Monday, September 9, 2013

Chicago Half Marathon Race Report

It’s that time again. Another race report. Sometimes I don’t like writing them, especially when the race wasn’t fun and wasn’t good and was a poor performance, even though I suspected that it wouldn’t be great. I’ll keep it short. HA, yeah right! Later when I look back, I appreciate my race reports, good or not-so-good races.

Pre-race: Not as much sleep on both Friday night and Saturday night. I didn’t realize how late it was Saturday when I dragged BB out to a birthday party under the guise of “we’ll stay just a bit.” Not cool. Not cool at all.

RING RING…alarm time. Let’s go!

We get down to Jackson Park, my old neighborhood,and parked easily, then walked over to the start line. I’m often a ball of nerves, but this time I wasn’t. Chill people make for a chill me. Where’s my cousin Briget? Normally this would drive me mad…this time I was like “I know I’ll see her.” Because 9 times out of 10, we spot each other during the race. Those of us in the back of the pack tend to do that, that’s one thing I’ve learned over the years.

So nothing hurted, per se, my hip wasn’t hurting as it had been, or none of the other various ailments were present that have been around this weird running season. We ran the first mile, according to my Sportstracker app, in 10:23. I was EXHAUSTED. I walked and BB went on. I felt I would do nothing but slow him down. So then I went into a run walk of 5 minutes/2 minutes. Watching the clock is a helluva drag. Around 3.5 miles in, and my app lap’ping repeteadly as if to taunt me, I turned it off. Fuck the clock. Every early mile hurt. By around 4 I started to feel better and just agreed (with myself) to walk when needed. I would NOT make myself feel bad that the last time I ran this course, I was motoring through and on my way to an AWESOME PR of 2:22:00. What’s the use?

And just as I said, I ran in to Briget around 5 miles. We basically tagged back and forth for the entire race until the very end when she went ahead of me for good. I think. Not sure. We didn’t talk again after about Mile 11. It “be’s like that sometimes” when you’re running. No harm, no foul…but you’re not there to talk. We don’t even wait at finish lines anymore. It’s understood…and it’s all good.

So I’d hit a stride of sorts and was feeling decent and running along. Somewhere after Mile 7 I was looking and looking for BB, surely he was on the return south. Just as I gave up looking for him—I could have easily missed him in spots where the out & back course were not exactly side-by-side—but suddenly there he was. “LINDY!” Standing in the weeds (or those more environmentally astute would say—native plants.) I ran over to him, said whatever and we went on our merry ways. He's pretty awesome, eh?

Shortly after the turnaround, we reached 39th (Oakwood) and were shuttled off the course. I thought I wasn’t at a 13 pace, but apparently my results say otherwise-I was clocking in at a 13 by the 5-mile mark. Shuttled off to the southern end of the lakefront path, my old friend. My old running territory. We were the FIRST people to be shuttled off the course. I could see them just steps ahead running on the course. But you know what? At the end of the day, being in that position is on me.

The rest of the race was random water fountains, and at one point, volunteers had made their way over to the path with bottled water. I finally finished, legs cramping mightily. I got asked twice if I needed the medic tent, so I must have looked rather unfortunate. After pausing a few times, I found BB waiting, the proud owner of the medal of his first half marathon!! Woo-hoo! And that was that. I finished. In hindsight this is good, considering that a few weeks ago I wasn’t even sure I’d be able to run.

I’m happy to report I have no more scheduled races in 2013. I told friends I’d do the Title 9K, but I haven’t registered yet. I’ll think about that. Not today though.

By the way, this was my 12th half marathon. I hadn't realized it was that many. Pretty cool!

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