Chicago Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon

I did it!!!  I finished the Rock n’ Roll Chicago Half Marathon!  Oh happy day…

Thank you to all that wished me luck!  I really appreciate it!  And just so you know, I had such a GREAT time!I may be somewhat biased, but Chicago is one of the most beautiful cities!  Even when you’re sleep deprived and it’s not even 6:00 in the morning…

My wakeup call was at 4:15. I actually drove in from the ‘burbs that morning for it (Not highly recommended I’m sure, but it really wasn’t too bad).  Because I traveled with my own personal cheering section:I have such great friends.  These girls were ready and willing to go watch.  And were up and at it at 5:00 with a smile on their faces.  Thank you so much, Annie and Mon.  I love you guys!

We traveled down to the start area, and passed by the stage and press tent and got a good look at these kids:Guiliana Rancic and Maria Menounos chatting it up.Jake the Bachelor getting ready to run…  And just so you know, he’s just as, if not shorter, than he appears on tv.  Which is nuts. Even a certain Real Housewife from New York came out for a stroll in the park…

Excuse me while I openly admit that I get starstruck easily.

Back to the race…  so I was a little late getting into my corral, but I made it in time for the start.  No worries!

The start reminded me a lot of the Shamrock Shuffle- crowded and bit hectic.  But unlike the Shuffle, it thinned out much quicker.  And by mile 2 or 3, I was in my “happy pace”- somewhere around 8:40 and 8:45.  I am yet to buy the thing to put my Nike+ chip in since I bought my Sauconys, so I relied completely on the clock at every mile marker.  I got through the Start Line around 9:00, so it wasn’t hard to estimate how I was doing the entire time.

I honestly can’t tell you too much specifically about what was going through my head during the race.  I got to a certain point where I completely zoned out.  I didn’t even see my friends at Mile 6 until they were practically right in front of my face.  But I looked up and there they were- so I shouted a happy shout of some decibel and it made me smile for a bit. :)

Here are a few things I do remember:

– People start to smell bad at around four or five miles.  This really bugged me.  Then I realized I probably smell just as bad.  So I was ok with it.  Because I’m no hypocrite.

– Watch where you run while going past water stops.  Most people were really considerate about throwing cups to the side.  But when you’re on the side, those cups are coming straight at you.

– I wonder where Guiliana Rancic is right now?  What if she passes me?  Would it be weird to try and strike up a conversation?  Maybe they’re taping it and I could be on E!.

– I studied quite a few tattoos on the backs/arms of people I was behind.  And wondered the story behind them.

– Ahhhh… once we were on the lakefront, the breeze was seriously CLUTCH.

– Ahhhh Gu.  I hope they have Vanilla.  I can’t do the fruity stuff… I can see myself hurling right then and there.  Oh good- they have vanilla. 

– Annie and Mon…  Annie and Mon… I know they’re gonna be here around Mile 12… oh!  There they are!  (Seriously, at Mile 12 I was starting to drag, so seeing them jumping up and down and screaming got me to pick it up a lot for the last mile.  For this I thank them!)

– My favorite sign along the race sidelines ended with “that’s what she said”.  Yessssss.

– I have never been so excited to see a finish line in all my life (or the year and a half I’ve been doing official races- same thing).

My final stats? I couldn’t be happier.  It was a great first time at this distance.  And I beat my goal of finishing under 2 hours.

I think before I was done running, I had already started thinking about ways I could improve for next time.

Yes, I already knew there should be a next time.  As excited as I was going into the race, I wasn’t sure how I was going to like the distance.  I’m very happy with my 5 and 10k’s.  But this was fun and I think the training was an overall helpful thing for me.  And as long as I’m comfortable with a distance, I’ll keep doing it. 

It’s safe to say, I liked this one.  Granted, I will most likely wait until next year sometime for my next half marathon, but I can’t wait to start searching for whatever race that’ll end up being!

After the race, we traveled to The Bongo Room for proper post-race eats.  Granted, I may have enjoyed it a wee bit more had my stomach not been completely revolting against me because of the run.  I still ate, but didn’t finish my plate like I had anticpated…Oh bacon, feta, and mushroom omelette… I’ll beat you next time!

