Last Sunday I ran my 7th marathon – the Chicago Marathon. It was also the 4th time I’ve run this race (2006, 2008, 2010, and 2015).
You can read about my trip to the expo on Friday here.
I got my stuff ready and went to bed early. I woke up around midnight to use the bathroom and had no trouble going back to sleep. Before I knew it, it was 4am and time to get up and get ready. I checked the weather and was somewhat pleased with it. Too many suns in there worried me a little.
Well, nothing to do about it but get on the train and head downtown. I chose to drive to the train station instead of walking. I am so glad I did because I chafed really, really bad and could hardly walk. Well, let me just say that it hurt more to walk from the chafing than from running 26.2 miles.
Anyway, I made it to the CES Race Resort. Wow! I am so amazed by it and glad I signed up. I had a warm place to wait, plenty of real bathrooms to use, water, coffee, bananas, bagels, and other food. That was just breakfast. For after the race there was pizza, hummus, vegetables, mostaccioli, and other stuff I cannot remember.
It was finally time to go. I found my corral and waited about 30 minutes for my official wave (2) to start. Then I waited about 15 more minutes to cross the start line.
It was gorgeous! A bit sunny but not hot nor cold at all. I started too fast and ran my first mile in 9:06. Yikes! I stopped to walk because I knew I would pay for it later. Mile 2-11:13; Mile 3-10:22; Mile 4-10:54; Mile 5-12:13. I was feeling great and did not realize I was going faster than I should have. I wore my watch but chose not to look at it all of the time.
There were areas that were sunny but many more were shaded which felt great. Before I knew it, I was at the halfway point. Per my Garmin, I finished 13 miles in 2:24:59. I did not feel tired(yet) nor sore (could be the two Tylenols I took at the beginning of the race) which isn’t how I felt after finishing the Chicago Half Marathon two weeks ago. When I finished the half I did not have it in me to run another 13.1 miles. But I did not feel that way on Sunday. I felt like I could run another 13.1 miles.
Then I got tired. And really hot. I walked. But I ran too. The sun simply would not go away. I tried to listen to music but somehow that just aggravated me. Plus, there were so many supporters and that helped me block any negative thoughts.
Then the chafing began. Oh my goodness! That was painful. Then my feet hurt. Not the actual feet but my toes and the sides of my feet. I could feel so many blisters forming with each step I took.
I love Pilsen! As a spectator that is the place I like to wait and cheer for the runners. There were so many people. I saw my friend Maria and that made me happy. She hugged me and I hoped she did not notice I was smelling so bad.
I saw another friend at mile 20. I was still hot and tired. And my feet? Just thinking that I still had 6.2 miles almost got me crying.
I don’t think I hit the wall. I still felt good. It was just my feet. The last 6 miles were brutal. I wonder if I would have felt better if I had taken off my shoes and ran without them.
I love seeing the markers letting me know that I had a mile to go, then half a mile, and finally a quarter of a mile. I ran and walked up Mt. Roosevelt and was so happy to see the finish line. Love it!
Finish time is 5:21:17. Now here is where it gets “complicated”. I know that no one really runs the tangents and usually ends up running more than the actual race distance. I remember at one point of the race my watch was showing .40 more than the mile markers. Well, my Garmin watch states I ran 27.64 miles. It is a difference of 1.44 miles. Is it possible? I remember that for some parts of the race I did follow the blue line. But here we are looking at more than a mile. The Nike+ app (which syncs with my watch) has me finishing a marathon in 5:01:41. Now I know that is not an official marathon finish time but at least I know that I did run 26.2 miles in that time. Yes, that make me very happy.
As for my feet? A few blisters and two nails with blood. I read online that I can drain the blood using a paper clip but that kind of freaks me out. But I also do not know what else to do. Thoughts?
And the chafing? Much better now. I ran in the Oiselle Long Roga and have never had problems with them.
Sometime during the past few days I asked myself “What if? questions” One of my goals was to PR (5:16:53). I know I missed it by about 5 minutes. I looked back at the race and wondered “What if I hadn’t walked so much on 18th street (Pilsen)?” What if I had used a run/walk timer to run the last 6 miles? What if I had run without my shoes since they were giving me so much trouble? It drove me crazy that finally I had enough.
I know I ran a great race. I actually had fun running the marathon. And I don’t remember EVER feeling that way. My official finish time may not really reflect it but I know ran a marathon in 5 hours.
I think Lola likes the medal. What do you think?
So bring on Chicago Marathon 2016!!!
What watch/app do you use for your races? What has been the most difference in distance between your watch and the race?