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