You might remember that I did this race last year. And I had a BLAST. So naturally, when registration opened up for 2013, I was totally in. But when the weather got SO COLD at the beginning of the week, and then we got SNOW on Thursday night/Friday morning, let's just say that I was starting to regret my decision just a little bit.
(Also something that dampened my enthusiasm - I had to travel all the way to Universal Sole in Lakeview to get my packet. Round-trip, after work on Thursday, it took 2 hours. Yeah.)
But it was forecasted to be a balmy 24 degrees on Saturday, so I got up early and drove down to Montrose Harbor. I was just chilling in my car, reading Twitter, when I read that a fellow runner/Tweep was walking around in circles at the race start. DUDE, come sit in my car where it's warm! I'd like to take all of the credit for his PR at the race, since I let his toes thaw out before the race started. Yep, I win.
I left the warmth of my car about 30 minutes before the race, and headed to the Chicago Running Bloggers meetup - meaning, I stood around looking lost until I was spotted by others. Sounds about right. I think I will forever be that nerdy awkward girl you knew in high school.
|Chicago Running Bloggers!|
Something hilarious - they played a taped version of the national anthem, and right at the end of the song, a little baby plane flew over Montrose Harbor. A "flyover," if you will. I started laughing and could not stop.
At 10am, after a really nice send-off from the race director, we were OFF!
Mile 1: The course is different from what it was last year. (We're at an entirely different beach.) I guess we'll go north and do a loop that's about 4 miles in length, and then do another loop for the remaining 9 miles. So long as we don't have to go up Cricket Hill, I'm okay. I've also started out a little too fast, but I feel pretty good, so I'm just going to go with it. Best mile of the day. 7:49
Mile 2: This is what I was afraid of - the entire path is covered in snow. It's like running in ankle-deep sand. I tried this yesterday, and gave up after a half mile, and ran in the middle of the road instead. Crap. I am really hoping that against all odds, eventually the path will clear up and we'll be on the road again. Because right now, my legs really hurt, and I don't see this improving anytime soon. 8:05
Mile 3: I know that this is my 3rd half marathon in January, so I have every right to be tired, but I'm exhausted. I want to throw in the towel and head home. But, you know, I'm already here and stuff. Just go with it. 8:07
Mile 4: This is about the time that I stopped looking at my watch. Sometimes I check to see how off the mile markers are (*snark*), but I don't look at the pace, and I don't dare try to do math. I actually raced Houston, and I worked hard to make up time in Arizona, so this one doesn't matter. It then occurs to me that I don't have a PR race picked out. Huh. 7:56
Mile 5: Heading south on the lakefront trail, and the sun is beating down on me. The wind is at my back, so I actually speed up a little bit to bank some time for the last few miles - if I learned anything from last year, it's that the wind is cold and hard to run in, especially after you've already run 10+ miles. 8:11
Mile 6: While I'm glad that I wore a bandanna to cover my neck/mouth area, the sun is making me sweat a bit, and I kind of wish now that I wasn't wearing it. 8:02
Mile 7: Ok, I'm ready to be done with this race now. I am trying to figure out where the turnaround is. I'm cold. I keep telling myself that I'm an idiot for being out here. Oh, the middle of the half marathon, you slay me every time! 8:15
Mile 8: TURNAROUND!!!! I saw Jeff just before I got here, and smiled and waved, but he's totally in the zone. Didn't see me at all. Yep, another nerdy awkward girl moment.
I'm ahead of where I thought I would be, and that feels great. Now all I have to do is count blocks to the finish line. 8:13
Mile 9: Yeah, the wind is in my face. But it's not blowing me backwards like it was last year, so there's that. I see a girl coming the other way on the path, all decked out in birthday stuff, so I wish her a Happy Birthday. I bet she's getting that all day. If it were me, I would be wishing that I hadn't worn that stuff! 8:22
(Oh, and Rock n Roll Vegas people? Don't get any ideas. I won't wear a birthday crown during the race. After, when I'm drunk? Yes. Absolutely.)
Mile 10: I see 2 girls with the most AMAZING Wonder Woman socks. I make a mental note to Google them when I get home, because OMG WANT. 8:19
Mile 11: ALMOST DONE! Oh, I have never been so happy to anticipate a finish line. I passed the final aid station, and omg, I am still SO THIRSTY. Running outside in the cold does this to me... although the bandanna is helping immensely. 8:08
Mile 12: I've been leapfrogging this girl for the entire race, and I finally introduce myself to her and run with her for a little bit. We run past one of my favorite places in the whole entire city (the clock tower at Waveland Ave), and I pick up my feet and hope for the best in the final mile. I'm glad I stayed with this race. 8:23
Mile 13: I leave my new friend and break off on my own. I want to finish really strong, so I pick up my feet and head to the finish. There's a little part up the hill that has snow on it, so I grit my teeth and push through. The compression socks I threw on this morning for extra warmth are actually helping me out in other ways - more on that in another post. I turn the corner, and I'm able to hear the announcers. ALMOST DONE, YAY! 7:53
Mile 13.1 (or 13.05, per Garmin): I love short courses. I sprint absolutely as fast as my tired legs will let me, and cross the finish line just after 1:46. But I'll take it. Man, that was fun. (And exhausting. Mostly exhausting.) 0:20
FINAL TIME: 1:46:03
AVERAGE PACE: 8:08
LESSON LEARNED: Races whose closest packet pickup option is Universal Sole will definitely make me think twice about signing up. Longest and worst trip downtown ever. UGH.
NEXT PIKERMI: *panics* I DON'T KNOW!
|Me with my cowbell medal... I much prefer the bottle opener from 2012.|