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.
Great job! I'm so glad you pushed through to the finish. I'd be so mad if I was that close and they shut the race down.ReplyDelete
We're having Lou for dinner tonight.
Thanks so much, Wendy! Yes - there's definitely a point of no return with these races, and nobody wants to run 2+ hours to not finish!Delete
Buon appetito with the Lou's for dinner!!! I hope it was as delicious as it always is!!!!
OMG, I am so glad you made it to the finish on time before the storm! It was nice that you got to hang out in the VIP tent and wait for your friend. I'm gonna head over and check out her race recap. Curious to see if they were gonna just stop the race or divert runners to make the course shorter?ReplyDelete
Thank you so much! I did think about what would have happened if I had started in a different corral! Please do check out Kayla's recap - she talks a bit more about her experience on course during the storm. From what I hear, they didn't pull anyone off the course - but it may have depended on where on the course you were when the downpour hit!?!?!?Delete
0% chance of rain to suspending the race for storms? Got to love weather forecasting. RnR has the biggest race bibs ever! Don't you think? I swear it's like wearing an apron. Great job in pushing through to the end! The VIP experience sounds wonderful. Thanks for linking, Emily!ReplyDelete
I seriously think I made the wrong career choice. I should have been a meteorologist because you can be SO COMPLETELY WRONG yet still have job security. It must be nice! YES on the RnR bibs feeling like aprons, that is the perfect way to describe them! Thank you so much, and as always, thank you to you and Tricia for hosting the linkup!!!Delete
Great job pushing through when you really didn't feel like getting it done. Its definitely hard when your head isn't in it..I know I have been there before. I'm kind of jealous of no long runs but I think I may give myself 1 week without a long run and hit it hard next week :)ReplyDelete
Thank you so much, Kayla! Like I said before, it was a good there you were here over the weekend, otherwise I would have been tempted to skip out on everything! Yes, a 1-week break would be fantastic - cutback weeks make a HUGE difference both mentally and physically. Once you get back to it, you'll kill it!!!Delete
Wow- this is some recap Emily! I was glued to every line. I can't believe it stormed so hard after the forecast said there was a zero % (!) chance of rain. Who would have thought that? So happy for you that you got to finish your 28th Half-Marathon! What a huge achievement! This Half really was well organized! I can't believe they offered foam rollers and phone chargers1 So sweet! How awesome you guys got to meet Marcia! Such a fun post!ReplyDelete
Thank you so much, Ilka! Thank you to you for hosting the link-up, too - I am loving all the food contributions!!! Yes, the organizers did a terrific job with the foam rollers and phone chargers, clearly they have folks on staff who understand what is important to runners post-race. Marcia is awesome, indeed, she truly does it all and she is such an inspiration. Thanks again, Ilka!!!Delete
Awesome job!! I ran the Chicago R'nR Remix in 2014 and thought it was a lot of fun. We didn't have any rain, but extreme heat and humidity...lots of downed runners in the final miles.ReplyDelete
Thank you so much, Kimberly! Very cool that you did the Remix in 2014 - I think you were one of the pioneers for when they first started offering the challenge! I remember RnR Chicago weekend that year, too - those weather conditions were super challenging! The last few miles are killer, too, since there is almost no shade. It's a triple-whammy at that point on the course, for sure!!!Delete
Gosh, can't imagine them stopping races in the UK when it rains...we'd never have any races!! :-) Well done for a fab race! :-)ReplyDelete
Thank you so much, Eb!!! LOL - normally race organizers allow events to go on in most weather conditions, but lightning is where they draw the line and apparently there were a number of lightning strikes during the race!!!Delete
I may have done what Kayla did if I was that close to the finish. I was worried at Tink when it was raining as we were walking to the corrals, but thankfully there was no lightning, and the rain stopped before the race.ReplyDelete
You definitely reach a certain point of no return with these races! Once you're that far in, you might as well finish, right? What are the odds that it would rain during Tinkerbell, considering California's drought situation. Talk about bad timing! Glad it didn't change the race organization. =)Delete
Great job Emily!! And aren't those VIP bracelets the best? I had one when I ran the RnR Las Vegas and loved it. The best part was post race because I was cold and tired but I was able to relax and warm up a bit.ReplyDelete
So it was a new course this year, huh? Why do the race organizers think the runners like running through the McCormick Place tunnel? I hate it.
Thank you so much, Zenaida! The VIP bracelets are a GODSEND. It's too bad they are so darned pricey, otherwise I'd love to indulge at RnR Las Vegas in November. BTW - were you able to get any credits on your SW airfare?Delete
Yeah, the course has been changed up a little bit from prior years. As you know, it used to mimic a lot of the Chicago Marathon course, but not so much anymore. The McCormick Place tunnel is really trying, indeed, especially that late on the course!!!
