. I just always preferred basketball shoes instead. Then it all changed when I went to a store called Running Away Multisport. This is a store that specializes in selling everything you need for a triathlon. They got running shoes, bicycles and swimming gear and all kinds of apparel. They are truly experts in what they do and they helped me pick the right shoe that worked perfectly for me. Right away I noticed this was not like any other store I had been to in the past and I loved the service. When we paid we saw a sign that was advertising the Bucktown 5K race, and also the store was offering a FREE 8-week training program for the race. My wife and I immediately signed up for the program.

My old Michael Jordan shoes and my current Adidas shoes

My old Michael Jordan shoes and my current Adidas shoes

The way the program worked was that they had a 30-minute class that covered different topics and then after that we would go for a run. Some of the topics they covered were: how to buy running shoes, what running clothes to wear, safety tips, nutrition tips, stretching tips and race day preparation tips. They first class was on how to buy the proper shoe. I learned that the shoes have to be 1 size bigger than what day I usually would wear. In my case all my shoes are size 12, but when it comes to running shoes I now get a size 13. The reason why is because of the impact that running causes. If the shoe is too tight the impact on each stride has no place to go and eventually you will start having knee pain, back pain or shin splints. That class taught me so much and I really liked it. On our first practice we went out for 1 mile run. I was in P90X shape so I felt really good on the training. Eventually we started increasing the mileage week after week and I felt great.

2010 Chicago Bucktown 5K Yasira and Mario

Finally race day came and I was ready to bring it! I always like to set up goals and I didn’t really know anything about running or pace at that time. So I just said I want to run this race in 20 minutes. Very quickly I realized that this was a pretty BIG goal for my running abilities at that time. On race day it was pretty cold day. I did some warming up and stretching while waiting for the bell to go off. Finally the moment of truth came and off we went. I started running pretty strong at the beginning and then in the middle I started slowing down and by the end I was even slower. I had no idea on how to pace myself, but I was very focused and I just did my best. At the end of the race I had a huge headache and a girl came up to me and gave me some Gatorade and a banana to eat. That day I got home and I was so tired that I just layed on the couch. I was thinking to myself, “how can I be this tired?” I had practiced for the race, but that first race opened my eyes into a whole new world. I finished the race in 24 min 10 seconds and I felt great of the effort that I gave it. I had found a new fitness challenge and a new passion was born.

2010 Chicago Bucktown 5K Mario Finish