Prairie State 2015 half marathon race recap!

I went into this race with NO expectations other than to finish, and most importantly HAVE FUN.  Those that have been reading for a while, know I took a good 6 week break from distance running after the Grandma’s Marathon in June.  This break wasn’t due to injury, but for personal reasons and a few weeks ago I decided it was time to get back at it.  I’ve done this race in the past back in 2013 so I decided as long as I beat my time of 2:14 (you can read the recap-HERE), I’d be happy.

A couple of my friends were also doing this race, which was an added bonus!  They invited me to join them for the 1 hour commute north to Libertyville, IL.  YAY!  We met up at Jitka’s house at 6 a.m. and headed north.  The trip was uneventful other than the cold front came through causing some pretty serious fog.  The sunrise was AMAZING tho…


The racing Gods must’ve been smiling upon us because everything worked out perfectly.  We had to park in a parking lot about 15 minutes from the start line and get bussed to the race.

bus bus2

We got to the race with about 30 minutes to spare, and thank goodness because the porta pottie line was LONG.

Crazy long lines with MAYBE 20 stalls.
Crazy long lines with MAYBE 20 stalls.

We made it just in time to pee, hug, and get into our respective areas in the shoot.  Jitka was going for a PR so they made their way to the 7 mm area, and I headed back to the 9:30 pace group where I normally feel the most comfortable.

start start2startingshoot

We started promptly on time (yet I wonder how many people were late as the bus situation proved to be quite a hassle for those that arrived later than we did…) and I felt great.  It was around 45 degrees with a slight breeze and I was thankful I had on my arm sleeves and a throw away sweatshirt.  After about a mile and a half, I tossed my sweat shirt and took off.  And took off I did-WAY TOO FAST having my miles be in the low 9’s.  This is FAST for me mind you, and by mile 5 or so I started to get a side stitch…no matter what I did, it was there, but I kept trucking along.  I saw my sister right before the turn around point which truly lifted my spirits and distracted me from the pain in my ride side.

My sister got this pic, love it!
My sister got this pic, love it!

By mile 10, I decided I need to walk it off, so I walked for a good 3-4 minutes.  Thank goodness, because mile 11-12 were all slightly at an uphill incline which totally kicked me in the tail.  The last mile I kicked it up, and it felt great knowing I was almost finished.  My buddy Mark ran me in, and this was AFTER pacing Jitka to a PR of 1:37, AND second place in her age group…AMAZING!!!

Happy Finishers
Happy Finishers
Last push!
Last push!

All in all, it was a great race with a few tough miles. I finished in 2:08:06, and keep in mind Dickson Chumba won the Chicago Marathon yesterday with a time of 2:09:25, ROFL…Sure puts it all into perspective, doesn’t it?  LOL!!!

We finished the day with my favorite post race drink-a Bloody Mary!  We also enjoyed a yummy lunch, and then headed home.


lunch lunch2

I come out of this experience reminded of my true passion and love for running, as well as an appreciation for my friends that love me, well, even when I am not the easiest person to love.  A cool little fact, is that I met Jitka at this race 2 years ago, and we’ve been friends ever since!  ❤

How were your races this weekend?  Did you do anything fun with friends or family? What’s your favorite post race meal?

Have a great week!!

❤ Michelle

55 Comments on “Prairie State 2015 half marathon race recap!

  1. What a great experience you had – and congrats on such an awesome finishing time!! I know what you mean about the perspective thing: the year I tore my ACL at mile 12 of the Atlantic City half marathon, I crossed the finish line right behind the female MARATHON finisher. 26.2 took her the same amount of time it took me 13.1, it was the most ego-crushing, hysterical thing I’ve ever had happen to me in a race! Great job 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t normally get them, but I blame myself for taking off too fast. I was just so happy to be in a race again!!! GREAT job on Sunday, Wendy!! Once that sun came out things sure got toasty!


  2. Congrats on your amazing race – what a comeback from your break! Loved how you included the time of the winner from Chicago, haha!! Congrats to your friend with the new 1:37 PR, too. Great stuff! Woohooooo!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Congrats, Michelle! What an awesome race with friends! It sounds like this was a blast and I’m so glad you had so much fun with it. It really is amazing when you just relax and let things be and RUN! You did amazing. ❤ And it really is kinda crazy to believe that those elite runners run a whole marathon twice as fast as us – they are some kinda superhumans descended from Superman, I tell ya!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Congratulations!! Awesome race, you ran a fantastic time considering you haven’t been training as much as you normally do…now imagine what you’ll pull off once you have more weeks of solid training under your belt!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Sounds like you had a pretty good time – discounting the stitch of course. They’re no fun at all! I don’t know how you continued as long as you did with one.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I was running by your friends. I passed them and then they passed me at mile 8 and I could not stay with them! Congrats to Jitka on the PR and to you on way beating your goal for the day. We could not have had a nicer day! Love that race!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Congratulations on your finish! The hills always seem to be at the end of the races when we are already spent! Great job for pushing thru! Love a Bloody Mary after a race. Hey we have to get salt back in us somehow right?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. You did GREAT!!!! Don’t those “welcome back to running” races leave you feeling like a beast? A few years ago, I finished the Des Moines half marathon in 1:57:xxx and felt like a world-class runner….only to have the marathon winner come blazing in about 15 minutes later….what a buzzkill LOL I have since learned to keep things in perspective. Ha ha…running does wonders for keeping my humbleness in check 😉


  9. Congrats on a strong race Michelle! If only conditions for the marathon were as perfect as they were Saturday. I need to think about running this one…

    Liked by 1 person

    • I thought Sunday’s weather was perfect too, but I like temps to be a little warmer than most. Thanks so much, and you should definitely consider this race-it is SOOOO pretty on the trails and its mostly crushed limestone.


  10. I was all about the temps on Sunday, but I finished a bit faster than some, so I wasn’t in the direct sun. Congrats to both you and your friend–she’s got some legs on her! I always have to giggle when I am on course and I realize that the elites are finishing and I’ve got quite a ways left to go. Getting out money’s worth, eh?

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Aw, love that you made friends with someone AT a race and stayed in touch. Shows how it’s good to get outside of yourself every now and then 🙂 Good race!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Pingback: 2015 review | Movin' it with Michelle

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