I did not. I paid for the flight over there and used points for my return flight. The difference was $5 so I left it the way it is. I will keep checking so I might get lucky and it will be more than $5.Delete
Congrats on getting your TSA pre-check, by the way!!! =DDelete
Oh my god! I was not expecting a full storm at the end! wow! can you come to VB Rock and Roll in Sept? or send your Storm powers ? I am thinking I will need a bit of rain, depending on how hot it is that day!ReplyDelete
Congratulations on finishing your 28th Half Marathon ! that is amazing!! Just amazing!
I'm sorry you were not emotionally feeling this race, and I hope you enjoy your break!
LOL - I have brought rain to so many races that I was joking about the state of California hiring me to run so I could help ease their horrible drought situation. =) I'll do my best to send my storm powers to you at RnR VB. =DDelete
Thank you so much, Ana! I really appreciate it! You've been knocking it out of the park yourself, my friend. =) And I'm thankfully already feeling better after having a week where I didn't HAVE to do any training runs!!!
Thank you so much, Kelly! Yes, you definitely reach a point of no return with these races where unless something REALLY catastrophic has happened, you want to get to the finish line. I'm like you, I spend a lot of time doing mental math on the splits, checking my Garmin, etc. I want to try running a race without my Garmin or any kind of pace guides, but I'm too paranoid to do that! What about you? YES - the out and backs just to add distance are so awful, I always think about cheating and skipping them altogether! Sigh...ReplyDelete
Glad you were still able to finish up! The weather around here has been CRAZY. Did you see the video of the CTA stop getting hit by lightning last night?ReplyDelete
Thanks so much, Alexandra! OMG - I did see the video of the blue line stop! What are the odds that the women driving by would be videotaping it right when it happened, too? CRAZINESS!!!!!!!Delete
28 half marathons! Holy smokes, no wonder you've felt burnt out on running! I mean, obviously I know you haven't done all of those within the past year or so, but I didn't realize you had been run so many half marathons over your running career! Since I started doing distance running, I've usually done two half marathons/year (with last year being the exception, when I did three), but you must be averaging MUCH more than that annually, unless you've been running half marathons for the past 14 years. I'd be ready to hang up my shoes for awhile, too, if I had consistently kept my mileage so high! Anyway, I'm really glad you were able to finish the race with the weather. That storm was pretty intense, and I wouldn't have wanted to be out running in it at all!ReplyDelete
Bethany @ Accidental Intentions
Ah yes - I've averaged around 5-6 half marathons per year, and I plan on trying to tone that number down going forward. Each year I get more and more selective with the races I run since there are so many of them to pick from! Let's definitely focus on quality over quantity, yes? Thank you so much, Bethany - we were very fortunate that the storm didn't last very long and that it occurred towards the latter part of the event!!!Delete
Well, at least for me your rain jinx only cut my beer garden festivities short - and not my race. Ha, ha! I might spring for that VIP experience next year! Awesome! :)ReplyDelete
LOL - I thought about how the super-speedy runners like you weren't impacted at all by the storms! I'm glad I can even somewhat diffuse any jinx blame on your side. ;-) Congrats again, Mr. PR-Man!!!!! And thanks!!!Delete
Nothing like a little added stress at the end of a race! It's great that you were able to cross the finish line and get your medal. Congrats on the finish!ReplyDelete
Indeed, there's no better time than the very end of a race to give you a little jump in your step, yes? Thank you so much, Tina! It's funny because the spectators were probably thinking, "Let's get the heck out of here!" while all the runners were worried about the timing mats still being on. Different perspectives. =)Delete
My feature for this week's Sunday Fitness & Food Link-Up, Emily! Congrats! Happy Running!ReplyDelete
WOW - thank you SO much, Ilka!!!!! I really appreciate it!!!!!!! Happy running to you too!!!!!!Delete
That's scary! I HATE running in the rain, so you would have seen some epic sprinting out of me at the finish line! That storm looks pretty threatening.ReplyDelete
Sorry it wasn't the most fun race. I look forward to the bigger events like this because of the spectators and crowd support, and it's a bummer when things dont go that way. Great job getting it done, though!
Thanks Jennifer! Yes, rain definitely helps motivate you to still push yourself even when the legs are feeling like jello! Thankfully I've run RnR Chicago several times so I know more of what to expect. Big races definitely have their pluses and minuses, that is for sure!!!Delete