What a difference 20 degrees makes. And not running on fresh legs. BUT, I only had two goals for this race, and met them both:

  1. Finish happy. It was more “happy to finish,” but it counts. I finished. I didn’t pass out. Not everyone who started the race today can say that.
  2. Keep my heart rate in the 160s. My average was 165. (For reference, my average heart rate for last week’s half marathon was 163.)

But my time? I’ll save you the scroll-down: 2:12:25. Almost 20 minutes slower than last week. But, it was about 20 degrees warmer and there was less shade.

Getting to this race (and home from it) was a journey in and of itself. I carpooled with some F’N Runners to the Museum of Science and Industry for parking, and then took a shuttle to the South Shore Cultural Center. Classy joint. It’s where our President got married. Although we only got to see the outside.

car pool crew

Another plug for I Run With Fast Women shirts (all of my profits are donated to American Cancer Society!)

Pre-race, I met up with some other Chicago running bloggers (and one Miami running blogger!)

Back: Amanda, Kayla, Zach, Sara, Me, Deanna
Middle: Amanda, Cary
Front: Xaarlin, Kim, Britt

I won’t go into a mile-by-mile recap, just bullet points:

  • My first mile beeped at a 10-something pace and I couldn’t help but LOL at the fact that not only was this not a day to PR, it wasn’t a day for sub-2. However, I should feel good that had I not raced last weekend, today still would have been a PR. By 10 minutes. So that feels good.
  • They handed out ice on the course, and I followed Angry Runner’s strategy and dumped the ice into the front of my bra, which was awesome. Actually brought my heart rate down. For once I felt like the men were at a disadvantage. Where would they dump the ice? The obvious answer seems painful.
  • Also, I kept dumping so much water down my back, that it not only soaked my shirt (see carpool photo), but also the back of my shorts. I’m sure other runners thought I peed on myself. Although I thought that it would be great if I did need to pee, I could just go, but I didn’t, so I didn’t. (Sorry to disappoint. But maybe I’ll try this strategy at the marathon.)
  • Erin was on the course around mile 7 handing out red vines. ❤ you.
  • Post-race we had Lou Malnati’s pizza (and Michelob Ultra of course). I’m not a big pizza person (I know I know, I’m so un-American) but I kept thinking “pizza pizza pizza” during the last few miles and that pizza was THE BEST PIZZA I’VE EVER HAD IN MY LIFE. And I’ve had Lou Malnati’s pizza before and it’s not my favorite. (Aurelio’s is, by the way.)
  • The course was pretty – the first part was through some very nice lakefront parks and then we had some awesome skyline views from the lakefront path.
Borrowed from a FB friend, Denny if you see this – thanks!!
  • When the course turned back into the SSCC, I thought we’d be done, but no, it kept going and going … so cruel when they set up courses like that.
  • Finishing a race next to the beach is nice in theory, but not in practice when I have to walk through sand in my newest running shoes. I was glad I put flip-flops in my checked bag.


We had another quick Chicago running bloggers meet-up post race, for anyone who couldn’t meet up beforehand.

Sara, Kelly, Kim, me, Amanda


Next race: Jim Gibbons 5K.

What’s your on-course strategy for hot races? Even though I was mildly embarrassed that I probably looked like I peed in my shorts, I really didn’t care. I still kept dumping water on myself, although I started aiming more for my shoulders/chest. 

“Free” post-race beer: Yes or no? I used to never get the free beer but now I do and usually it’s damn good. Even Michelob Ultra. Although after 13 miles, everything is good. I promise I normally drink much better beer. 

What’s your favorite pizza place? (I’m really only interested in your answer if you are from the Chicago area.) We often went to the original Aurelio’s (in Homewood) for extended family gatherings when I was growing up. So it’s not just the pizza that I love, but the memories. Chicago Dough is a close second, which is local to the south suburbs. And Giordano’s is good enough for third place. (Like I said, I don’t even really like pizza but in my experience, every Chicagoan has an opinion or three on pizza.)