Happy Tuesday! I hope that everyone had a great weekend. It finally cooled down in Chicago but we are expecting more HOT weather tomorrow. I hope it cools down for the RnR Chicago Half Marathon on the 21st.
This week’s Tuesday Topic: What are your tips for a strong training cycle? You can write about this topic, or feel free to post any running related blog post. Remember to link-up with Kim and Zenaida! Visit at least two of the other linked posts – the more the merrier! Remember to come back for later linkers!
For this week I am going to write about my race on Thursday – Elmhurst 4 on the 4th. It is one of my favorite races and highly recommend it race to everyone. It is cheap, plenty of free parking, and somewhat in a central location for those living in the Chicago area.
I got home later than I wanted to on Wednesday night and I didn’t not want to get up. I thought about sleeping in and missing the race. I guess I must have been feeling guilty because I couldn’t go back to sleep and so I quickly got up, got ready, and drove to Elmhurst. Google Map said I would arrive around 6:45am. Yikes, that was the time for the Oiselle group photo. Oh well.
Somehow I made it to Elmhurst about 6:38, found a parking spot, and sent a message to one of the girls letting her know that I was on my way. I found the group and while waiting for a minute or two in case someone else showed up, I picked up my bib since packet pickup was located next to us. I got number 23. I was happy! It is Michael Jordan’s number so it must be a lucky number, right?
After the photo I went to use the port-a-potty and then lined up to wait for the start. I saw a few friends and chatted with them for a bit. I was happy to meet/see Becca. We both looked at each other and stopped because we recognized one another from reading each other’s blog.
I remember hearing the National Anthem and then still waiting a few minutes for the start. The race director had a countdown going. Finally it was a minute to go and we all got ready to run.
Finally at 7:15 it was time to run. I started close to the front knowing that many people would pass me. And yes they did. The beginning of the course has a slight downhill and coming back it is an uphill leading to the finish line. Definitely no bueno. It was humid and I was sweating already, but surprisingly I was feeling good.
My 1st mile was my fastest. I thought I could run the whole race at that pace but soon realized that I couldn’t.
The first water station was 1/2 mile into the race. It was much needed. The next one was about a mile later under the underpass (??). I got two cups of water, one to drink and another one to dump over my head. I walked to catch my breath and then continued running. I was slowing down and I could not make my legs go any faster. I saw Kathleen at the turnaround point and she encouraged me to keep going.
I am smiling because I saw some friends but inside I was struggling.
Halfway through the race I had a headache and was shivering. Definitely not a good sign. I was dehydrated and overheated. I just wanted to be done.
With a mile to go I picked up the pace a bit. Not much but anything to get me closer to the finish line. The volunteers were encouraging. I knew I was close to the end but I had to go up a little incline. Right before the incline there was an ambulance and a girl on the stretcher. I think I remember seeing that girl on the course ahead of me but I’m not sure. I hope she is OK.
Almost done! I ran as fast as I could. Smiling because I was almost done.
I did a bit better than the year before.
After the race I got some water and then went to get my bag at gear check. The only thing I had there was my shirt. Not sure why I picked up the shirt since I don’t keep them anyway (I gave it to my mom). I saw a coffee company giving out free iced coffee and got a cup. Yeah, coffee after a HOT race is probably not the best idea but the ice was so good and the coffee was delicious too.
As I’ve mentioned before, I love this race. This is the only 4 mile race I run since not many are available. It is a competitive race but I know I will never win nor place in my age group. 🙂 It is cheap ($25 then $30 after the price increase) and easy to get to. Perhaps one day we will get a medal?