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).
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…