The morning of the half, Rachel and I popped out of bed at 4:30 after a restless night of sleep. It was one of those awful, never ending kind of nights and it was a relief to finally hear the alarm go off.
We ate our bagels and Gatorade (and coffee for me), and that (ahem) got things moving.
|Yes, it is absolutely necessary to post a picture of how many pre-race poopers you were graced with.|
Around 6:00am, we headed out the door to walk across to Grant Park to find our corrals. It was cloudy and cool... perfect running weather
I hit the porta-potties once more, and we were off to our corral.
We found our corral easily, and the race started right on time. I hugged Rachel as we were running to the start, and I took off, not to see her until the finish. Or so I thought. Dum dum dumm.....
I felt OK as I first started running. I've been worried about several nagging injuries, but nothing was hurting me when I took off. It was not even a half mile in when I decided to try to find the 2:00 pace group and see how long I could stay with them.
Miles went by, I missed seeing my mom at mile 2, which bummed me out, and I couldn't find this damn pacer guy.
I noticed my Garmin kind of acting goofy - my pace would vacillate wildly between 5 and 15 minute miles, but I figured it was the tall buildings, and didn't give it much thought. I just kept my eye on the time and distance, and tried to find that 2:00 pace dude.
Running through the streets of Chicago is amazing. It's my third time doing this race, and I just love it.
Around mile three I found Mr. Pace Guy... holding his sign like a grocery sack dragging down by the ground. Come on man, how much more effort does it take to rest that little stick against your shoulder?
About four miles in, we ran through this incredible gauntlet of the craziest, loudest spectators I have ever seen, and my pace picked up considerably for about a mile. I lost Mr. Pace Dude, and judging by my Garmin, I was several minutes ahead of the 2:00 pace, so I was feeling good and ready to smash into the 1:50s.
Mile 5. ha. Mile 5 was my freaking wake up call. This was the first mile marker that I actually saw on the course, and when I looked down at my Garmin to confirm the distance, my Garmin was reading....
So now I knew my Garmin was way off, and I was running, much, much slower than I thought. It was also around this time that the clouds lowered and it started raining.
The rain cheered me up quite a bit, as did seeing my mom around mile 7. Am I the only mama's girl that gets all choked up at races when she hears her mommy?
I kept an even pace, still looking out for the pace guy, who I figured was either in front of me or right around me.
The next few miles were rough.... I felt very nauseous, goosebumpy, and shaky, and I wanted to be done.
Around 12 miles in after my slowest mile yet, I feel a tap on my shoulder.
Are you freaking kidding me? I'm pretty sure my face when I turned around was a mixture of the pain of running 12 miles, total surprise, a teeny bit of joy for her, and a fair amount of pissed-offness that now I was going to have to pick up the pace.
We picked it up for the last mile and really used each other to keep the pace. We chugged up over the last (and first) hill of the race, and we took off at that hilarious speed I call "half-marathon sprinting" which is lunging forward and trying not to faceplant.
I crossed the finish line in
Overall: 4004 of 15259
Division: 488 of 2488
Gender: 1571 of 9480
We got our Popsicles, headed over to find my mom and cousin, and then got our post-race beers.
And to wrap up this gloriously long post, I'll give you a teaser of what's in store for you tomorrow.
Post-race recap and the Tandem Icebath