This is my third year in a row doing the Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago Half Marathon, and this race still ranks as one of my favorites. I love the course (similar to the Chicago Marathon and the Shamrock Shuffle), the crowd is great and the logistics are always handled really well. This year was no exception.
Even though I could have taken the L to/from the race, I didn’t want to ride the train alone at 5am, so I opted to drive instead, and park in our secret $2 lot. However, that lot is a mile from the race site, so it probably took me roughly the same amount of time to get to/from the race, but at least I was safe on the way there and had my own air-conditioned bubble for my stench on the way home.
Anyway. I met up with some bloggers before the race, of course.
I checked my bag, took one look at the long port-o-potty lines, and figured it was a good chance to take advantage of VIP, which I had access to for the race. Still port-o-potties, but at least there was no line, and I could wash my hands with soap and water. I also grabbed a bottle of water, which I ended up carrying with me for the first half of the race – keeping it in the back of my bra.
I also ran into Nicole in the corral, but we both checked our phones, so no pic.
I didn’t really have a goal for this race. When I registerd for the race (in May), I was still in PR shape, so I put 1:50 as my expected finish time. My training has fallen way off since then, and as raceday approached, I knew I did not have a PR in me. But, I still wanted to do my best, whatever that was. And have fun. This is a fun race.
I ran past Dave between miles 1-2. If Instagram is any indication, he definitely had a fun race.
I started conserviatvely, and just ran a pace that felt good. Based on heart rate, I knew I could run faster, but given my minimal training, I didn’t want to get cocky. Eventually around mile 4, I felt warmed up. I saw Erin spectating around this point and zipped over to say hi, and I think this was also when I got too sweaty to keep my water bottle in the back of my bra without it slipping out. I carried it for awhile, finally ditching it by mile 8. Wouldn’t you know, having my hands free actually felt good.
If you’ve ever run this race before, you know the second half of the course is not as fun as the first. You head out of downtown, it’s sunny, and you just want to be done. At least that’s how I felt. I was trying my best to stay cool – drinking water, pouring it on my head, running through every hose that was turned on runners. It helped, but it’s still July.
Somewhere around mile 10, I ran into Eric on the course. I think we were both ready to be done. I even asked him when registration opened for the Soldier Field 10 … I feel like 10 miles is the perfect race distance. Of course if 10 mile races were as common as half marathons, I’d think 15K’s were perfect.
Around mle 12, I ran into Nicole. Normally she is faster than me, but she ran the Twilight Half Marathon last night. She said she would try to keep up with me for the finish, but eventually I was keeping up with her.
My Garim said I finished in 2:04:48. Definitely not a PR, not even a course PR. (And I feel like last year was more miserable in terms of heat and humidity, but I was marathon training.) But my time was pretty on par for what I’ve been doing lately. Actually, pretty good for what I’ve been doing lately.
I slowly made my way through the post-race area, got my bag and headed over to the VIP area to check out the food. It may have been the hunger, but that I had some damn good bacon.
View from VIP
But I had to leave the cushy VIP area to find friends. (AKA … the common folk.) I found Annabelle and Declan, but we couldn’t find anyone else. No worries, that’s enough for a classic port-o-potty pic.
Then I got home and pretty much did this for the rest of the day.