Saturday, October 17, 2015

Chicago Marathon weekend

Chicago is such a wonderful city! Gina, Carolyn, Ariana, Chuck, Darlene and I arrived in Chicago Friday morning. Thankfully, Ariana knows her way around the subway systems. We were able to find our way onto the right subway, and head into the downtown area. Once we reached the hotel, around 11am, I was so happy to hear we were able to check in early! We dropped off all our suitcases, then headed out to find the expo. It took a lot of walking, but we finally found the hotel, where the race was providing transportation to the expo. A short ride on a school bus, and we were there. We got our bibs and shirts, then headed into the main room for some shopping. What a giant space! Lots and lots of vendors. We got some good deals, before meeting up again outside, then heading back to the hotel. It took a while to get back, because the bus driver got lost! Thankfully, he found his way to the drop off spot, then we walked back to the hotel. We had a little rest period, before heading out to dinner. Total walking: 5 miles!

Fun on the bus!
Saturday: We got up earlish, to head over to the shake out run at Fleet Feet. The run over ended up being almost 2 miles. A bit longer than I thought it would be. We hung out for a bit, took some photos with Bart Yasso and Deena Kastor, before heading out on the fun run. That run was just over 3 miles. We hung out for a bit after, then started the long walk back to the hotel. We stopped by a breakfast place, that someone said had gluten free pancakes, but they had an hour wait! We ended up at another spot, which had pretty good breakfast food. We then headed back to the room to relax for a bit. Another great dinner and then early to bed. Total run/walk miles: 8!

With Deena Kastor. My second time meeting her!

Running Bart Yasso.
Sunday, race morning: Another early start to the day. The 5 of us got ready, then headed out the door. Just under a mile walk to the start area. We met up with Mandy on the way over. She was also in our corral. We checked our bags, then got into the long porta potty line. We had about 25 minutes to get through it, before the corral closed. We inched forward and time kept on ticking. Soon we were near the front, but only had a few minutes left to get to the corral! We were yelling at everyone to pee faster! I got in, did my business, and got out quick. We started running toward the corral. Just as we got there, the volunteer was yelling at us to hurry, because she was closing the fence off! We just made it! We were at the back of the "F" corral, the "G" corral (with Carolyn) was behind us and already moving forward. We started the long, slow walk towards the start line, which was a few blocks in front of us, with lots of runners in between. At 8:35 am, we cross the start line.

Gina and I start off together, pulling ahead of Darlene, Ariana and Mandy right away. My first mistake. We go out to fast. Because of the tall buildings, our GPS watches are not working. I hope it will catch on, once we clear the long tunnel we run through, but it doesn't. We have no idea what pace we are running until we finally see the 2 mile mark. We had been running just under 9 minute miles! I should have been staying between 9:15 and 9:30! After another mile or so, I start to feel off. My lip is going numb on the left side. Now, sometimes this happens when it's very cold out, but today, it is not. The other reason this happens is when my heart rate is working in the very high range. This should not be the case during a marathon and at this pace! We slow down the pace a little, but the numbness doesn't go away. We are also, following the blue dotted line, which the race organizers put down for the elites. Follow the blue line and you take the tangents on the course. I need all the help I can get! Don't need to add extra distance. Gina and I are still running together, though I tell her to go ahead if she wants. I know I'll need to slow down soon, but keep going for as long as I can. We hit the half way point a little ahead of schedule.

5K - 29:01(9:20), 10K - 57:36(9:12), 15K - 1:26:47(9:24), half - 2:03:45(9:44)

No, I am NOT trying to push
Carolyn! I was trying to get her attention.
The race course is great, though I have no idea where I am at any point in the race. I know we head north, then come back south, then turn and run west for a bit, but I can never tell what direction I'm going. The crowd support is awesome. There is only one section, early on, were there are not that many people. It was in a park. But all of the main roads we run on are lined with many, many cheering people. It's fantastic! At some point, before the 30K, Gina pulls ahead, and I let her go. It's time for me to really slow down. I spot a spectator on the side with a jar of pickle spears, so quickly make my way to her to ask for one. So good! I loose sight of Gina for good here. :) I walk a little, then start running again, but at a slower pace. The numbness has gone, but anytime I start to pick up the pace again, the numbness comes right back! I am pretty freaked out about this now, so decide to be smart and just take it easy. For the rest of the race, I run for a bit, walk through all water stops and up any sort of hill. Before leaving the hotel room, I had written "I run 4 CJ" on my arm. I look at this writing often throughout the race. It helps to motivate me. I can get through this! At one point (not sure what mile) I hear someone yell out "go Ariana!". I look to my left, and sure enough, there is Ariana about to run by me. I work my way over to her side, tap her on the shoulder and say hi. She is having a rough race, too. We run together for a few minutes before I tell her I need to walk and to keep going. Sometime after mile 20, I see Carolyn pass me. I slowly catch back up to her before taping her on the shoulder. We also run together for a few minutes, and get a photo together, before she also pulls ahead. I wish I could have stayed with her to the finish! Finally, I get to the last little hill, start to walk up that, but see a photographer on the side, so run it. I take the turn to the left, see the finish line ahead and start to pick up the pace. I finish with a quick look at my arm, then raise them both in the air. So happy to be done!

25K - 1:28:12 (10:05), 30K - 3:01:35(10:28), 35K - 3:39:13 (12:04), 40K - 4:19:20(12:55)
Finish - 4:35:05

I won't lie, I'm very disappointed in my race. I trained so hard over the summer. I felt really strong going into the race, but it just didn't happen for me today. My goal was 4:10 to 4:15 finish. I finished way after that! I think a lot of factors lead to my high heart rate. Lots of walking/running in the days before the race. I'm pretty sure I was dehydrated going into the race. Looking back, I did not drink enough water. I am hoping I can recover quickly and get back to training. I hope to do better at Space Coast Marathon next month!

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