It's funny, though. The more and more I run these races these days, the less effort I put into training for them and the less that I care about performance.
However, I do still like adding to my medal collection. And since I ran both the Allstate Chicago 13.1 Marathon back in June as well as the Chicago Half Marathon yesterday, I earned an extra medal for completing the "Windy City Challenge." Excellent!
Pre-race I met up with some bloggers at Sara's Run for HD tent. Many thanks to Sara for hosting us there!
|From L to R: Maggie, Sara and her dog Waffles, Eric, Jennifer, and me|
Now, onto the race itself. Let's go with "the good, the bad, and the ugly"-type race recap today.
- For once, I did not have trouble getting up at the usual ungodly hour on the morning of the race!
- The race start and finish are in Hyde Park. Having previously worked in the neighborhood, I knew exactly where to park, which helped take away a lot of potential pre-race stress.
- Fantastic course support. Countless enthusiastic volunteers and tons of aid stations along the course. From mile 9 on, it felt like there was an aid station almost every mile.
- The portion of the course along Lake Shore Drive has some good views of the lake. Plus, since all the streets are number-streets (e.g. 47th Street) it's nice to have a sense for exactly how much distance you've covered/have remaining.
- Lots of spectators and funny signs along the course that said things like, "The only time I run is when the ice cream truck is doing sixty."
- The weather was decent. It was in the 70s and overcast, albeit quite humid.
- No issues with fueling pre-race or during the race. For the most part, despite fatigue setting in around mile 11 as usual, I felt pretty good out there.
- There was apparently some kind of a corral system, but I had no idea what corral I was in and didn't see any indication on my bib. It seemed like nobody else really knew, either. So instead, I just lined up in between the 2:20 and 2:30 pacers.
- I had to make a stop just after mile 3 to use a portapotty. One of these days I will get my pre-race hydration routine down so that I can consistently avoid losing time to portapotty stops.
- As much as I love spectators, there were areas where the spectators were crowding into the course and the runners had to weave around them.
- I went into this race without caring very much about my finishing time, but was ideally looking to finish sub-2:25. I kept the pace fairly comfortable for the entire race, didn't look at my Garmin too much, and forgot to hit the lap button at several of the mile markers. I didn't even attempt to pick up the pace during the last couple of miles. It wasn't until I was probably 50 feet away from the finishing line that I saw on my Garmin that I was approaching 2:25. So I sprinted the last 50 feet. But I ended up finishing in 2:25:04. Had I picked things up just a tiny bit more, I could have easily broken 2:25. Grrr. Oh well.
- You may recall that I was plagued with groin pain starting last year around this time. This year, up until this point groin pain had not been a problem for me (which I was crediting to more cross-training and more yoga). But lo and behold, I started experiencing some groin pain again yesterday. I don't remember exactly at what point it started to hurt, although I think it was somewhere around mile 9 or mile 10. In any event - clearly this problem is not entirely behind me.
- Usually at any given race I will only see a couple of runners down and/or in need of medical treatment. But yesterday, I think I saw at least seven or eight runners down. There seemed to be an unusually high presence of medical personnel zooming around in their vehicles and frantically communicating on their walkie-talkies.
- Near mile 9, I saw a woman who, shall we just say, had obviously needed to use a portapotty but clearly didn't make it in time. I won't go into further detail other than to say that it looked very, very uncomfortable. Nevertheless, she was just plugging along as if nothing had happened. Kudos to her for not giving up!
Post race I met up again with some bloggers:
|From L to R: Lindsay, Maggie, Jess, Amanda, and me|
Final Thoughts and What's Next
I did enjoy this race, the atmosphere, the views of the lake, and the energy of the crowd and the volunteers. But I won't kid you that I am sore today and walking more slowly than usual. Basically I am reminded yet again that the half marathon distance should not be taken lightly. And oh my god, I still have two more of them to run this year, including what is supposed to be a PR attempt for my next half marathon in five weeks.
I continue to not be very motivated to keep the training dial turned up. Last year, after running a full marathon, I said that I wanted to tone the distances down a bit this year and just focus on half marathons. But now, I am thinking that next year I might want to tone the distances down even further and just focus on 10Ks, LOL.
