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.
Tuesday: 6 x 800 (90 sec RI) @ 8:45
I only did 3 x 800 because I had a 5K that evening. I should have just skipped them all because it was so hot that evening and struggled to run the 3.1 miles.
Thursday: 1 mile easy, 5 miles @ 9:52, 1 mile easy
Unfortunately I woke up later than I expected and could only stay at the gym till 7:30 am because I had a school meeting at 9:00. With that time I only ran 3.15. I was gone all day and had not desire to run after my meeting.
Saturday: 12 miles @ 10:45
I did not run on Saturday but instead ran the RnR Chicago Half Marathon today which makes it my 100th race!!! Recap coming soon.
Total miles ran this week is 22.15.
Overall it was a good week. The weather was BRUTAL but I managed to stay cool by staying indoors.
This week I received a pair of new shoes (Brooks PureFlow), three different pairs of Lock Laces, and samples of Huma Chia Energy Gels. I am in love with the laces and I’ve already put the pink ones in my purple shoes.
I know it is not a good idea to try something new on race day but I took a chance and took 3 packets of the Huma gels. And guess not? They are fantastic and yummy! I took one 15 minutes before the start of the race and then two more throughout. I did not experience any stomach problems and am happy to say that these are my kind of energy gels. The only thing is that they are kind of expensive. Each one is about $2.25 but I guess that’s the price to pay for something that is great tasting and natural.
Again, it was muggy outside. Before I left my house I took a water bottle with me in the hopes that I would run with it. I knew there was only one water station along the way and knew that was not enough for me. Well, I finished the water BEFORE the start of the race. There was water by the start line so I grabbed another bottle.
The race began a little after 6:30. I had trouble with my Garmin locating a signal so I got out of the line and waited a few minutes.
The course was mainly through the U.S. Cellular Field parking lot. Boring. I did not like it one bit. I really tried to stay positive but I was hot, thirsty, and already had a headache. I finished my water bottle a little after the first mile. The view was not interesting at all. I cursed the sun in the hopes that it would go away. No luck. I focused instead on the reasons I was running this race. So many people/families are affected by ALS and as much as I was unhappy about the weather and the course, I was still grateful that I was healthy and had two running legs.
The last half mile or so was inside the stadium. I remember hearing last year that it was hot and long. Well, it was long but not hot since the AC was on. I kept on running and took one walking break before we were finally outside the field. We still had about another quarter mile before the finish line. It was cool there because it was like running to make a home run. I was so happy to see the finish line!!
Tuesday – 2 x 1200 (2 min RI) and 4 x 800 (2 min RI)
I updated my running plan based on the book “Run Less Run Faster”. This one ends the week of 9/22 and then I start training for Goofy Challenge. And I also have a training plan for it.
I know speed workouts are supposed to be hard but how hard? In the past I was doing them at 8:20 but it was just too difficult that I found myself taking breaks..a lot. With that many breaks it just defeats the purpose of speed workouts. So now my speed workouts will be more manageable but yet difficult for me and with time I will get that sub 2 half marathon!
These week’s workouts were the same as last week. And I felt great (better than last week) when I was done. I raised the incline to 1% and ran them in 9:01 (1200s) and 8:45 (800s).
Thursday – 1 mile easy, 2 miles @ 9:52, 1 mile easy, 2 miles @ 9:52, 1 mile easy
Done. I was sweating up a storm when I was done.
Saturday – 10 miles
I met my friend, PA, for another long run along the lakefront. We decided to meet at 6 am but he overslept and we did not start till close to 7. I was annoyed but then realized that it happens (it could happen one day to me). So I used the extra time to stretch and use the bathroom.
I used Aquaphor in the areas that I normally chafe and it worked! However, because it was a hot day and I was sweating a lot, I also chafed in other areas that I normally do not and that left me very unhappy.
Sunday – Yoga
Another 1.5 hours of hot yoga. I think I am getting the hang of it. But my right leg/hamstring/hip is still very, very tight and some poses are just too difficult for me. I know I need to stretch more so that I can do these. Pretty cool huh?