Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Rock N Roll Half Marathon Race Recap

Hey guys.  I'm just not feeling the blogging thing this week.  I almost wasn't even going to do a race recap on my half marathon last Sunday.  I've got the blogging blues.  Anyway, I'll make my recap brief...

I came, I ran, I finished.  :)  Ok, just kidding.

I started off my half marathon on Friday with my charity pasta dinner.  It is always really nice to see everyone as I really only see them once or twice a year.  Derek came with and it was nice to share this charity dinner with him.
Pasta dinner - I'm in the pink on the left...looking girly...
Sunday morning came early as I had to get up at 4:20 a.m. (and that's pushing it).  I wanted to leave my house at 4:45, which included eating breakfast in the car.  The race starts at 6:30 but I have to get down there, park in my secret $2 lot that's a 20 minute walk and meet up with my charity group.  I left at 4:50 a.m. so I was pretty close.  I wanted to try to meet up with the Chicago Running Bloggers as well but frankly, I'm tired and new it would be hard and didn't feel like running around, so I just hung out with my charity and took a team photo before heading to the potties and the start line.  On the way to the start line though...look who I ran into!

Charity - Pre Race (I'm peaking out on the left, second to last row, maybe 3rd over)

Maggie and I pre-race
I was in Corral 6, with an estimated finish time of 1:50:00.  Um...I don't belong anywhere NEAR corral 6! What was I thinking last year when I put an expected finish time of 1:50:00!!  Anyway, with the line for the bathrooms, I made it to the corrals 5 minutes before the start but could only get as far as Corral 14 so I figured that was probably good enough. After looking around, I saw the corral's finish time as 2 hours and thought that sounded more reasonable (even though I knew I wouldn't finish that fast).  It was a better corral for me.

While in the corral, I tried to turn on my bluetooth headphones and as always seems to happen before a race, they didn't turn on.  I hate them.  I had a newer model but the bf's dog ate them...so I'm back to an old pair.  They also didn't turn on for me during the IL Marathon (full marathon) in 2012! Maybe you remember my race recap??  I had to run the whole marathon sans music!!  Well, looks like I was going to be running this half marathon sans music.  Whatev...  I've always been a fan of the saying..."you never know what will happen on race day."  Now I just need to figure out my headphone situation.  This is clearly not working for me.  Bluetooth headphones suck.  That is all.  Even more annoying was the guy in the corral in front of me was wearing the same headphones.  Maybe I could knock them off his head accidentally and do a "switch-a-roo" with mine??  Hm...

The race started and I was off.  I didn't have a time goal for this half. I wasn't planning on racing it and with the way the weather was (mid-90's) the week before, I knew it'd be hot.  I just wanted to use it as a training run, try not to let my mind spew negative thoughts all over me, and have fun. 

I started off pretty good with times around a 10:00 min pace +/-.  I wore my hydration belt too but just with the two back holders figuring I could use it to supplement the water stations.  My shoulder has been bothering me if I care a hand held too so even though I don't like my hydration belt, I figured I'd give it another shot. 

The weather was supposed to be cooler than it was but it ended up probably being in the upper 70's and completely sunny.  Still better than the past week but still hot for a half marathon.  I just kept running along thinking happy thoughts to stay positive. I also kept thinking I had friends doing a half ironman that day so what could I really complain about.

Well, it did get really hot. I was completely overheated.  I ended up drinking both of my water bottles and refilling one once and drinking it.  I stopped at every aid station and drank water (with 2 Gatorade stops).  I put ice down my sports bra in hopes of cooling me off.  I ran through 4 places where people were spraying us with hoses and got completely drenched (loved this!).  I grabbed the sponge from the sponge station (because where else do you grab sponges?).  I mean, I couldn't get enough to drink or to cool myself off. I was wondering what my problem was. I don't think I've ever had this much to drink while running.  But I still felt dehydrated as my fingers were getting swollen.  But I had some side stitches and didn't know if I was over hydrated or dehydrated! 

By mile 9, my "fun" run was starting to be over and my negative thoughts were trying to rear their ugly heads!  I probably spent 5 minutes walking and doing nothing but wasting time between mile 9 to 9.3!  I really didn't want to continue running and wondered if anyone would "look down on me" for walking the last 4 miles.  I decided that I just walk way too slow during a race and it would take me FOREVER if I walked the last 4 miles.  I ran off and on and walked a good portion of the run between miles 9-11.  By mile 11, I seemed to get my running legs back and started running again but by mile 12, I was done. I contemplated walking the last mile since that wouldn't take me "too" long but decided that I needed to just run and suck it up.  The whole time I was trying my best to remain positive.  "Trying" is the key word.  I just felt really dehydrated and my head was hurting so it was a constant struggle. 

I finished in about 2 hours 21 minutes.  No where near my best time of 2:03.  But I finished and that's all I have to say about that.  It's a summer half and the last couple years, they have been hard.  I finished my two summer halves last year in 2:29 (June) and 2:24 (July) so this time seems about right for the conditions.

I also chafed on my shoulders from my sports bra and spent half the time running with my straps down around my shoulders.  I have blisters from chafing on my boobs (TMI?) on the top front.  My headphones ended up rubbing (I guess) on my chest and I have a check mark branded on me.  I didn't know what it was at first as it was red and swollen and looked like a burn.  But then we figured out that my headphone must have been rubbing and with the heat... well... anyway.  I have a blister on my pinky toe.  Yeah, it was a good day. 

But I will most likely sign up for it next year. And the year after.  Even if I have to walk it if I have shoulder surgery.  Because I run this run for 3 reasons:

1. It was my first half marathon in 2006 (when it was called the Chicago Distance Classic)
2. I run it for my charity group every year.
3. I had a friend murdered in 2008 not far from where I was parking for my half marathon (on that day, at that time), right around the same time I was parking and I run it year after year in memory (my memory) of him.

Hopefully next year it will be cooler?  If not, I'll probably still be there...

Post Race with Josh and Liz (my friends that I started running this charity for)
For being a 5 year runner of this half
(although I did it 2 times before under Chicago Distance Classic)...7 times in 8 years
Doing the "Kelly" pose...of course!

Smiling, looking happy...but that's because I'm talking to these two nice people
that told me they were from my charity group.


  1. Before the race, I was in line for the porta-potty with some of your charity group. I probably just missed seeing your group photo being taken. Sorry to hear about your race mishaps, but it sounds like you are undaunted and will run next year regardless. Very cool!

  2. Way to push through in that heat! This was my third time at that race and it's always so friggin hot. Otherwise it's a blast. Cool 5-yr award!

  3. I'm so glad we ran into each other!! Also, the 5-year participant stuff is cool! I had no idea they did that!