OK, ok, here is my “race report” in short form!!!
So, all week before the marathon, I had an ear infection, so that totally freaked me out. I was on antibiotics immediately, so by Sunday, I actually felt pretty good, but could feel a cold coming on, one that any antibiotic wasn’t going to help. LUCKILY, it held out on Sunday, because I woke up (did I really sleep Saturday night?!?!?! – I don’t think so….) and felt OK. We drove downtown, got to the condo, and watched them set-up the last parts of the finish from the balcony. That’s when I had a full-blown panic attack and just lost it. I have NO idea why, I think feelings from the Chicago Tri just finally came out, but I seriously just started crying and hyperventilating and was a complete nervous wreck!!! That lasted until we left the condo, I got outside, started walking toward the Balbo Hospitality tent, and when I got there, I was fine. **THANK GOODNESS** So, I gear checked my dry, warm clothes for after the race, the announcer stated 20 minutes until the starting corrals closed, and I so I headed right out to get in line for the start. (It takes about 15 minutes to get into the corrals). There was definitely a bite in the air, so I was chilly, but I dressed appropriately for the weather, and wore a lovely garbage bag to the start line. I was definitely “white trash” the morning of the race!
OK, into the starting corral, waited about 5 minutes, did NOT see anyone I knew, which was really good for me because I wanted to run alone. Gun went off, and I crossed the start line and just started running! I felt awesome! The first mile didn’t even feel like I needed to slow down, everything just worked! My legs felt awesome, my chest didn’t hurt at all, actually, nothing hurt, I just felt awesome. So, I just ran. I had a 3:45 pace tattoo on my arm so I could watch my times, but because I was feeling so good, I actually had a 6-8 minute cushion on my time going into the second half of the run. I still felt great, so I just kept running to give myself enough cushion for when my legs started to slow. It was perfect! I kept telling myself to save my legs at mile 20 so that I could get through the last 6 miles, so I slowed my pace a little bit, given the extra time I had. I got caught up at only one water stop by people who were really slowing, and walking all over, so that was my slowest 5K, and it wasn’t even because I felt bad, it was those around me whom I had to navigate through. Before I knew it, I was at mile 24, and I couldn’t believe it was almost over. I swear I had a smile plastered on my face the entire run. When I turned the corner off Michigan Ave. to Roosevelt at 26 miles, I spotted Joe, and he just told me “Let’s Go!” to keep me motivated, but I really didn’t need it! The 3:40 pace group, who was behind me the ENTIRE time, had caught up with me at that bad water stop, and I just stayed right with them the rest of the time. So……to make a long run short, I crossed the finish line at 3:40:29, chip time, and I was only 3 minutes off the gun time. I needed a 3:45 to BQ, and I did that with time to spare! It was an AWESOME moment for me, I was elated!
Then, I had to make the LONG walk from the finish line, through the finish corral. As soon as I stopped moving for them to get my chip off, my legs immediately cramped up and I was hurting, but happy! So, now, Tuesday, my quads are tight, my hamstrings feel like someone took a baseball bat to them, and I now have a full-blown cold, but I am still on cloud nine! I finally had my race this season, and I am really, really happy!!! Thank goodness I learned a TON from MJ on that 20-miler. You’ll be proud to know, I did not walk once, except to take my few sips of water, but that’s all! I ran like someone gave me wings!!
And that, my friends, is my “race report” for the 2009 Chicago Marathon!
Five Miles Finished
1 year ago