What an experience this thing was! I cannot describe the family-drama that surrounded this weekend, but it was enjoyable nonetheless.
Ok….the race report you’ve all been waiting for! I’m going to steal Katye’s format and divide this up into sections.
Husband and I were all packed on Friday night and ready to go. After a trip to Noodles & Co. to carb-load, we watched a movie and headed to bed. We were up early Saturday morning to catch a Yoga class before heading out of town. The plan was to meet up with his sisters and ride in together. I won’t describe the drama, but after some miss-communication on our end, we dropped Bentley & Doozer at my mom’s and we were off. Around O’Hare airport, traffic crawled to a stop and it took forever for us to get from there to downtown. While sitting in traffic we heard from the Sisters and decided just to meet at the expo.
The signs for parking were not as clear as they seemed. We drove back and forth for 15 minutes trying to find lot C. We asked 3 different parking attendants before we finally got an answer. Eventually we made it inside around . I missed meeting up with Katye at the expo L The Sisters wanted to start in the same corral so I switched mine at check-in. After that, we walked around, bought some Bondi Bands, and tried samples. My main purchase was a supply belt. I needed something to carry my GU Chomps and my inhaler while I run. I finally found a reasonably priced one and bought it. Husband and Sister-in-Law #1(SIL#1) bought on
e too! We giggled about our fanny-packs later that evening. I enjoyed the expo but thought there was more space to walk around last year. It seemed cramped this time.
Our hotel (The Wit) was fantastic! Something I never would have picked on my ow
n, but I totally recommend it. We discovered that they were filming Transformers 3 just around the corner! On our walk to dinner we actually got to see them film an action scene! It’s
not every day you witness automatic-weapon fire in
ll over the place. You can see cars piled up on the left. I was disappointed that Optimus Prime wasn’t there, but it was still cool!
I was a little emotional when we crossed the starting line. This was the biggest thing I’ve done for myself, ever! It was a big moment. Running toward that skyline was beautiful. What brought me back was running past a guy holding a sign that said, “You are all really, really good at exercise!” I started laughing and pulled it together. The Sisters and I decided to stick together as far as we could….and thank God for them!
We stopped to pee at the first water station and were good to go after that. I was smiling, feeling great, and running well for the first 8 miles. I was loving the scenery and really feeling the energy. I grabbed cytomax and water at each station and sipped them slowly until I couldn’t carry the cups anymore. Wow! Amazing! I didn’t even use my iPod!
At the turn-around (mile ) I ran smack into The Wall. We had lost SIL#2 and I told SIL#1 that I needed to slow down. I was able to trot to mile 10 and then it was walk/run from there. At the time, I was OK with walking. I had cramps in my legs, my lungs hurt, and it was humid as heck! At mile 11 SIL#2 caught up with me and we ran/walked together for a while. After she left me I tried and tried to keep it together and to keep moving forward.
I found her again after mile 12. So glad I did. She was having an asthma attack and there was no one to help! I gave her my inhaler and we walked for a bit. When she felt better we trotted for a bit and then went back to running. In the last half-mile my quads cramped up on me. I was forced to walk again. I knew I couldn’t stop or they would seize up. The finish was so close! I screwed up my nerves, fought through the cramps, and finished…..big smile, arms up, victory! I was done.
Final race thoughts: just let this be over!
We look Hot!....and really sweaty!
SIL#2 finished with me and she didn’t look good. I walked with her through the madness that was the finish area. We got water, towels, and medals. Husband had finished waaaaay before us and was on the sidelines yelling and waving with her husband. SIL#1 had also finished waaaay before us and was there too. Husband snuck through the gates and we got our picture together. I managed to get an orange Popsicle (my favorite) and we headed to gear check. After that, we met up with The Sisters in the reunion/beer area. I don’t get the beer-after-the-race thing, plus I can’t drink it anyway, so I donated mine to Husband and Brother-in-Law. SIL#2 was really not feeling good at this point, so we decided to get her to the shade. After she felt slightly better, we wanted to get her back to the hotel as soon as possible.
On the way home we kept our post half-marathon tradition of stopping at Superdawg. We started this last year after watching something about hot dogs on the Travel Channel last year before Husband ran the half. Superdawg was on the way out of town and we couldn't miss it! Love the place!
So there you have it......my first half-marathon race report. It was really long. It was really hard. I don't really know if I liked it or not. I'm proud of myself for doing it and for finishing it. I want try another one just so that I can do better!
I'm still sad I didn't get to meet up with Katye, Courtney, and Tonia! They all ran awesome races and had a great weekend. Congrats to all of you! There has to be another race in the future and I'll meet them some day :)