Sorry for the delay in my Marathon Recap of the Chicago Marathon and let me apologize about the length but it is full of pics too so enjoy and I did divide it up into two different posts so you have to come back tomorrow to get the end. 🙂
Well…. I finished. I also finished over 23 mins faster than my marathon in April. Unfortunately it was still not to the goal I had set but more on that in a little bit.
The weather for the trip could not have been better (well, it could have been a little cooler on Marathon day but definitely a beautiful day). We arrived in Chicago on Friday afternoon and made it to our Airbnb residence for the next 5 nights. Here is the view:
After taking Uber to the expo to pick up my bib it was time to relax and get ready for my first ever group shake out run with Another Mother Runner. On Saturday morning, I woke up and ventured down to take my first adventure on the Chicago Transit system to make it to the meet up location. I do have to say I was impressed. It was easy to get around and pretty cheap too. (Let’s just say that we did not use Uber after we figured out the subway) Here are some pics of the run on Saturday morning…..
I was so happy to have spent some time getting the nerves out of my system and thankful to meet so many other mother runners. But we all know that the day before the marathon you should not walk around too much so we opted for a River Boat Architecture Tour on the Chicago River. It was a great idea and there are some fabulous buildings along the river. Take a look….
Sunday morning arrived and believe it or not, I was not really nervous. After all, as my other half says, “You’re a pro. You have done 4 other marathons.” Well I am not really a pro but I am beginning to really learn what works and does not work before races and have developed a sort of routine like visiting the bathrooms early because they fill up as the race gets closer and then sitting in the corral because we didn’t even get started until 8:20 which was almost an hour after the race started (that’s what happens when you are in the slow group but I did not mind.) I look pretty ready for the race here:
Once we got going I was very excited. I also tried to not let the excitement get me to go out fast and I would like to say I did a great job of that but really I have no idea. Why you ask? Well, let’s just say that my wonderful Garmin watch does not like the very tall buildings of downtown Chicago and since that is where we are running I was at a loss for pace from almost the very beginning. My first mile went pretty well but when my 2nd mile chimed on my watch and I was nowhere near the 2 mile mark according to the course and the clocks where off because they started with the elite runners I knew I could not trust the watch so it was time to just run based on feel. Now I am not sure you have ever tried running by feel in a huge race (45,000) runners but if you haven’t and I really didn’t train that way, trying to do it for 26.2 miles is a little bit of a challenge. Really I did not let this factor into my mind though and focused on enjoying the race.
Even though the weather got up to 75 by the end of the race, it was a beautiful day to run. The first 13.1 miles where pretty much in the shade of the huge buildings of downtown Chicago and through the parts of Chicago that had lots of trees and were very beautiful.
In fact, a little side note… I did something I never thought I would do. At one point in Lincoln Park, I did jump off the course and find coverage in some of their draping trees and gave back to nature. Hey, when you have to go and you are only at mile 5 and the bathrooms are all 10 deep at each water stop you do things you would never do before and really I had no desire to pee down my leg which I have heard some people do. Yuck!
Anyway, back to mile 13.1… I felt great. It was the best I have felt at the halfway point in a marathon EVER! (big accomplishment #1) Here is photo proof:
Little did I know that after mile 13 was the heat wall. Apparently when you leave the downtown area there are no more tall trees and the buildings are shorter too so it’s just you and the sky (oh and those 44,999 other runners)! So it got warm and it got warm fast but more on this tomorrow…..