My last weekend in Wisconsin, Pat and I headed down to Chicago for the Chicago Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon. I have to admit, I almost didn’t run it. I was originally really excited for the race and started training for it in February. However, since May it has been unreasonably unseasonably warm in the Midwest. Temps in the 90’s to 100’s every day = not ideal training weather.
Despite my reservations, I decided to run. I admit, I may have been a little last minute about this. We got the the race expo to pick up my packet just as they were tearing things down, literally with minutes to spare.
The race started early, at 6:30am, but it was still muggy. This was by far the biggest race I’ve ever done – around 20,000 people participated. Luckily, my predicted start time put me in the second corral, so I only started a minute back from the elite wave. It was nice to start the race and not have to worry about trying to pass huge crowds of people.
The race itself was a ton of fun! There were bands at every mile and there was a lot of crowd participation. Everything from cheerleaders to little kids holding signs to friendly neighbors with a very welcome garden hose. Pat ran around the race course, so I was able to see him three times during the race. He later told me that he estimated that he ran six miles!
The biggest problem with the half was, well, the running thing. For some strange reason, the course didn’t have mile markers, so it was hard to tell what my exact pace was. Finally at the 10K mark, there was a clock. When I saw how long it had taken me to run a 10K, and that I was less than halfway done, I wanted to sit right down on the curb and call it all off. It was pretty frustrating to work so hard leading up to a race only to have my training derailed by global warming the weather!
I soldiered on and finished the race. It was really nice that the last section went along the lake. It was so pretty I almost forgot that I was suffering! I wasn’t very happy with my time, 1:44, which is just under 8 minute miles. My “safe” goal time was at least 5 minutes faster and my “dream” goal time was 10 minutes faster. Whomp, whomp. At least I met my goal of finishing in the top 10% of all female participants!
All that hard work and all I had to show for it was some blood blisters and a participation medal:
The food after the run almost made everything all better. They had Jamba Juice, chocolate milk, pretzels, snickers energy bars and ice cold H20. I am easy to please.
The best part of the race was being able to proudly wear the jersey of my favorite running brand and sponsor – Brooks. Every time I run I am thankful that they have supported me through the ups and downs of the last three years. Even if I didn’t have personal ties with the company, I would only run in their products. I really can’t get enough of anything they make, but if I had to pick two favorites it would be the Pure Project Pure Connect Shoes and the Infiniti Shorts.
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