Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Race Recap: Chicago Half Marathon

The time has come...to recap on ChicaaaGOOO!

My alarm went off at the ungodly hour of 4am, after a sleepless night.

We rode the L down to the shuttles, and then took shuttles to the race start. We arrived at the start around 6:00am, with plenty of time to check gear, get stretched out by a PT and use the porties.

Katie and I eagerly followed the 2 hour pacers to our corral, and waited for the gun. I felt like s fish out of water. I have ran my fair share of races, but never anything this large and this thick.

I expected the first few miles to be thick with people, but eventually would thin out like all other races. In retrospect, I think the sheer volume of entrants gave me anxiety. There were people literally everywhere.

Around mile 4, I got really nauseated and goose bumpy. I urged Katie to enjoy her first half, while I fought stomach issues. I got my stuff together, and tried to make up for time lost. Katie and I were clocking 8:40s and 9s, and I was hoping to finish in under 2 hours.

The next few miles are kinda blurry. It is a VERY fast course. I will take this time to mention that I have secretly been ignoring some pain in my ACL. Spare my the lecture, I know.

It was around mile 8, where the pain in my right knee became nearly unbearable. It'd amazing what you can push through, because I hadn't really noticed that I wasnt really weight bearing and relying on my left leg. My hip flexors started barking in my left leg from the added weight.

At mile 8, is also where I realized that if I was struggling this much in a half that a full in a month is probably not the best idea ever. So my eyes swelled with tears, as I tossed back shot block after shot block trying to get enough energy to finish.

The volunteers, aid stations, spectators and organization were all absolutely amazing. It was a glorious race course along the lake coast, a beautiful day and just awesome. It just wasn't my day.

At the end of the day, I finished the Chicago Half Marathon but I can't help but be disappointed. How often do I get opportunities like that? Like never, and I was underperformed. I feel like I choked, or my body let me down. Then I was like hum WAIT...YOU FINISHED THE CHICAGO HALF MARATHON!!

Sooo yeah it might not be the best ides to:
1. Run a half marathon while still on antibiotics
2. Ignore ACL pain
3. Mentally defeat yourself

But running is a learning experience, and I had an amazing trip and spent good times with amazing people who I love, so how can I be sad about that?


Julia said...

congratulations! i love that medal and also love your perspective at the end. the last half that I ran on a fast course I had the same type situation...knee hurting, negative attitude and beating myself up for not running better and taking advantage. i didnt bounce back as positively as you have but i definitely feel that I learned a lot! Thanks again for sharing your thoughts and the pictures!

Holly @ The Runny Egg said...

That is an awesome medal!

I can totally identify with how you feel: at the end of every race I feel really great about how I did, but then the self doubt creeps in and I start beating myself up for not training more or doing better. Running is such a mental game and that drives me nuts sometimes.

KT Bee said...

I think you're marvelous!