Done. This race was not one of the 50 + 1 states goal. I ran it because I live in Chicago and the registration fee is covered in the TourPass. Let me begin by saying that this was my 100th race and my WORST finish time race this year. I’ve been racking my brain trying to figure out what went wrong. I ran better in Nashville (2:30:14) and it rained the entire course. I was miserable in that race. My other worst time was in Seattle (2:30:39) and that race was a month ago. Since then the only other race I’ve done was a 5K.
This whole week we’ve had a heat wave and I was so happy when the temperature was cooler today. I woke up at 4:30 and did the usual pre-race things (bathroom, coffee, Clif Bar, etc). I made it to the race by 6:10 and missed the Chicago Running Bloggers meet up at 5:45. I did not check in any gear but used the time to use the porta potty. No line! Score. I got in my corral, double checked my Garmin, and just waited. Before I knew it, we were off!
The course took us through various areas of downtown Chicago. Actually, part of the course was part of the Chicago Marathon course. I was sweating and thirsty before the start of the race. Definitely not good. I was trying to keep a 10:15 pace but having a hard time with it. My legs felt heavy. I alternated drinking water and Gatorade at each water station. To motivate me I listened to music and pictured myself crossing the finish line. I walked. Then I ran again. And walked again. I was tired and thirsty. When it was time for my second energy gel I did not want to take it without water but there was no water station in sight. Luckily there were some spectators giving out water bottles (my angels) so I took one and drank all of it. That’s how thirsty I was. I remember this was before mile 10 and kept telling myself that I was almost done. After mile 10 there was ice, sponges filled with iced cold water, and a water misting area. Heaven!
The last three miles we ran close to the lakefront and in a tunnel (cool with music and lights). I saw a man on the sidewalk with blood in his face. I did not see him fall but it freaked me out.
There was an incline and then I saw the finish line but it was SO FAR AWAY. I ran and walked and then ran to the finish line. My finish time was 2:34:38. I grabbed water, Gatorade, chocolate milk, and a banana and went to sit down. It felt good but then it hurt once I had to get up.
Whew, I feel much better writing about it. A few people have told me that not all of my races will be good races. And that is true. I will be upset about it but then I will get over it. I have many more races to run and I intend to enjoy them as much as I can.
Oh, and I think yesterday’s race did not go well for me because I was hot and dehydrated. I drank more water before the race and along the course then I’ve ever done so in any race. Of course it did not help that it was hot. Oh well. Nothing to do about it now except learn from it and make sure I am properly hydrated. My next half marathon is in Virginia Beach and I’ve heard from a few people that last year it was hot, hot.