All in all, it is definitely time to change things up a bit with my next two races: The Mad Dash to Madison 5K and the Petco 5K9 5K. Here we go!
Yesterday was brutal with the humidity. My quads are SCREAMING today and I have to wonder if it's as much dehydration issue as anything else.ReplyDelete
Oh my gosh, Amanda, I couldn't believe my ears when I heard about all the races and physical activity that you had been undergoing prior to yesterday. HOW DO YOU DO IT!?!?!? Great job to you, too!!! And you and Jess looked SO CUTE out there with your matching outfits!!!Delete
Great job yesterday with the humidity! I couldn't believe how many runners I saw having trouble. One guy walked over to the grass before we even ran on Lake Shore! Way to run a smart and good race!ReplyDelete
It was nice to see you again too!
Great job to you, too, Lindsay, and it was wonderful to see you again, as always! Btw - I saw on Facebook when I got home that you had gotten a PR yesterday - HUGE CONGRATULATIONS!!! You didn't mention this fact when we were chatting post-race. ;-)Delete
Oh no! I do not like hearing your groin is acting up again! What is your plan of attack with that?ReplyDelete
AHHH! So close to 2:25! If no porta pottie stop, you would have made it, so at least you know you have the speed in you.
I wonder if I would have felt bad seeing the lady with the bathroom emergency ... or laughed. Just because I can relate.
Why do you think you care less about performance and training? Losing interest? Want to do a variety of other things like you mentioned in your other post? Nothing wrong with that! And nothing wrong with just running for fun!
Kim, you always ask such great, thought-provoking questions! You are such a great trainer! For the groin pain, I think I need to get back on track with some PT exercises that I've let slide over the last few months. And I think the reason I care less about performance and training is that I am burnt out on running and dealing with all of my injuries. Plus bluntly I don't like pushing myself to the point where the training/racing is uncomfortable, you know? (This summarizes why I hate 5Ks - because of the super-fast, nausea-inducing paces. I'd rather run longer distances at a more comfortable pace.) I think I've come to realize and really embody that it's okay to run just for fun - maybe excessively so. =DDelete
Aww, thanks! It's funny you say that. LOL, I DID study about asking the right sort of thing!Delete
Do get back to those PT exercises! You want to make these upcoming longer races as enjoyable as possible! :)
I am with ya - I am more about having fun than pushing myself. It means A LOT when I decide to train for a pace goal. Honestly, most of the time I try to train for a pace that feels comfortable and I don't have to push too hard. I am still lazy, even in my efforts. ha ha
You studied so hard for so many months and it clearly paid off big time for you. =)Delete
Ahhh, PT exercises. Funny how even though they work, it's so hard to get motivated to keep up with doing them until the ailments come back, no?
I can only dream of someday consistently being able to run the paces that you consider "easy"! =) I have a lot to strive for! And oh my gosh, please do not ever, ever use the word lazy in any sentence describing yourself. Your weekly training recaps make me tired just reading them. Seriously!
So! Did you do your PT exercises yesterday?Delete
Aww, thanks so much :)
Congrats on completing the challenge and adding yet another half your history books! It's just my luck I completed The WCC the year before it existed no cool bonus medal for me! ;) I can totally relate to caring less and training less as time goes on. Maybe some change up is in order? SOrry to hear the groin is acting up again. Hope you get that figured out.ReplyDelete
Thanks, Marcia! What a bummer that you completed the WCC before they started giving out the additional medals. I say that the WCC medals should be given out retroactively to all past participants!!! Thank you for understanding the feeling of dwindling running motivation, too. I hope that your heart health issues get resolved ASAP, too. You have really, really remarkable composure considering all that you are working through!!!Delete
Congrats on the finish. It sounds like the fact that you finished at all is a huge positive, considering all of the down runners. I ran my 16 miler yesterday and it was muggy to say the least! It's funny, but running has a lot to do with bathroom breaks. I've seen a lot during my time as a runner, but I might not have seen something like that woman who missed her pit stop! :)ReplyDelete
Thanks, Pete! It really was shocking to see so many runners down because there have certainly been races with much, much worse conditions than yesterday. Yay for your 16-miler yesterday and for continuing to progress strongly with your instant marathon training! I think we are all on to something with these much-abbreviated training plans, no?Delete
And yes - the woman who missed her pit stop is probably the worst thing I've ever seen during a race. That poor, poor woman. =(
You are spot on with your race review. I agree with every point you made. I was also so surprised to see 5-10 people down on the sidelines seeking medical help. I hope they are ok!!ReplyDelete
Thanks, Ashley! It sounds like we are race-thought twinsies, yay!!!Delete
Wasn't it unbelievable to see so many runners down yesterday? The weather conditions were not that bad so I'm not sure if there was any common theme amongst them all? In any event - I hope they are okay, too and thank god for those medical personnel!!!
