The Short Version: I made a new friend at mile 5 and ran with her all the way to the finish, completing my 88th half marathon in 1:51:14.
Pre-race: I'm so proud of myself for actually reading last year's recap the other day and taking note of what it said. In other words, I made the bf drive me again so that I didn't have to arrive super early and fight for a parking spot. I got to the race site at 7:30ish, picked up my packet, ran into some Half Fanatics I knew, and then sat in the sunshine for awhile to get warm.
Because, internet, this is the winter that will not end. It was 39 degrees in the morning, with a promise that it would be nearly 50 by the time I finished the race. With that in mind, I wore shorts and a l/s s/s tee combo with a baseball hat. But before the race? I was still wearing my sweats and Chicago Marathon jacket.
I was excited that this race offered a shirt or shorts option. The last 2 years, I've received shorts. While they fit nicely, I've found that I don't wear them as often as I would a shirt. So I got the shirt, and I'm really glad that I did.
|How cute is this?!|
Mile 1: My whole goal for today is to be right around 1:55, maybe a little below. I want to run this at marathon training pace, and not really race it. Such a difference from last year, when I picked this race solely because I wanted to race the hell out of it! Best mile of the day. 7:57
Mile 2: I settled into my pace a lot more. I didn't try to keep up with people, and I didn't get bothered when they passed me. I tried to remember that this was merely a training run, and that pace didn't really matter. This was just a way to get a medal and a t-shirt for getting the miles in. 8:21
Mile 3: Oh crap, I forgot that this race serves the very disgusting Power Bar drink instead of real fluid like Gatorade. Water it is.
And a BRIDGE during this mile! Such good practice for all of the crazy bridges I'll be going over in 2 weeks in Pittsburgh. It's like I planned it this way or something ;) 8:36
Mile 4: Managed to avoid the Power Bar drink again, yessss. 8:26
Mile 5: I would like to be done now, thanks. 8:18
Mile 6: I've been leapfrogging this woman for a couple of miles now, and I finally evened up with her and got to chat with her - we ended up running the whole rest of the race together, which was awesome. I love when I make #racebesties on the course.
We also passed the new bridge at Busse Woods, the one closest to Woodfield that goes over Higgins. I was all like, huh, why have I never seen this before? Oh right, because I chose sleeping over the Schaumburg Turkey Trot (I still regret nothing). 8:23
Mile 7: I tried the sports drink at the aid station, and surprisingly, I didn't barf. That drink is really, really, REALLY gross.
Race directors, take note - don't whore out for sponsors. Just use Gatorade like normal, successful races. Good grief. 8:39
Mile 8: The wind is going to be in our faces for the last 4 miles. This is a known fact. So we speed up a little bit, chat with other runners, wave hi to everyone, and SMILE. My new friend is my kind of people! 8:23
Mile 9: Get back to the same aid station, expecting some more gross sports drink. I don't want it, but it's not upsetting my stomach, and I'm salting like crazy, so clearly I need it. But they don't have any more. Just water. Blech. 8:37
Mile 10: We turn the corner and head into just a WALL of wind. It was nasty. It's warmed up considerably since we started today, but it feels more like an early March day as opposed to a mid-April one. It sucks. I could do without the wind, especially out here in the 'burbs where there are no tall buildings for you to draft off. 8:35
Mile 11: Last aid station where (thankfully) they have sports drink, so I can replenish my salt levels at least a little bit. I also high-fived a couple of Blackhawks fans, so yay. 8:36
Mile 12: My new friend and I are leading a guy down the path. As in, he is clearly drafting off of us. She says to him, "Hey, why don't you take the wind for a bit," because, you know, that would be the nice thing to do. He doesn't, he stays right on her heels. So she keeps jawing at him about being a jerk until he backs off. As in, she was like, "This guy had better not beat us, because we're so tired from dealing with the wind for him." RUNNER ETIQUETTE, PEOPLE! Get off my back! 8:57
Mile 13: We pick up the pace, as we have turned the corner and the wind will be at our backs for the remainder of the race - which is awesome. My legs are tired and don't really want to move so much any longer.
Just before the big bridge to take us to the finish, I see Heather!
|Me and my new friend. I'm sure you thought she was imaginary.|
|The medal is super cute too!|
AVERAGE PACE: 8:29
2014 RACE / 2014 DISTANCE / OVERALL DISTANCE: 12/4/88
MEDALS/FINISHER AWARDS: Super cute medals!
RACE SHIRT COLOR: Gray
NEXT RACE: Ravenswood Run 5K, 4.27.2014