|After I stopped crying|
It was so much harder than I thought and took me a half an hour longer than I anticipated, but I'm so happy it's over with. I did this. No one else could do it for me.
But I have to say that having awesome friends helps.
Like Kim, who despite running 31 miles yesterday, got up early to cheer me on.
Or MacKenna, who rode her bike along the course. I saw her probably 20 times, and she had an inspiring word every time I encountered her.
Or Jenny, who told me at the beginning that she was proud of me already. When I saw her around my 20 mile mark (she was running a 20-mile race), it totally recharged my batteries.
Or my parents and Tim, who met me multiple places around the course, taking photos and then driving me home because I couldn't.
I took some photos with the Chicago Running Bloggers, too.
The race was a wave start, so I lined up with the four-hour group. I was so optimistic, but in my heart, I knew I wouldn't make it.
|Early on, I was pretty happy|
I felt a pop in my left calf around mile 18, which felt ominous. It started to hurt. It felt tight. I felt spent. I wondered why I signed up for this, why I wanted to do this. I don't even know what compelled me to keep going, other than MacKenna telling me I was close, and my dad saying there was no turning back, or Tim and my mom waving at me, or Kim telling me I looked strong.
I had to take a second bathroom break somewhere in there too, which annoyed me even more. By the time I got into the 20s, I was so ready to be done.
|Less happy, but faking it|
The volunteer support at this race is unreal - there are so many people out there helping, cheering and passing out stuff.
My time was 4:30:58, which is funny, because I told Tim last night that if it was 11:30 and he hadn't seen me, something was wrong.
My splits say it all: I was doing well for the first five, started to fade by the half and really started to suck it by the last 3.7 miles. My overall pace was 10:20.
Cost: I think $95, I registered in January
Pros: Free and easy parking, great volunteer/crowd support, lots of places to watch the race from, supportive vendors, nice medal, personalized bibs, nice shirt, shaded course
Cons: Tiny bib (so people couldn't see your name), not a great variety of post-race food, I was lead to believe there was beer at the finish ... you had to go to a local bar to cash in
Would I do it again: Once this pain subsides, perhaps. It was a great race.