And when I say stomach issues… I wasn’t kidding.  Holy cow… it had me down and out for a bit once I got home.  But no worries, I’m good now!

Happy Monday everyone!  I’m a bit sore today (to be expected), but I’m looking forward to this week.  It’s a short week of work because I’m flying out to DC on Wednesday to have some hang time and a little vacay with the fam- which I’m looking forward to!  Can you believe I’ve never been to Washington DC?!?!  I guess there’s a first time for everything…

81 Responses

  1. Congrats! Sounds like a great race. Have fun in DC. I live there but I’ve never been to Chicago and think that’s so much cooler. :)

  2. Congrats woman!! Looked like it was really fun race – even though I have no idea who any of those people are…heehee! I’ll have to think about that one for next year.

  3. great job! you finished well under 2 hours so congrats! :)

    love the pictures as well as your racing outfit!

  4. Haha I looked up your results yesterday because I wanted to see how you did, nice job! I might be in DC this weekenddd!

  5. Congratulations! That is great! I am so proud of you! My family lives right outside of DC. I wish I could go and see them. I have only been to DC once. I am sure you will love it! Have a great Monday Amy!

  6. great job! that looks like a lot of fun

  7. YAaaaay you go girl! I had a feeling that jake was a midgie. I want to hear more about the tats! And under 2 hrs is amazing….what an accomplishment!

  8. Congratulations! Not only did you do it, but you did it in an awesome time!

    Maybe I’ll see you at the Chicago Half in September? ;)

  9. Congrats! Under 2 hours. You ROCK!

    I freaking love Chicago! One of my top 5 cities for sure. I may have to look into this race next year.

  10. YAY YAY YAY!! I was thinking about you yesterday, sending good vibes your way. Not like you needed them, you totallly dominated the race! GOOD for you girl! :)

  11. Congrats!!!! And yay for a short week!

  12. Congratulations!!! And your thoughts were too funny. I think I would zone out too. And be bugged by smelly people.

  13. CONGRATULATIONS!! I was thinking of you yesterday, sending you fast running vibes! Nicely done, and the Bongo Room- great breakfast pick!

  14. YOU ARE A RUNNING MACHINE. Teach me your ways.

  15. Awesome job! I’m so so so happy for you!! And that is an AWESOME time.

  16. Great job on the race..yada yada yada…but I am so dying to know if Kelly Bensimon freaked out on anyone, hurled jelly beans your way, cursed out Bethenny etc ;)

  17. Oh man! Congrats!
    I ran Rock and Roll San Diego and I didn’t see any celebs! Lame! :)

  18. CONGRATS on the half! You did awesome!

  19. Congrats on the run girlie!! Looked SO fun, especially with the celebs! ps. I would want to run next to guilianna! She’s so funny! But I despise Kelly from the housewives lol what planet does she come from?

  20. Congrats on the half! That was your first one right?

    Post race eats are always good ;) My favorite is a big juicy burger!

  21. Awesome job! I was so excited to read this post :) you did amazing!

  22. 1:54….HOLLER!!! You are awesome! I am so proud of you!!!!

  23. you are so awesome! congrats on your time and finishing!

    i wish seattles half had as many stars as yours! so was kelly babbling nonsense :)

  24. Congrats on your awesome race! Love all the celebrity photos but I have to say, you look even better than them!

    I just came back from DC a few weeks ago. Definitely check out Zaytinya Restaurant and Georgetown Cupcakes!

  25. Congratulations! It sounds like you ran hard but still managed to be a starfucker…er…take awesome pictures. No, but seriously, what an accomplishment! Sub 2-hours is cash money.

  26. AMY!! I am so proud of you! Congrats!!!

  27. I saw your cheering section at mile 12 and wanted to stop and be like “Mon?” but I didn’t not want to stop running or creep her out that a 6’4 sweaty man knew her name from the blog

    Much congrats!

  28. CONGRATS!! You did awesome and I think that’s so cool that you go to see some celebs. I would totally be a bit starstruck too.

  29. congratulations!! that is so awesome! :) :)

  30. Yay! How did you like the bike path section? If I recall, those last 4 miles hurt like hell with all the weaving….

  31. Congrats! Love your random thoughts, especially about Guiliana.

  32. Congrats, Amy! You did fantastic, and it’s great that you were able to beat your goal of 2 hours :D Love your random thoughts during the race, by the way ;) Studying tattoos sounds like a great way to pass the time.

