Let’s start with the expo…I rarely get to make it downtown for race expos due to work etc. but with Friday being my last day off, I jumped at the chance to take the train downtown with everyone to check out the expo and pick up our race packets.
Positives-The expo had a lot of great booths, with neat little free stuff that they were giving away. I was blessed with a 10 minute chair massage that was GLORIOUS.
We only had a finite amount of time, so we snapped as many pictures as possible, and had a blast on the trolley ride back to the train.
Negatives-the trolley was extremely late, and we ended up taking a cab to the expo due to lack of time. Sadly we found out it showed up about 5 minutes after we left in our cab, but it all worked out!
I haven’t “raced” in months…after a torn Achilles last fall I have taken my running very easy in order to let myself heal properly. I have been running, a little, but not where I was last year by far. This morning I woke up at 3 a.m. and wasn’t able to fall back asleep…ack! Really? But thankfully I had *all my gear set out and ready to go, as we were meeting at Carolyn’s house at 6:20 a.m. to head downtown. I nearly left my subdivision, and had my hand on my right leg…I forgot my knee brace! I quickly turned around, grabbed it and hit the road running.
I was super duper thankful for my Nuun with caffeine this morning as it seemed to give me that jump start I needed. As I don’t drink coffee, I take all the help I can get from other caffeinated products like tea/sugar free 5 hour energy.
We made it downtown in record time and had some pre-race fuel. It was time to head to our corrals….Melissa B left before us as she was in a speedier corral, so the remaining girls hit up the gear check, porta potties, and gave each other hugs and high fives to kick this race’s butt…
One of my only complaints, is the congestion trying to get into your corral. I allowed myself PLENTY of time, yet after stepping in a mud puddle trying to rush around people I realized I had TWO minutes to get into my corral before it closed. Talk about panic mode!!!
But I made it, and had a few minutes to calm down, breathe, and reflect on everything…slowly, we inched up, and I could see the start…
The first mile (as always) was a bit of a cluster, as most city races are…but I was able to dodge and weave like a mad woman, and found myself getting into my groove by the second mile. My Garmin lost signal while under the tunnel, but regained signal coming out so that helped keep me calm. I settled in by the 2 mile mark, and found myself flying past people at a consistent pace of around 8:48…I slowed during the water stops, allowing myself a few sips, but was excited to push myself as hard as possible. My Garmin time of course doesn’t match official chip time, but knowing I ran the outer curves gives me confidence that my Garmin was pretty close on point. I’ve always been very good at pacing myself, not going out too fast, and being able to keep consistent in a comfortable pace. The spectators were great, the volunteers amazing, and the majority of the racers were considerate of each other. One of my only course complaints was that racers who decided to walk stayed on the left, or in the middle vs. moving to the right which is the considerate thing to do…as a pretty good “bobber and weaver” I was able to get around those that decided to walk.
I finished strong, and had a couple pretty amazing Chicago Marathon 2012 flashbacks. Each corner, each stretch of street reminded me of my first marathon that I ran with my sister, and I found my eyes getting a little teary and my chest a little tight. The city of Chicago has truly captured my heart in so many ways.
We finished the day, having lunch and doing some site seeing in Chicago before we had to head home. What. A. Great. Day.
Thanks to all who help me keep this blog alive. I truly love helping people, keep, movin’…forward.