Sunday, August 2, 2009

Rock n Roll Chicago Half Marathon Race Report

2:49:29. That's 15 seconds slower than Indy. And nowhere near a 12:00 pace.

Two thoughts:
1. I thought I should be getting better as the season wore on
2. I don't even remember the other thought.

Things to remember for the next race
-You're not going to die. (well at least not on this course. Probably not, anyway.)
-always readjust your underwear properly when having stopped to go to the bathroom
-never underestimate a run, even if it is cool out (sort of)
-chugging and guzzling are not allowed. you already knew this.

I spent portions of Saturday afternoon and evening arguing with hubby because he wanted to know what he was supposed to do with the girls Sunday morning, since he needed to be at church to print the monthly newsletter. (Take them with you, Mr. Helpless.)

Saturday evening, a few friends nearby came over and we watched the Spirit of the Marathon to...well I suppose to get ourselves psyched up, but I was too annoyed to really enjoy it.

Race Morning
Woke up at about 4:15 and decided to stay up. Laid out the girls' clothes, got my stuff together, woke up Annah, who stayed over and then we rolled out to pick up Melba and head downtown. Found our free parking area (which is a bit of a dinosaur in a 2 to 3-mile radius surrounding downtown Chicago these days.)

We went out separate ways and I went to my corral. It seemed fairly orderly. John Bingham (The Penguin) was yammering away on the microphone, and for some reason this time it was mildly annoying. I stood there alone, and then all of the sudden here is Melba again! I'd forgotten she switched to my corral (17 out of 21.) I called and called and called Meg and Lou, but no answer. Finally, Meg popped up and we chatted, and then lo and behold, midway thru our slow walk to the start line, there was Lou. The 3 musketeers, together again! She was pretty proud of herself for finding us in the crowd, and I would say that it was no small feat.

Miles 1 to 4
Start line. We're off! Hooray! It's a great day for a run. The first mile was effortless. We ducked and dodged. Now wait a minute. These corrals are based on expected finish times. Who are these people walking at the start of the race. And I mean slowly, NOT that kick@$$ herky-jerky speedwalking?! We dodged several walls of walkers, like 7 across. Sheesh! But it was cool. I remember hitting mile 1 at 11:43, Mile 2 at 23:11...I'm going by memory b/c for the first time in ages, my blessed Garmin was rendered useless. Pace/distance COMPLETELY off. And I've done this course before (2006, 2007 Chicago Distance Classic + Shamrock Shuffles following a near identical route at this point.) But this time? USELESS. At the 5k mark we were fine, right around 36 minutes. I didn't eat my whole pre-long run meal in the morning (I forgot to finish it?!), so I felt that I needed a GU. Decided I would wait til around 4 miles. I never saw the 4 mile marker sign, but at a water station at what seemed like it should be 4 miles (it was around 47 minutes on my watch,) I indulged and said goodbye to Lou and Meg. We do that, we rarely finish a race together, and we're cool like that. Sometimes we catch up with each other later in the race, sometimes we don't.

Mile 5 to 9
Sheesh! I know it's technically cool out here for August, and maybe it's just me, but is it hot out here?! That sun was beating down fierce. I really like running at 5am, the sun is much nicer to me. I struggled alot, I felt like I needed to go to the bathroom, which I don't think I've ever done in a race...maybe once, I think I may have in the 2006 CDC. Despite my wondering, I started chugging my Gatorade. I went from having had about 6 ounces in the first 4 miles, to about 16 ounces during this section of the race. I'm not exaggerating. I walked several times during this timeframe, struggling with the notion of going to the bathroom during the race.

As we turned around at Oakwood (3900 South Lake Shore Drive) I decided that I would go to the bathroom NOT at a portapotty, but at the 31st Street Beach House. That should be slightly more pleasant than a 90 degree portable $h!thole, no? And the beach house is right off the path we were running on. So I get to the beach house and go to take care of business...and because this is something I rarely have to do during a run, I'm attributing what happened next to my inexperience in the matter.

So I pull up my pants, and it didn't occur to me that because everything is pretty much drenched in sweat, that I'd better make sure everything is in the right place. As I was leaving the bathroom, I remember thinking "Is my underwear in the right place?" Really people. I readusted and figured I was just being silly, and decided to just go. "You're being silly, Lindy," I said to myself.

Mile 10 to 12
Ok you got it! Piece of cake, just a 5K to go! At this point I was so tired. And what's that, where the HELL is my underwear, why is it scraping my leg?! For a moment I was energized...someone ran past as I was fooling around with my pants (trying to remain inconspicuous)..I saw two purple shirts, "waddler" and "snips", and recognized them from a blog I recently started to follow. I dashed up ahead and introduced myself. We chatted for a bit, she and her friend were super nice and cheerful. They did a run walk method, so I charged ahead for a bit, but they passed me again. And I watched their shirts go off in the distance ahead of me. I had no energy to catch them

I took a GU somewhere around Mile 11. Followed by about 8 ounces of water, even though I knew I shouldn't. Stomach gurgling.

I walked and ran and ran and walked.

Mile 12 to 13.1
Let's just get this thing finished. I saw two annoying people from our pace group. I ran between the two of them and didn't so much as glance anywhere, hoping they wouldn't see or notice me, as there were lots of people cutting and ducking and dodging at this point in the race. I thought I heard "Hey isn't that....?" A-ha, a useful occasion for someone having forgotten my name!

I thought I would barely be able to manage the dignity of running in the last .2 miles...and I did manage to run it, but I was hurtin'.

And that was that. 2:49:29. 12:56 pace, and the fact that it was at least not 13:00 was admittedly of some consulation.

Once again, I struggled with the negative self talk, the "after this year I'm taking a break from marathon training," the "what are you doing out here?" and for the first time the negative thinking didn't all go away when I got my medal.

Sorry this might sound so down. I'll be fine. I would write more (and I will probably re-read/edit this later) but I have two girls that I need to get out of the bathtub.


Freedom Runner said...

I had a rough day too, including being VERY far off my normal pace. Was it me, or was it hot but not hot? So nice at the beginning, but then sticky and uncomfortable starting around mile 6.

Don't beat yourself up about this. You have so much stuff going on in life in general, I am amazed that you can get it all in. Take a deep breath. Pat yourself on the back for finishing. Enjoy your afternoon. Then we'll get back at fighting the good fight tomorrow. :o)

WADDLER26.2 said...

You looked great out there! It was great to meet you.

RBR said...

WE all have those races. Where the negative chatter of the brain just blows the whole damn thing, but the fact of the matter is that you persevered when you really didn't want to. That is how marathons get run!

Remember, that you are two month s out from your marathon. In my experience I have that time in my training when my legs are beat up and my pace goes to hell. That is why we do taper to let our legs recover for the big day. This was not your A race this was a training day. Enjoy your medal and be proud of the marathoner you are!

(Oh, and "Mr. Helpless" made me snort out loud. Hilarious!)

briget said...

That was funny!

Lindy, the courage is that you truly inspire me.

Roisin said...

I think we had the same race. Don't worry...we will keep going.