Monday, September 17, 2012

This 20 Miler is Now In the Books!

The 20 miler is in the books. I survived, and it went ok. Upon arriving at the Wilson Av parking lot along the lakefront, it was a crowded mess and it took me awhile to find my pace group. Turns out Wave 73 was the first of several 11:30 pace groups, so I opted to go with the one that had some more familiar and friendlier looking faces. Turns out two chicks were from “Black Girls Run” Chicago, the Chicago “chapter” of Black Girls Run, an initiative aimed at getting more black women on their feet and off of the couch. And before any of you all get all funky about that, check out obesity rates in the black community and holla back at me if you’re still mad about this organization. ;) It’s all love! And besides, plenty of non-black runners participate in the scheduled group runs. I actually only mingle with this group socially (and even limited in that capacity), as I prefer to run ALONE for the most part.

Anyhoo, I started chatting with them and we talked about our remaining race schedules for the year, what marathons we are or might do next year, etc… Turns out one chick was actually running in the 12:00 pace group, so the other one and I agreed to stick with each other for a bit.

Here We Are! Well a bit turned into about 12 or 13 miles. We talked about running, our kids, and the fact that our wave/pace leader sounded JUST LIKE Ned Flanders from The Simpsons. He was nice enough, but he also didn’t shut up like Ned Flanders, either. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA, fun times, nonetheless.

So anyway, my finish time was 3:57:00, for a pace of 11:50…or 11:51, depending on which application you’re using. Ye Olde Garmin said 11:50, but my Running Log app said 11:51. Whatever, does it really matter?

The run got difficult as the miles piled up. I mulled over having walked bits and pieces during the last 4 miles, which included the slight extension of my usual walks at aid stations, and a three times where I was running and just broke into a WALK. When will I stop doing this? It’s a total mental thing. That being said, those walk breaks were very short, nothing for more than a minute or so…but even ramping back up into a running pace wreaks havoc on the pace per mile. Here’s the mile breakdown:

Mile 1—11:40

Mile 2—11:26

Mile 3—11:18 (First water break)

Mile 4—11:13

Mile 5—11:05

Mile 6—11:03

Mile 7—12:03 (Second water break, and rather annoyed at the distance between the first and second aid stations.)

Mile 8—11:22

Mile 9—11:45

Mile 10—11:41

Mile 11—12:18

Mile 12—11:29

Mile 13—11:50 There was a big aid station here as we wound around in Grant Park. I don’t like “winding around” on courses, so this annoyed me big time. At first I thought it was another race, like some kind of 5k happening in the park. But no, all the unnecessary hoopla was for us—it’s an aid station, give us our water and Gatorade, and keep it moving. (This may have signaled the first signs of losing my mental edge. SHEESH this mid-morning sun was smacking my face, good thing it wasn’t really hot.) This is when my new running friend went ahead a bit…that was fine with me. It was time to stop chatting and get to the heart of the matter!

Mile 14—11:25

Mile 15—13:10 (This is when I stopped to finally put my music on, between the 14 and 15 mile markers. It never sounded so good.)

Mile 16—11:58

Mile 17—12:11 Saw friends along the lakefront path, and it was so good to see them! They looked at me as if I looked like CRAP. And I probably did.

Mile 18—13:18 Clearly a walk happened in here.

Mile 19—12:43 And for sure another walk happened here. I know for a fact I stopped and drank the remainder of my Gatorade AND water that I was carrying.

Mile 20—11:17 Then right up ahead was the 19-mile sign, we were right by the Museum of Science and Industry. The home stretch! I KNOW this route. I KNOW there’s a teeny little hill up ahead, and the sun will be smacking me down as I run the last concrete part, but I KNOW WHERE THE END IS. And no matter what, I told myself, I AM NOT GOING TO WALK ONE MORE BIT. And I didn’t. So here comes the 63rd Street pedestrian underpass, and a rather RUDE sharp right turn, and voila! The finish line of our non-race, non-timed, non-competitive 20 Mile Supported Training Run. Woo Hoo!!!! It was a weak and whimpered woo hoo. I smiled, then grabbed a bagel, a banana, Gatorade, and water. Ate half the bagel and threw it on the ground. (Sorry…a squirrel or someone would get it. I was too tired and not thinking clearly.) Then I gave my two beer coupons to a group of three people (the third person looked annoyed.) Then I got my t-shirt coupon and went to get my finishers t-shirt (which is very cute!) And then I went over to a tree and attempted to stretch for a bit.

Though discouraged by the end of my run, later in the evening someone pointed out that this last mile was one of my fastest miles of the run, and that if I can do that, I definitely have 6 more miles in me. Very true. I guess working out these mental issues during long runs will remain a work in progress, and I’m ok with that. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Or whatever. Right? Anyway, this is it! I’m officially in “taper” mode now.

1 comment:

Lindy said...

How could I forget??? After Mile 6 but before 7 (I think) we went under this little viaduct where there were some pigeons chillin. Next thing I know there was a little drop of pigeon crap on my finger. Just a tiny drop, but disgusting nonetheless. I LOATHE birds as it is.