Before the race. I look like such a dork. I never know what to do with my hands.
The alarm went off at 5:30 am...ugh. Of course I couldn't fall to sleep until late and then woke up at 4:30am then every 20 minutes until the alarm sounded. So early! But we took off on time and after a few issues with finding our way to the parking lot we made it to the field just before 7 a.m. On the way to the field I ran into my friend Archie and his girlfriend. Didn't know they were running so that was a nice surprise. After one last bathroom break and almost forgetting to attach my chip I lined up between 8:30 and 9:00 min/mile at 7:15. Then stood around taking it all in. It was a beautiful day, a little too sunny said the girl with no sunglasses but in the 50's. The starting corral was tight so I was hoping the group would eventually thin out. I would come to find out later this would not happen. Shortly after Tim McGraw's cousin sang the national anthem (what no Tim? He's in town for a concert he wouldn't swing by for a 2 minute song???) we were off...sort of. Only took about 2 -3 minutes to finally get started.
mile 1: It was crowded and I was tripping over people. I got stuck behind yellow shirt guy. I would veer right to go around, he would veer right, then I tried left, you get the picture. This went on for a good 1/2 mile right until we went through a tunnel under McCormick Place. I hate that tunnel. Lucky for us it wasn't hot so it could have been worse but regardless I still hate running through tunnels in Chicago - they're gross! About this time I saw a 40 year old woman who probably weighed less than my 6 year old niece. Her legs were like the size of 3 of my fingers wide. Very disturbing. I wanted to feed her. The pace wasn't too fast and I was actually running right around my goal.
mile 2: Brought a slight uphill but nothing else sticks out. I think unfortunately this was my fastest mile which was not in the initial game plan. What are ya going to do?
mile 3: I ran by by Archie's girlfriend once the course took us onto Lakeshore Drive and hung with her for about a 1/2 mile. 8,000 people and I run by her such odds. They were starting to slow and we were coming up to a course that split weird and I took the left path and she went right so I was by myself again. Still keeping a good pace and was definitely wondering if I could maintain. Spoiler alert: The answer is no I could not.
mile 4: I look across to the inner lakefront path to see some of those fast runners actually contending for the $ spots across the way. Oh to run like them...I kept on and was trying to figure how much longer to our turnaround to head back to the field.
mile 5: The lovely turnaround. Over a curb and uphill on soft grass from actual Lakeshore Drive to inner lakefront path. This turnaround sucked but I don't imagine there was anyway else to have it on this out and back course. At this point I could feel myself struggling. I was just tired and honestly a little bored. I tried to push myself but my body was fighting me. My normal mental pick me ups were not working their mojo today. Also I was hoping the field would have thinned a bit by now. No such luck. I think out of the 8,000 runners half of them happened to be running between an 8 and 9 minute mile. So at mile 5 I still was bobbing and weaving more than I would have liked.
mile 6-8: Please just get through this. One foot in front of the other. You aren't breaking any records today sister girl...
mile 8.4: What was a nice breeze at mile 7 turned to a cold headwind here. It didn't last long once I made it to the other side of the McCormick Building. Legs were heavy and I was just tired. Really tired. In my mind I thought "wow you didn't even feel this bad at mile 23 of the marathon last December better training next time".
mile 9: One mile left. You can do one mile. Ugh, there's still one mile. Is this mile ever going to end. Why haven't I made it to the field yet. Oh yes there's the field. Oh man through a tunnel - oh wait cool this is the tunnel the actual players use to run out onto the field. Ooh this is fun. There's the field. Then I tried to sprint the last .25 mile. My sprint is laughable but at least I finished strong.
Made it to the finish! Yay!
I found Jacob quickly in the stands as spectators weren't allowed on the field and actually ran into Archie again who was waiting for his girl. Made my way through the tunnel, collected my awesome medal, stocked up on the free food because the race packet stunk and I believe it was my due to take a few extras. At least I'm not as bad as people who grab empty boxes and just start filling it with food. Now those peeps are just ridiculous. The food isn't that good...
Jacob and I. I'm very squinty
Final results aren't up yet but garmy said I ran 10.07 miles (too much weaving or I started the watch too soon) in 1:27 and change. Sorry I'm too lazy to get up and grab the guy to look at the actual time. I remember it worked out to an 8:43 average. Definitely not my goal but at least it was under 9 min/mile average today. My last 2 miles were a bit sad and garmy reflected my poor feeling. Room to grow. And hey no matter the outcome it's a PR! Gotta love your first race in a new distance.
And you know what else? Nothing beats a hard earned free beer at 9:30 in the morning! Cheers!