Wednesday, August 24, 2011

13.1 Miles Behind Me

We went to Chicago for some sight-seeing and the Rock-n-Roll Half Marathon a little over a week ago. Saturday morning, we took a leisurely stroll down to the race expo to pick up our race packets. They included a super nice dry-fit race T-shirt, and free samples and coupons for all kind of runner's goodies from bluetooth headphones to Gu Chews. The countdown had begun!

 While trying not to get too anxious over the challenge ahead of me, we had to make sure we were eating plenty of carbs, staying properly hydrated, and not wearing our legs out too much. There is a science to all of this, which I have studied quite thoroughly, and let's just say the goal is urine that is perfectly "straw" colored. Fortunately, Brandon and I are completely comfortable discussing these matters of science and human physiology in depth. (That IS a good thing, right? :) I think so.)

Saturday night we ate at a swanky little vegan restaurant and then watched Rocky on my iPad (because WHAT ELSE would you watch before your big event to get pumped up?!?), and tried to get to sleep early.

On Race Day, we woke up at 4am, ate a hearty breakfast, drank more water, stretched, and headed down to the starting line in Grant Park. The anticipation and the excitement in the air was so inspiring!

Before- excited and anxious!

I went into the race with my longest run being 7 miles. (I had several longer runs planned, but several things got in the way- including a tiny little panic attack during my 10-miler, which was two days before the president of Kroger visited my pharmacy and a week before the race, but we are just pretending that never happened.) So, my goal was to simply finish.

The first 7-8 miles were glorious. I felt amazing, my pace was better than expected, the crowd was so much fun, and the city and weather were absolutely gorgeous. Then, all the sudden it wasn't amazing. My achilles tendon was screaming at me, every single muscle in my legs ached like I had never felt before, and the wind was blowing rain directly into my face. My will to continue faded fast. I walked on and off for the rest of the race.

Nevertheless, when I crossed that finish line, I was so proud of myself. For the last hour of the race, I wanted to call those men in the golf carts and pay them to drive me to the sidewalk of our hotel so badly!  I kept going, somehow, which I wouldn't have been able to do without Brandon by my side telling me to be tough.

After- soaking wet with sweat and rain and tired, but proud!

I feel like this race was about proving to myself that I could do it. Now that I know that, I have so much more confidence going forward with my training for the St. Jude half. I'm excited to train in the fall weather, to support St. Jude, and to (hopefully) improve my time significantly.

At the risk of sounding cliche- Many hours were consumed during my training. There was a lot of sweat, several blisters, a little insomnia, some anxiety and even a few tears (during that non-existent panic attack), but every bit of it was so worth it! I know the St. Jude half will be even more fun and more rewarding, and I can't wait.


  1. I'm sure that was a fun race...congrats girl! Chicago is amazing!


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