Running the Windy City

Chicago Marathon Recap

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…


Found me!


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-

Post-race nastiness:


Knee scrape:




  1. runningthewindycity posted this
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