Congrats on another race! Oh, and I love your race recaps. Makes me consider the way I do mine. :-)ReplyDelete
Thanks so much, Zenaida! I do try to mix up the race recap style to keep things interesting. For me, the "Good, Bad, and Ugly" recap style is one of the easiest to pull together quickly. But I love reading everyone's race recaps because it's always so interesting to hear the different thoughts and perspectives!Delete
Good running yesterday! And great to meet you!! It was a rough day with the humidity... I too saw a lot more people 'down' than average. Glad it wasn't a "goal race" for me... easier to be content with the outcome. :)ReplyDelete
Good running for you, too, Jess! It was great hanging out with you and chatting after the race! That humidity was really brutal. Thankfully the temps were pretty comfortable - I can't imagine what it would have been like if it were any warmer than it was. And I totally hear you about being glad it wasn't a goal races - I've definitely come to be very content with running lots of these races just for fun. =DDelete
Your very first point is interesting - now that I already have one half under my belt (albeit, one disastrously hot and slow half), I feel like I've got it for my second one, and don't need to follow a training plan quite as closely.ReplyDelete
Sorry to hear your groin pain is back! That must be so frustrating, especially to have it come back mid-race. I hope that doing your PT exercises helps!
Gosh, and I think if I had missed the bathroom like that woman you saw, I would be crying the rest of the race. Or at least until I could clean myself up.
Oh, and congrats on coming so close to the 2:25 mark! 4 seconds is not bad at all considering the conditions.Delete
Thank you so much, Anne!Delete
I agree that after getting your first half under your belt, we all have a MUCH better idea of what works for us and what areas to focus on during future half marathons. Training plans, while helpful, are definitely not one-size-fits-all! And then, things like hot weather on race day can derail even the most closely-followed plan. So I am all about just doing what works best for you in training. =D
Thanks for the sympathy regarding the groin pain - it was indeed frustrating. So yeah, back on the horse with the PT exercises!
That poor, poor woman. To be honest, I wanted to cry just after seeing her ordeal. Here is hoping and praying that she had a change of clothes available for post-race, or at least an old towel to sit on!!!
Boo to groin pain! Sigh. Why is it so hard to stay on top of those silly PT exercises??ReplyDelete
Anyway, it sounds like you had a good race on Sunday! Looking forward to the Mad Dash to Madison on Monday!
Silly PT exercises, indeed. Too bad there isn't some kind of a rewards program for doing PT exercises. "Do your PT exercises every day, win a free pair of running shoes!!!"Delete
Thank you - the race did go well, especially considering the lack for training and the humidity! Can't wait to catch up at Mad Dash on Monday!!!
I also noticed the high number of medical issues on course... And I think I passed your friend from mile 9 at mile 6. Was she in black tights and a ... Purple tank, I think?ReplyDelete
Oh my gosh! She was definitely wearing black tights but I don't remember what color shirt she was wearing (I got so distracted by everything else). I have to imagine (hope) it was the same woman because it would be really awful if there were multiple women out there with that same issue. Yikes!!!Delete
PS - I'm actually in your group photo in the VIP booth. You can see my brother in laws camera on the table and his girlfriend's hand holding the cup. Too weird!Delete
What a small world! And you know what... I was looking at your picture from the VIP tent to see if I could recognize where I might have been relative to where you were... it turns out I am in your picture where you are eating pizza and giving the thumbs-up sign! I'm in the purple shirt and white hat in the background! Isn't that crazy? Next time we are doing the same race we will have to meet up and take a REAL picture. =DDelete