Sunday, August 1, 2010

Chicago RnR 1/2 Marathon Report

What a weekend! Filled with laughs, friends, yummy eats, and a 13.1 mile run. That's what I consider an A+ weekend.

Mr and Mrs. H arrived in Chicago on Friday but we didn't hit up the expo until Saturday afternoon. Bad move on our part because it was ridiculously busy. The hubby, while a fabulous athletic supporter, really can't stand anymore race expo's so we moved through and picked up some new gear as quickly as the crowds allowed. Of course we also stopped for a picture or two :)
Sunday morning the alarm went off at 4:45 - oh so early for me! And we were out the door and on our way to find parking by 5:20 am. We arrived with plenty of time and I found my friends quickly. After a not so quick port-a-potty stop BK and I made the long walk back to the last corral number 29! Mr. H lined up right behind the fasties in corral #2.
Our friend C found us shortly after the start horn had sounded. While standing around BK was feeling the anxiety as she waited for the start of her first 1/2 marathon.
After 45 minutes we finally crossed the start line! Longest wait I've ever experienced to cross the start line. After passing mile 1 I realized the winner would be finishing soon... only 12 miles left for us :)
The first few miles seemed to go quickly. BK thought it would be easiest for her to do a run/walk combo to get her to the finish. The morning, though humid, was overcast so that definitely helped. The 3 of us joked around, caught up on each other's lives, and took in the city. Before mile 5 Jacob spotted us! Seriously my husband is the super spotter when it comes to races. I can never find anybody but he is able to spot me and whoever else we know running in no time. A good skill to have when married to a runner :)
Around this point BK started to feel the general race pains. It was my job to keep her motivated and her mind off her pain as much as possible. I don't think I did very well keeping her mind off the pain but I kept her moving. As the miles ticked by, the sun came out and it definitely warmed up a lot. Around mile 8 the race spray showers/misters were set up. I opted to not go under any as I only feel hotter after the water evaporates. Soon after we were headed back north for our final miles. Unfortunately, this is were the path narrowed and became hot, hot, hot!
Around mile 10 there were cold sponges and I helped myself to one of those to cool down my burning hair :) About this point C realized she needed to keep running, no longer do the run/walk, because it was easier on her body. BK definitely hit a wall here as well. I kept asking her questions to make sure what she was feeling was normal 'running your first 1/2' pain or if she was really hurt. We incorporated a few more walk breaks too. I know my girl was hurting but she took it like a champ. I kept reassuring her that it would feel so much better when she crossed that line.


For being undertrained BK did fantastic! So happy for her and proud of her! We finished together in 2:47:54. BK was hoping for 3 hours so even better than she thought :)

The race/course itself was okay. There were 25,000 runners and seemed overcrowded nearly the entire race. I liked running downtown (especially by the Transformers 3 set) but it was almost a "been there, done that" feeling since the first couple miles were parts of the Chicago Marathon course as well as many other Chicago races. As we turned south on Lakeshore Drive and back around up the running path it became difficult to maneuver and crowded. The race directors also managed to find every "hill" in Chicago. While I didn't mind too much I know it was breaking nearly everyone around me. There were plenty of fluid stations and the misting stations and sponges were fantastic for a hot race. Oh and the popsicles at the finish! There definitely was not very much crowd support in comparison to other races and other than the popsicles no real food at the end :( So some good and some bad - like any race!

Overall, I had a lot of fun running with BK and C! C was freaking hilarious the entire run. I love having friends to race with. I enjoyed running further back than I normally do, taking 50 some odd pictures, and taking in the city in the early morning before it truly wakes up. Everyone seemed a lot more relaxed where we were running and were nice to and supportive of strangers. Plus, I loved being there with my friend as she ran and crossed the line of her first 1/2! Awesome, incredible experience!

Now it's on to convince everyone to run together again ;)

26 comments:

Sara @ Domestically Challenged said...

What a great experience! While the weather seemed rough, at least you were there for your friend! Talk about a cool weekend!

Jill said...

Sounds like an AWESOME experience! I just can't imagine running in that kind of weather and surviving! Congratulations!

Teamarcia said...

Yay congrats! Glad you had fun with your friends!

kristen said...

Sounds like you had a great time! Congrats to your freind for her first. Way cool!!

Allie said...

Ah this makes me even more excited to pace my friend through her first half in San Diego in a couple weeks! :)

Lucy said...

I too ran yesterday. Yes it was way more crowded than last year and I started off squished in corral 9. The course was a bit different too. We had to leave right after the race. Did you enjoy the concert?

MCM Mama said...

Awesome. I'm thinking about pacing some one in my next half, instead of racing. Sounds like it was fun for you.

Jess said...

Sounds like a good time for a race that was just for fun. I hate when they're super crowded though, it makes it really tough to get into a groove.

lifestudent said...

I think all Chicago races just seem to be the same. Maybe living in a city, you are so used to it, you just recognize a route regardless? And its been so hot!

Glad you survived and had fun on top of it. I'm also glad that I didn't run it ;)

J said...

Sounds like so much fun! Glad you got to run with friends! That really makes the race more fun I think!!

Anne said...

How sweet that you ran with your friend for her first half!

Sounds like the three of you had a blast...that's the way to go :)

audgepodge said...

Great pics!

I don't know how you do it. midwest heat and humidity - BLEH!

And 29 corrals??? Good lord!

Scarlett Elliewood said...

Sounds like so much fun! I would love to run a BIG, CROWDED half or full.

Tara said...

It took you 45 minutes to cross the start line? Holy cow!!

It sounds like a fun time and I'm glad you and your friend had a blast! Congrats!

Tara said...

It took you 45 minutes to cross the start line? Holy cow!!

It sounds like a fun time and I'm glad you and your friend had a blast! Congrats!

bobbi said...

The wait for the start was crazy (and I was only a couple corrals ahead of you), but I'm kinda glad - I can't imagine how crowded it would have been if they hadn't spread us out. As it was, the bike path was difficult.

Congrats, and congrats to your friend too! I'd love to run a race with a friend at some point...it sounds fun!

Marlene said...

Congratulations! Definitely sounds like a fun way to "race." I heard that it was a pretty hot day - glad you were able to manage it! BOOYEAH to cold sponges!!!

Amanda - RunToTheFinish said...

omg 45 minutes!! how wonderful that you were able to really enjoy this race

Jeri said...

wow you're such a great friend and motivator. I absolutely want to do this w/one of my friends for their 1st! now I just have to set about convincing them to do one. ;) Heheheh. Great job. :D

Kaci said...

Amazing!! My first half is in Sept...I love reading race recaps. Stoping in from Domestically Challenged.

Sarah said...

45 minutes of waiting at the start sounds like forever! Great job on the race :-) (New follower, just wanted to say hi!!)

kilax said...

What a fun race! Running with friends is the best, isn't it? I bet you did a great job as a motivator!

Posicles at the end?! Brilliant!

Xenia said...

Sounds like you had fun. I'd love to run long races like this with friends, but all of my runner friends are way faster than me. Bastards. ;)

Lisa said...

good job!

runner26 said...

that's great that you helped your friend in this race! despite the summer nastiness, it seems like it was a great experience and a fun time! nice job!

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