Thursday, June 14, 2012

13.1 Chicago Race Recap

My blog was not started as a running blog so I'm not very good at race recaps like some of you.  Therefore, feel free to check out some of the other race recaps on this particular race!  :)  I stole a few of these from Maggie. Thanks for your expert blogging skills Maggie!

Run Gingerfoxxx Run
My Life's List  (by far my favorite race recap!)
26.2 before I turn 40
Running - My Anti-Drug
Zach Runs Chicago
Deanna Eats and Runs - (Love the name!!)
Run to the Finish
Pain is Nothing
Chicago Runner Girl

I have to make sure I add the ones I don't read to my list!

I won this race entry through Run Chicago South which is managed by my friend Maggie.  Yay for a free race entry!  The week or two preceeding this race, I seriously considered giving it away!  I just didn't feel like running 13 miles after the breathing problems I had been having (which I am now fairly confident did have to do with my extremely low iron levels).  And I really noticed it during the Soldier Field 10 mile at the end of May, where at times, I could only run 1/2 mile before stopping to walk due to my breathing.  It's not a fun or pleansant experience to not be able to breathe while running.  So the thought of doing 13 miles didn't sound appealing.  Not to mention it was the first week of marathon training and I really only needed to run 6 miles that day.

But as I mentioned in my last post, my breathing has been improving and that makes me very happy.  I thought I would just run the 13.1 as a fun run and just get the medal. I typically don't just run for the medals (because I'm cheap and don't want to pay the entry fee), but was a free run anyway.  Plus, I thought I could use the opportunity to see how I was feeling since the Soldier Field run 2 weeks early and use that as a basis for any upcoming runs.

One thing I have noticed in the month of May, I really enjoyed the "no-stress" running.  I wasn't completely focusing on any times on my little runs.  I could run whatever miles I wanted to during the week.  It was a nice break from the monotny of the spring marathon training!  I was just running for fun!  What a nice change!  Bring back the fun to the run!  So even though a few days before the half I almost considered to try racing it...I changed my mind and just wanted to enjoy the run!  Of course, with the weather showing highs at 90 and full sun for the day...I wasn't sure how much "fun" we would be having at the run that day anyway!

The 13.1 started at the South Shore Cultural Center on the far south side of Chicago.  Due to limited parking, you had the option of parking at the Millenium Park garages or at the Museum of Science and Industry and getting shuttled to the run.  A group of us decided to carpool and go the the Museum garages.  The run started at 7:00 am but with all the shuttling we would have to do, we needed to meet by 4:45 a.m.!  Luckily, we were meeting 5 minutes from my house so I could sleep a little longer than some of my carpool buddies!  How many times have I mentioned that I don't like to wake up before 9:00 on Saturday!  Also, it's never a good thing when you think it feels "great" at 5:00 am...when the run is at 7:00.  Clearly an indication of the heat to come!  It should feel relatively cool at 5:00 am.

Fast forward past all the parking and shuttling nonsense...there was going to be a blogger meet-up there.  I was pretty excited about that because I know some of the blogs but have never met any of the people in person (besides Maggie). 

Oh before I forget...something that I have been hounded about since last year training for the Chicago Marathon was to get a visor.  Now, there are a few reasons I have not gotten a visor for running.
1. I feel like I'm 12 years old!
2. I don't like to be like everyone else and many other runners wear visors.  I'm stubborn.
3. I wasn't sure how comfortable they would be.

Since it was going to be really hot and sunny for this run, I decided to buy a visor.  And a hand held water bottle.  I have a fuel belt but really don't like wearing it.  I've carried regular water bottles around during runs so I knew it wouldn't bother me to have one in my hand. for the pre-race blogger photo....

Blogger meet-up.  Check out the links above for their blogs. I'm to lazy to name everyone!

Ugh...clearly I did not pull off the visor look very well.  Strike number one against the visor.

But look at all the wonderful bloggers I met!

I started the run and decided to try to keep a nice 10:20 pace at the beggining.  I was having a horrible time at this considering my first 3 miles were 10:06, 9:57, and 10:08.  I really tried and kept repeating to myself "Slow down Amanda!"

The run was down the Lakefront Path and isn't that large, so at mle 3.5 when I saw someone in a golf cart going the other direction and making sure we were moved over, I was wondering what his problem was!!  Can't he see we were running here!  The I realized why when I saw two Kenyan runners running past us the opposite direction.  Yes, we were at mile 3.5 and they were probably in the last 5k of their run.  I started about 15 mins after them so it was probably about 45 minutes for them.  We just started chuckling as they ran past and a few started clapping for them.  Must have been nice to get done before it got really hot out! 