  33. CONGRATS!!!!!!!!! Damn girl, you are FAST. You crushed your under 2 hour goal! Great job.

    And I’m so excited you’re coming to DC…. VERY amazing city! =)

  34. Congrats on your race!! And way to go on that time!!!

  35. Congrats on finishing!!

  36. You are awesome! You rocked the face off that thang!!! GREAT JOB!

  37. Congrats on the race!!!

    I love the Bongo Room. It has become my favorite breakfast place in Chicago. Probably doesn’t hurt that it is not far away from my bed:)

  38. Congrats!!! You rock!!! Way to go!

  39. Sooo amazing! Your running thoughts are hilarious. I feel like these are the things I think about while running too! Congrats! It’s an awesome accomplishment!

  40. Congratulations! I am so impressed, and you have every right to be so very proud. I loved your tie-dyed sports bra too…you are just too cute! Isn’t it interesting to eat after a big race? You feel like your stomach should want so much food, but it just can’t handle it after all that motion!

  41. wow, that’s so awesome!! congratulations!!!

    speaking of celebrity spotting, my husband saw that woman from Glee (the coach with the short blond hair…sorry i’ve never seen the show) at his half marathon last year. (crazy since, we live in Australia!) have fun in D.C.!

  42. Hey Amy! I’m a new reader and love your blog! Congrats on the marathon. I gotta say, it’s pretty inspiring. Have yet to visit the infamous Bongo Room – I’m also a Chi girl and have yet to go!


  43. Soo exciting! Congratulations! I can’t believe you were able to keep such an amazing pace for such a distance! Must have been the carb loading ;) Hehe

  44. CONGRATS GIRL!! you rock! thats so awesome- you did a great job girl!

  45. Congratulations! I love the fact that you said, “When’s the next one” after you finished. =D

  46. you saw Guiliana and Maria!!! HOW FUN!!!!!

    CONGRATULATIONS MY DEAR!!! you rocked that rock n’ rock marathon hehe <3

  47. congratulations on the race! and have fun in DC – it’s a fun town!!!

  48. YAY! Congratulations! You TOTALLY rocked it!!!! Good job, lady. Now is a marathon in your future?! ;)

  49. This is so amazing and inspiring! Congrats!!

  50. Congrats on the race! You did really well! I am so happy you were able to run with only a minor hiccup with aches and pains during training :)

    Ha. I have never noticed the smell thing, but I have never done a long summer race!

    I went to DC for the first time last Septemeber and LOVED it. You will too!

  51. […] feeling like I’m getting back into my routine after long birthday weekends, family vacations, half marathons, and Healthy Living Summits… […]

  52. […] have to push a little more on some of these shorter runs if I ever want to beat my pace from the Rock n’ Roll half marathon last year. Nothing new there. *Eye […]

  53. […] I still need to wrap my head around that one. Double digits haven’t been hit since my first half marathon in August! […]

  54. […] my mom’s birthday and my race all in the same day!They didn’t get to see me run the Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon last year, so I was really excited they’d get to see this one. Dad even broke out the video […]

  55. […] like the Rock n’ Roll half, I had my crew of supporters. Last time, the awesome Annie and Mon were the ones who were gracious […]

  56. […] Feet Women’s Festival at 50:40 (8:10 pace). Which was awesome. It was in the middle of my Rock n’ Roll Half training, and I was really hitting my stride (no pun […]

  57. […] more really good friends. Took one of my first vacations with some girlfriends. To Vegas. Twice. Ran a half marathon. Then ran another one. Met some boys. Had a few epic nights with some of my favorite girls. […]

  58. […] best 13.1 miles happened during my first half marathon in August 2010. It was exciting. I ran outside the majority of the training schedule. And I felt relatively […]

  59. […] will be back to beat my 2010 half marathon time of 1:54 later this year. You can count on […]

  60. […] 80+ degree weather. My last 5k PR? A super sunny day in June. My 10K PR? Happened in mid-July. My half marathon PR? August (enough […]

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