5k Review: Warm Your Heart Indoor 5k

When I decided on my goal of running 365 miles in 2013, I was worried about getting mileage under my belt in the winter time. I had never run outside during winter, and I hate the cold, so my worry was warranted.

The previous year, the year we had moved back from Hawaii, I did not run at all in the winter. I never even dreamed of braving the cold and just assumed that nobody ran in the wintertime. You just take a break from October to April, right? I had heard, though, that there was an indoor 5k in Chicago. It turns out that there is such a thing: the Warm Your Heart Indoor 5k that runs around the McCormick Place in downtown Chicago. My first thought was, “brilliant!” That’s how you do it! I thought it was a great idea, but I didn’t sign up.

When this year rolled around, I had more motivation. I also had the knowledge that runners do not, in fact, take a break during winter. This frightened me a little bit, but I figured, what better way to start my running year than to do an indoor 5k?!

I signed up and that was that.

The race was on a Sunday morning, so my husband and I went down on Saturday night. My brother-in-law lives in Chicago, so we were able to hang out with him and his then-fiancee (they’re married now! woo!) and stayed the night at their place.

One thing I do not enjoy about most 5ks is that you have to wake up early for them. I haven’t revealed this about myself yet, but I don’t like to run in the morning. I learned to run in the evenings in Hawaii, because logistically, that was the only time I could run, but I learned to love it. I still prefer to run in the early evening. It motivates me to eat well throughout the day and to drink plenty of water, and I always feel pretty tired after a run so it’s nice to be able to relax for the rest of the evening and take a nice shower before bed…

{Doesn’t that sound better than getting ready and going to work? No? Just me?}

Well, for the indoor 5k, we had to get up pretty early. It was a 9am race, and it was downtown at the McCormick Place. I had my Cliff bar and some water… and I wasn’t awake, because I’m not awake until after a cup of coffee, but you shouldn’t drink coffee before a race, so… yeah… we get there bright and early, try to navigate our way up to the race, and I get some of the typical pre-race jitters. This was the first race I ever did alone, so that was really strange. Jonah hung around with me for a while, but then he walked over to where the race would finish. So I busied myself walking around, awkwardly doing some stretches (because I still don’t really know how to stretch… more on that later…) and using the bathroom like three times. Anxious Katie has a very nervous bladder.



We lined up according to run pace. I stuck myself in the 11-min pace group. I hadn’t run much since August, so I figured I’d put myself in the 11-min group, even though I was hoping for a 10-min pace. Suddenly, I felt the urge to use the bathroom again. I figured it was just nerves, so I ignored it… and then I was running and the urge was worse. Thankfully, about a quarter into the race, there were bathrooms. I ducked out of the race and used it real quick, losing about a minute or two, and jumped back in, feeling much better.

The first part of the course was running laps through a big warehouse room. It wasn’t very pretty, and I didn’t really like it. Running outside keeps me motivated because you keep moving forward; in this room, you ran up and down and looked at the same stuff the entire time. It was a little boring. I ran pretty steady alongside a group of ladies in awesome “Black Girls RUN!” t-shirts. They provided some motivation for me, as the motivation that exuded from them was pretty contagious. They also encouraged one another along and I just vicariously took some of that encouragement for myself, and I really needed it.

I was slow. Really, really slow. I ran for maybe 10 minutes, then I just had to walk. I got out of the first big warehouse, and then we ran across the skyway– which is the best part of the race. You get an awesome view Chicago from the skyway. That pumped me up with a little more motivation– so I started running again. This part was uphill a bit, it was an arced ramp over the highway, but then you ran downhill on the other side and thankfully I didn’t stop running, because Jonah was at the bottom of the ramp, filming me.

Warm Your Heart Indoor 5k . 2013

Then we went into yet another warehouse, this one was a little bigger. Again, it was laps and again, it was boring. I decided to make goals for myself, because at this time I was tired and ready to quit. I decided I’d run half of one lap and walk the second half. I pushed myself each time and ran a little further than I told myself I would, but I still walked a LOT more than I wanted to and have previously done. It was embarrassing compared to my previous 5ks.

This experience taught me a few things:

  • First, you can’t run twice before a 5k and think you’ll run the whole thing just because you’ve run a 5k before. Training is important, yo.
  • Second, it’s a lot more fun to run 5ks with other people. Even though I’m a solo runner and tend to lag behind others, it’s still more fun to be doing it with friends.
  • Third, it motivated me to run more. I left feeling a little defeated, but also pretty motivated to sign up for some more 5ks and run a lot more in between them.

I was still glad that I did it for the experience. I probably wouldn’t run the race again, at least not by myself, because other than the skyway part, it was pretty boring. It also showed me how out of shape I was, and how very much I needed that goal I had set for myself. I plan to report a much less embarrassing review of my next 5k! Here’s hoping.



{skyway view - post race}

{skyway view – post race}

For more information about the Warm Your Heart Indoor 5k, click here.

2 thoughts on “5k Review: Warm Your Heart Indoor 5k

  1. […] to keep myself running, I like to consistently have a 5k that I’m training for. I had run the indoor 5k in January, it seemed like a pretty good idea to have one on the calendar for March. I considered […]

  2. […] last race in Chicago was the Warm Your Heart Indoor 5k, and I felt like garbage after that run. After this run, I felt awesome. I felt like I had […]

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