As some of you already know, I have a rain jinx when it comes to running races. This year my race weather has gone smoothly, though. So smoothly that I was allowing myself to think that perhaps I'd finally kicked my rain jinx to the curb!
I was feeling good because the weather forecast for the morning of the Rock N Roll Chicago Half Marathon was showing 0% chance of rain. ZERO. Zilch. No chance at all.
Lest I get too carried away with abolishing my rain jinx, the Rock N Roll Chicago Half Marathon proved I've still got it!!!
On half marathon race morning, Kayla and I rode Divvy bikes down to the starting area. As expected, the scene was significantly more crowded and frenzied than the 5K the day before. This was one of those days I was grateful for chip-timed races and being in a later starting corral.
In the nick of time, we ran into Marcia!
|From L to R: me, Kayla, and Marcia|
Then we all split to head to our respective starting corrals.
For a mid-July half marathon, the weather was about as ideal at the start as anyone could have asked for. The temperature was in the low 70s, and it was overcast with some mild breezes. I thought, This is really good! I can actually go out and really enjoy yourself!
|My view as I was approaching the starting line|
Somewhere around Mile 2.5 I remember seeing a stand with a guy dressed up as Mike Ditka. This made me smile. In retrospect, I should have stopped to take a picture!
|Da Coach in all his glory|
Afterwards, I went back to thinking about how much time and distance I still had left. The course was making all kinds of turns back and forth through downtown streets. I knew at some point it would exit downtown and head south, but it felt like we would never get to that point.
Around Mile 6, I saw a runner collapse onto the pavement. She was holding one leg and writhing in agony. It was scary. Half a dozen runners stopped to help her, and others shouted to some nearby police that she needed medical assistance. The police immediately got onto their walkie talkies and radioed for help. It brought tears to my eyes to witness the scene.
I kept pushing on through the miles. Physically, I felt fine, but mentally, my heart just wasn't in it. My mantras: There will be a day when you can't do this, but today is NOT that day. Just get to the finish line. You'll get some sweet medals at the finish line!
Then, the course ran through the dreaded McCormick Place tunnel around Mile 11. It was stuffy and extremely dark with very rough pavement. I had to be very, very careful of my footing.
The course is set up so you can see the finish line from literally almost a mile away. The vision is deceptive because you think it's a lot closer than it really is.
|Can't remember where this photo was taken, but I think it was around the Mile 12 area?|
Granted, the skies looked like this:
When I crossed the line I was happy to see volunteers were still handing out medals. Meanwhile, more announcements were being made warning everyone to take cover somewhere downtown, not under the tents. They told us that based on the size of the pending storms we wouldn't want to be there in a few minutes. I managed to collect some refreshments before the skies opened up and rain started coming down in torrents. Within a few seconds I was completely soaked.
Erica along the way, who had come down to spectate. We wanted to get a post-race picture with Marcia, but it was raining so heavily that we couldn't.
After reclaiming my bag, I took cover in a tunnel walkway, all the while worrying about Kayla still being out on the course. I later found out that Kayla was around Mile 10 when the rain and lightning started, but hadn't heard the race was suspended. Therefore, she just kept on going until she finished. Way for her to push through! From Kayla's race recap:
Thankfully the rain didn't last long. Many thanks to Erica, who had given me a VIP wristband which she had received from PowerBar. While I was waiting for Kayla, I went to check out the tent.
Oh my goodness, what a privilege that area was! They had an extensive catered assortment of food including various breakfast/lunch offerings, fruit and veggie trays with dip, cookies and brownies, you name it. This picture doesn't even begin to do the offerings justice:
It was an enormous treat to enjoy the generous offerings for a little bit. Huge thanks again to Erica and PowerBar for the wonderful experience!!!
I met back up with Kayla, who looked terrific considering the weather conditions she had just run through. Here we are post-race with our medals:
Below is the total haul from the weekend. Once again, the Rock and Roll race series does the medals incredibly well.
Finally, this is how we celebrated the successful completion of two races and 16.2 miles in one weekend:
|Lou Malnati's deep dish pizza for the win!|
And that concludes my 28th half marathon! The race organizers and volunteers really did a terrific job, especially amidst all of Mother Nature's challenges.
All in all, the weekend was a lot of fun. I had a terrific time hanging out with Kayla and the time went by so quickly! I am very relieved the Remix Challenge is over, though. Now I am excited for a few weeks where I don't have to worry about any long runs. =)
Linking up with HoHo and Tricia for the Weekly Wrap (even though this recap is technically from last week), and with Angela and Ilka for the Sunday Fitness & Food Linkup.