I'll be recapping this race using the "Good, Bad, and Ugly" format.
- I had consistently heard rave reviews on this race's swag. Sure enough, the swag was awesome. Very nice race shirt and running hat, a pair of Feetures socks, a cute little tote bag that I'll be using to carry my lunch to work, and a sparkly medal with a detachable charm.
- For an early-August race, the weather was nice. Clear and sunny, temperatures in the upper 60s/low 70s at the start.
- The race village was set up in Burnham Harbor, which is a unique location that afforded gorgeous views of the lakefront and skyline. The organizers also provided shuttles to the location, which was helpful.
- The volunteers were friendly and gear check was effortless. There were a couple of guys along the course who were fantastic spectators (one offered a box of Munchkins somewhere around Mile 11).
- The post-race party was nice. They served wine, snack boxes with sandwiches/chips, Muscle Milk, etc. They even offered post-race yoga.
- I enjoyed seeing a bunch of friends at the festivities. This included Meghan, Amanda C., Amanda W., Zenaida, Erica, and Kelly; and I finally got to meet Maureen in person! I also met and had a great time talking to Erica's friend, Meryl.
|From L to R: Meghan, Amanda C., Zenaida, me, and Amanda W.|
|From L to R: Erica, me, and Amanda C.|
- Despite only doing a single training run to prepare this race (one 11-miler two weeks ago) I ambitiously thought I'd try to beat my time from the Illinois Half Marathon (2:15:21). For the first 10 miles, I was on pace to do so, and my splits were nice and even.
- Amanda W. helped me out a lot at the end of this race (more about that below).
- There was no "day-of" packet pickup option.
- I've never enjoyed seeing a race finish line but then having to run away from it. This race, which included both a half marathon and a 10K, took place on the lakefront path. Below is the course map. In summary, the 10K runners did the northbound loop before splitting off to cross the finish line. The half marathoners had to run past the finish line before starting the southbound loop. That was hard.
- I didn't look at the course map very closely in advance, so I didn't know how far north or how far south we were headed.
- The temperature started rising as the day progressed. The lakefront path has patches of shade, but there are many long stretches with zero shade. It starting wearing me down after awhile.
- There were long periods in the final four miles without any hydration options. Yet, there was an aid station just prior to the 13-mile marker. Being so close to the finish line, that didn't seem like the best location.
- The wheels started falling off for me around Mile 8, which wasn't a good sign. I somehow managed to keep up my pace through Mile 10, but it was a rising struggle.
- After the Mile 10 marker, I crashed and burned, big-time. My entire body was aching. I was hating the exertion, the sun, and the winding path.
- I decided that I no longer liked running and that I didn't want to do it anymore. Ever. (My actual thoughts were much harsher than that, but you get the idea.) I scoffed when I saw these signs:
|I took these pictures from Zenaida's post|
- I took a walk break around Mile 12.5, but could not muster myself to resume running. I had every intention of walking the rest of the way. Thankfully, Amanda W was there and her cheerfulness helped buoy me. She is the only reason that I was running when I crossed the finish line.
- I ended up missing my time goal by over 3 minutes, all of which I picked up in those last 3 miles. (My official time was 2:18:16)
- Throughout the race, I almost got clipped by several cyclists zooming by at full speed. It was terrifying.
- When I got home, I realized that I had some severe chafage from my sports bra. This was a very unpleasant surprise. I've worn that particular sports bra for many long runs but this was the first time I had any problems. Showering was incredibly painful. It felt like someone was holding a lit match right next to my skin.
- I felt very worn out after this race. I had all kinds of plans to find a great fall half marathon and attempt another PR this year. But I began thinking that maybe I no longer have the motivation to undergo the requisite training.
I can't end this post on those notes, of course. So here are some shout-outs:
- Congratulations to Amanda C, who is expecting a new addition to the family! She looks FABULOUS!
- Congratulations to Erica for winning her division! (I told her that anytime I run a race with her, I go into the awards ceremony expecting to hear her name get called. =) )
Speaking of Erica, here's a great post-race picture that she shared:
|From L to R: me, Erica, Meryl, Stacy, and Olivia|
I'm ready to take a break from racing. Thankfully, the next one on my calendar could not come at a better time or location.
My next race: the Disneyland Half Marathon on August 31!