It was also around mile 3 that I really started noticing how hot it was getting.  By mile 5, I wanted to call it a day!  By mile 5, I started to feel a little like I was going to throw up.  Sexy, I know.  The heat and sun was really getting to me.  I seriously had this thought run through my mind, "Maybe I should just pull myself from the run.  I didn't pay for it and I really don't want to run another 8 miles in this miserable heat!"  lol.  Who is this quitter person talking!?!?  I snapped out of that nonsense (because I don't just quit runs) and decided to run/walk as much as needed and to at least finish the run and get my medal (because the medal did look cool on the website)!  Since I knew I wasn't going to beat my old PR for a half, I had no motivation to run/walk very fast.  My walk breaks turned a little too long and they were very frequent.  The only thing that kept me running at all was that I wanted to make it back for the blogger photo afterwards and I was carpooling back and didn't want people to wait for me.

Right before the turnaround point at about mile 6.5, I had a clothing malfuntion.  I was wearing a new sports bra and the straps velcro in the front for adjustment purposes.  I actually can write a whole blog post about my sports bras and how much I hate them!  Another time.  Anyway, while running, I felt less pressure on my shoulder, looked down and saw that the velcro on the left side had come undone and therefore detached itself from my sports bra.  Um...that could have been embarrasing but luckily things stayed where they needed to stay and I immediately moved off to the side, stopped running and proceeding to fix my sports bra malfunction.  I also accidentally stopped my garmin without realizing it and forgot to restart it unil probably 3/4 of a mile later.

Another thing I saw right around that time, a guy cheated and turned around early...then I noticed the turnaround point was only 100-200 feet ahead of us (and they had the sensor mats there too).  Idiot!  Why turn around 100 feet from the turnaround!  If you are going to cheat...cheat earlier than that! 

And I continued my run/walking for the rest of the race.  I stopped and filled up my water bottle at a fountain.  I constantly was dumping water all over myself and my shirt now weighed about 10 pounds and was drooping.  I was tucking the straps of the shirt into the straps of my bra to keep it up.  When will this race be over??  I kept trying to remind myself that this was fun!  :-)

As I was coming close to the finish, I kept thinking, "There is no way I'm sprinting to the finish!  What for??"  Then I saw the clock but I had no idea when I started and because of stopping my garmin earlier, it wasn't accurate either.  The clock was around 2:44 and I was thinking maybe I started 15 mins late.  I knew I wasn't breaking my PR (2:13) but I thought that I really would like to come in under 2:30 at least!  So I mustered up a little mental energy and ran slightly faster to the finish hoping I'd come in under 2:30 (pathetic time in my mind for me but whatever).  Low and behold, when I found out my results, my time was 2:29:51.  Ohhhhhh!!!!  Now I know why people sprint to the finish!  Haha!!

I met up with my blogger friends and took a post-race photo on the beach.  I actually think this is one of the most beautiful race photos!  Beach and sun in the background!

Best post race photo ever!
Then I went and got my free slice of deep dish pizza and beer.  I will tell you at around mile 12, I thought there was no way I would be able to eat a slice of pizza as I felt horribly sick and dehydrated at that point.  But since it had been at least 20 mins since finishing, I was hungry enough for the pizza.

Notice my weird bra/shirt strap thing going on!  Fyi, those medals are the heaviest ones I have!
We found all of our carpool crew and posed for another photo op.  What a good looking bunch of runners!

Carpool Crew (Joe, Nicole, Aurelia, Me, Maggie)
The medals were cool.  They just had the wrong date on them!  Date said June 6, 2012.  It was June 9th. Lol.  I would never have noticed but Maggie has keen eyes and pointed it out!

Finishers medal
I got some pretty nasty sores on my shoulders from my sports bra rubbing wrong.  It hurt pretty bad!


Also, this is what I typically do after a really long run....

Shower and nap time!!

I also had a buddy cuddle up with me...

Hazel (cutest cat ever!)
Next up:  Jim Gibbons 5k tonight.  I'll probably race it.  I probably won't PR it.  I've not trained to PR a 5k.  It's going to be about 80 degrees.  So we will see what happens.  It will probably be the 3 longest miles on my lfe! lol.


  1. Great recap Amanda! Ugh on sports bras. That sucks that they chaffed you up like that - and I am glad you didn't push it too hard with that heat - so crazy!

    And yep - shower and a nap is the perfect recovery. Well that and pizza and beer. :D

  2. Cat naps are the best!!!

  3. Woo hoo for sprinting to the finish! It was like somehow you had this internal clock telling you to do that so you could come in under 2:30! :)

    Ouch! That chafing looks so bad! Is it still pretty sore, now?

    I love naps after a race with my cat! Sigh, after this race, I helped my friend prep food all day for a party.