Well the Chicago Half Marathon has come and gone. My first race of the year was most definately not my best, but I am glad that I got to experience a Chicago run on Lake Shore Drive and a good, healthy start to my 29th year.
Overall: 4,893 of 8,530 (57%)
Female: 2,398 of 5,029 (48%)
Female 25-29: 639 of 1,186 (54%)
So basically I was smack dab in the middle of the pack. I was not happy with how I ran or my ending time, but since the race I have learned that I didn’t just have a bad race because I didn’t prepare, it was because the flu bug was brewing in my system. While it was horrible and unfortunate to have the flu this past week, it did make me feel better about my uninspired half marathon.
My boyfriend, Tim, was my road warrior/cheerleader for my first race of the year. 🙂 We headed up to Chicago Saturday afternoon to stop by the expo at Soldier Field before heading to our hotel. It was pumping full of people, music, and racing gear. We walked around to check out the vendors, but most weren’t handing out free goodies – what’s up with that? I grabbed by bib and free shirt and we took off.
This is definitely the earliest I have ever had to wake up for a race. My alarm was set for 3:45 am! Yikes! My shuttle time was 4:15 at Millennium Park. From there they bused us to Jackson Park, where the start and finish of the race was. I ordered an Uber to take me to the shuttle. It was very quiet on the streets of Chicago at 4 in the morning.
The bus left promptly at 4:15, and it took about 25 minutes to get to Jackson Park. My bus was literally the first bus there. The workers were just getting there. At 4:40, I now had over 2 and half hours to wait until race time. The temperature was about 60 degrees, so it was pretty chilly as the sun had yet to rise. I picked a park bench and claimed by spot for the better half of the morning. I sat there nibbling on my protein bar and banana, while shivering in the dark until about 6:30.
The race began at 7, so at about 6:30 I found my corral and decided to stand there for the remaining 30 minutes.
My goal for this race was a PR of 2:10 or better. The weather was awesome and the course was flat. One problem: I felt horrible the whole run. Not just at the end, but literally from mile 1. My stomach was not cooperating at all. I later would find out that the flu bug was the culprit, but at the time, I just knew I was misrable and going over and over in my head where I went wrong in my training. I was really bummed out after the race with a time of 2:22. I had to stop and walk a couple of time near the end. I felt pretty horrible the rest of the day – which sucked because it was my birthday!
At the end of the race, we were given literally the biggest medal I have ever seen! And it was heavy too! It was actually quite comical to see everyone walking around with these gigantic medals on. It will most definitely stick out amoung my collection.
All in all, I’m glad I finally got to run a Chicago race. It was a great atmosphere of people and the course was awesome. I am even more pumped for my next race in Des Moines. My training runs since Chicago have been awesome, so I have a feeling I am going to do a lot better in October!