17th Annual Chicago Half Marathon Recap

Well. It’s safe to exhale now- I survived. I signed up for this race shortly after doing my last half: the Allstate 13.1- mostly due to the fact that that race and this race are a part of the Windy City Challenge- two half marathons. There are some benefits to doing this:

1) 2 Races 3 Medals. Who doesn’t love more hardware?

2) For the Chicago Half there was an express packet pick up line, at the expo for people are participated in the Windy City Challenge (WCC),

3) A combined “marathon time”

Since this race has been around for awhile- I had a pretty high level of expectation going into it, in terms of organization and race day etc. I was not disappointed. The packet pick up was at Navy Pier (the only negative about this event- and that’s really only because I despise Navy Pier), and it was easy to find, busy but not congested, it ran smoothly. I got my packet- like super fast, and got all of my questions answered. It took me longer to walk to and from the expo hall than it did to actually pick up my packet. It was a good thing my bestie/new roomie tagged along to keep me company.

The race started in Jackson Park so the race provided shuttles (for a small fee) which I am happy about- there are many fine parts of Chicago, and there are many parts of Chicago I would not want to walk through at any time of day. So I’ll leave it at the fact that I was really happy to have the shuttle take me back and forth. Even though I suspect some of the drivers were very confused….

The pre/post race set up was spacious and organized. There were plenty of port-a-potties, and there were volunteers as well as Fleet Feet Pacers who were marking the approximate finish times in the open corral to help people line up- not that that stopped people from lining up for faster finishes than what was obviously realistic (if you’re walking in the first mile you’re not finishing in 2:10….sorry).

The course was flat, and was around Jackson Park, and on South Lakeshore Drive. There were plenty of aid stations, they even had three sprinklers spraying water throughout the course which was a welcome treat.

The weather was perfect- mid-low seventies, and cloudy, very humid the farther away we were from the lake. So by around mile 3 I was already covered in sweat- thankfully that was roughly around the time we got by the lake.

While it was really cool to actually run on LSD (Lakeshore Drive- mind you) it did get kind of dull after awhile. I could see the lake but it really wasn’t the same as being on the trail right by the lake. It really is a perfect PR course.

Which brings me to my overall performance. I had a really really good day, and was on point to PR at mile 10. At mile 10.5 my knee acted up reeeeally bad (like how it was 3 months ago when I needed PT). Fortunately I was able to gimp out the last two miles and finish with the exact same time as I did three months ago.

Hindsight is always 20-20. I really should have taped my knee prior to this race. Even though my therapy worked and continues to work- I am still a work in progress and am still working on strengthening some muscles.

I wast more upset Sunday than I am today. My split times reflect my immense progress- and where I needed to slow down.
I do like PR-ing but it’s not just that- it’s the fact that this was preventable and I didn’t think of it.

In terms of my growth overall. Yesterday was the first time that I did not have “complications”- someday I’ll cover the unsavory complications that can develop running long distances, today is not that day- the shorthand version is normally after a half is I sometimes have really bad cramps- like a combination between lady and potty cramps- and they just linger as I spend 2 hours laying in the fetal position.  This did not happen.

At the end of the day Sunday showed me several things: 1) I’ll be taping my kneed for awhile- just to be safe 2) My speed has improved 3) My endurance/physical tolerance to running for that long has improved- and this is only my third half.

I think I may cool it on the halfies for the rest of 2013- don’t worry that won’t stop me from shorter races.  But it has been pointed out to me by multiple people in multiple ways that I should really just cool it so I can be 60+ and still be running someday (and by cool it I don’t mean stop running- I just mean reduce).  I still plan to make good on my new years resolution: 1 race per month.  But I may just do a race in October and 2 in November we shall see.   What I think I am sure of:

1) I still have all of my toenails (one was questionable for awhile)

2) There will be PLENTY more halfies in 2014 for me

3) (I am only semi-sure of this) 2014 will be the year of the full marathon for this gal.


Like I said in my last post – I am not sure of the exact point that I lost my sanity, but I am choosing to embrace that it’s gone, and just run with it (haha- get it?!)

He might secretly hate me.  Chew man modeling the medals from the Allstate, Chicago Half, & WCC
He might secretly hate me. Chew man modeling the medals from the Allstate, Chicago Half, & WCC
Looking surprisingly upbeat.
Looking surprisingly upbeat.

1 Comment

  1. Great job Sarah! Congratulations on your run!!! Hope your knee feels better! Liz/Len


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