I did it, I finished the Chicago Marathon. Granted, it was definitely not my fastest marathon, but given the circumstances errr heat I’m more than thrilled with my time!
Backing up- Friday my mom came into town and we went to the expo at McKormick Center. The expo was huge- so many vendors, charities, and free samples!
There were so many runners, spectators, and volunteers- it was pretty overwhelming! My favorite part of the exhibit was a huge Nike wall that from far away looked pretty normal, but up close had all of the participants names listed…
After the expo, my mom and myself were exhausted- we took the shuttle bus to a stop near my apartment, walked home, and met my boyfriend, Ian, to head out to dinner. We went to the Chicago Diner, a vegetarian only restaurant with food similar to diner food- reubans, burgers, “chicken wings” etc. It was delicious and I loved that I could try everyones dish, a problem I usually have as I don’t eat meat. After dinner we were all tired and headed home to crash.
Saturday- Saturday consisted of going out to breakfast, walking over to Macy’s so I could pick up some facewash (I love my Clinique), stopping at the Verizon store—> hello new iphone, and then heading out to Northwestern to see UofM play.
The game was a nailbiter at times but UofM ended up beating Northwestern! Knowing that we had an hour long el ride home, we left the game a bit early so that we could make a pit stop at TCBY before calling it a night. I went to bed much later than normal (for having a marathon in the morning). Oops.
Sunday- I woke up around 5:45 to get ready for the race- luckily I live within walking distance of the start area and was able to sleep as long as possible. I had my usual pre-race breakfast of a larabar, kefir, and water and headed over to Grant Park. The start area was closed to spectators so I said goodbye to my mom and Ian and headed in to the park to use the porta-potties and find my corral.
I had decided when I registered that I was going to run the Chicago Marathon for fun, not for time, knowing that I was most likely going to be running the Boston Marathon in April. So, I put myself in the open corral rather than seeding myself. It did not take me very long to figure out that this was a mistake. The fastest pacer in the open corral was a 3:50 and I was hoping to run a 3:30. I figured I would just have to pace myself well during the race.
The race started and we were all in a pack. It took me over 6 minutes to cross the start line and 7 miles for the runners to spread out. During that time I got tripped by a woman crossing the race and scraped my knee and both my palms. Gradually the temperature began to rise and I could feel myself getting dizzy and light headed. I took more water at the water stations and started to run through sprinklers but I could not cool off. Around mile 18 I realized I needed to slow down if I wanted to finish the race. I cut my pace to a little over an 8 min/mile and was able to make it to the 21 mile mark before I decided I had to walk.
I have never walked in a race before but I am so glad that I walked in this one. I had stopped sweating, was no longer thinking clearly, and beginning to feel nauseous. Walking allowed me to drink some water, cool off, and calm down. I walked 30 seconds and ran 3 minutes for a couple of miles before I decided to take one last long walk break around mile 23.5. This longer break did the trick and I was able to run the last two miles smoothly at an 8:07 pace.
Ian caught me approaching the finish line.
I was so happy to just be done with the race. I crossed the finish line, collected my medal, and immediately downed a bottle and a half of water. I was just glad to have finished and not quit on myself, even though this was not my fastest race (finished in 3:34), it was my hardest mentally and physically. Although my body never cramped or got really tight, the heat really wore on me and I am glad that I decided to take those walk breaks…. whew.
Here are some post race pics-
- runningthewindycity posted this