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Chicago Marathon - RunMarathon


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Chicago, Illinois
United States
Chicago Marathon
40F / 4C
Overcast
Total Time = 5h 38m 9s
Overall Rank = 32695/
Age Group = F30-34
Age Group Rank = 2603/
Pre-race routine:

I've been looking forward to this race for so long! My sister (B) and her husband (T) started running a few years ago, working their way up to this race - their first marathon. My brother in law lost 80 pounds, which absolutely floored me, while B trained herself into a lean machine, while I managed to injure my left shin 6 weeks before the race. So with NO running besides Redman and a few 2-mile runs in the last 6 weeks, I had no idea how this would pan out.

Flew up to Chi-Town Friday with my parents, expo on Saturday, and suddenly race day was here! We fretted about the cold weather so much, but ended up dressing perfectly.

Out the door at 5 a.m. for the ~1hr drive, parked, pottied, gear bag dropped, more potties, then it was time to get in the corals. We were told at the Expo I could move BACK to theirs, but the volunteer security was having none of that. Whatever, I would just wait off to the side for them.

Once the barricades between corrals were moved, it was easy to spot them and here we were, at the START LINE of the CHICAGO MARATHON together! As we inched forward I was overwhelmed and gave each of them a hug. I was so proud of them, and so happy to share this with them. This was going to be an epic day.
Event warmup:

None
Run
  • 5h 38m 9s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 12m 55s  min/mile
Comments:

Goals: Have fun, take everything in, minimize shin pain, stay with B as long as I could, finish.

Starting this race was just amazing. I was in awe at the city, the runners, the volunteers, the spectators. I was cold - wearing shorts, compression socks, a l/s base layer, my Oasis tank, arm warmers, glove liners, throw away gloves, hand warmers, a visor and a fleece headband. It sounds like a lot but it really wasn't. As soon as we started moving I finally stopped shivering.

The first few miles were just maneuvering and taking it all in. Todd had to pee so left us in this time frame - Brenda had to pee too, but the first few potty lines were enormous so we waited. My left shin was talking to me, which really concerned me as I thought this was going to be a long day. At mile 5 lines were a bit shorter so we pulled off. In line I took a picture and texted it to our Mom, and ate my first installment of Stinger chews + 2 ibuprofin for my shin. We were stopped for 7 minutes - not bad.

After that my goal was to stay with B till mile 10, that sounded reasonable. My shin pain went away and I could barely believe it. I felt so good here, so so good. The crowds were lifting me up and the miles were ticking away. I remember saying "we're already at mile 8?" or something... our pace was a solid 10:45/min/mile which was quite a bit faster than I'd trained, but the desire to stay with B was so intense I just kept pushing.

At mile 10 we ate again as planned, and my new goal was to stay together till the timing mat at 13.1 - so my mom would get the text updates that we were still together. I don't know why that was so important to me at the time, but it was. Brenda turned up her music here and got into a zone and I was just trying to keep up with her. Starting to hurt.

At the halfway point, I remembered she was going to test her blood sugar at mile 15 and I REALLY wanted to make sure it was okay. She'd mentioned she couldn't tell how she "felt", so it was suddenly very important I found out that number was okay. When we got there, we stopped to walk while she tested, and it was fine, so I breathed a tiny (okay huge) sigh of relief. I still felt okay, so kept running with her. But this point I was in shock we were still together, but so happy!

At mile 17 we were hot, so stopped to walk and take base layers off - which was the plan. We ended up having to walk a little longer than planned (my wardrobe change was silly difficult) but felt SO much better with the long sleeves around our waists. Good call. Then at mile 18 I had to walk and told her to go ahead. My left hammie was just killing me at this point, and I wanted her to get the best time she could today. I made a little sad face to myself as I watched her go...

On my own, I pulled off and stopped to stretch - man that felt GOOD. Then it was a run/walk, which I totally expected. At mile 19 I was stretching again when TODD came up to me and gave me the hugest bear hug! I was so surprised - you never expect to actually see someone after splitting up in a race this big! We walked a bit and then he decided to run, and I watched him go off, too.

Around mile 20 at and aid station where they had bananas, I got a peel lodged on the bottom of my shoe and I kept slipping with each step. I stopped to pull it off but when I bent down my calf started to cramp up. An angel volunteer took off his gloves and peeled it off with his fingers. THANK YOU, volunteer!

At mile 21-ish I saw a guy who I'd been leap-frogging earlier in the race - but the guy he had been with was nowhere to be seen. So I trotted up to him and said "Hey where's your buddy? You guys were my pace booty for awhile there!" and we started talking - CLICK! Here is my talking buddy!

We walked for a good bit and chatted before one of us suggested trying to run again. Let's do it. We stayed together for the whole rest of the race, pushing each other to "run to the next mile marker" or "run to the stoplight" or what not. We talked about random stuff, just clicking away the miles. What a huge help that was, I can't even explain it but those of you who have been here know exactly what I mean. Those last 5 miles are usually the WORST, but somehow this made it just fly by. So THANK YOU to Brian from Chicago - whoever you are!

In the last mile, I knew there was a bridge hill, then you turned a corner to see the finish line. I was shocked that Brian pushed me to run up the hill AND I DID! I was running up a hill at mile 26! After we turned the corner he took off ahead, while I looked up and around and savored the last little bit. I'm finishing my 6th marathon! The Chicago Marathon! Boom.
What would you do differently?:

Today, nothing. This was pretty much perfect for where I was at.
Post race
Warm down:

My run buddy had waited for me at the finish line so I high-fived him and we walked through the massive areas together to get food, medals, etc. And then I saw B & T! Little did I know they were only 30 seconds ahead of me at the end - how crazy is that?

So glad I'd found them right there, so we could get gear bags, change, and make our way to their Oasis friends together. After all of that we hobbled back to the car and drove to their house to a welcoming committee of their boys and our parents - whoop whooop! Dinner that night was full of celebrations - not only 3 marathon finishers, but my youngest nephew had a gymnastics meet that day where he qualified for a regional/national team designation, which is a huge deal! Awesome, all the way around.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Shin splints/injury 6 weeks out from the race.

Event comments:

DO THIS RACE! Extremely organized, tons of volunteers and aid stations, lots of amenities you wouldn't expect for such a massive race. The city is beautiful, and the crowd support is simply overwhelming. I doubt I'll do another race of this caliber in my lifetime. I enjoyed every second!


Profile Album


Last updated: 2012-05-02 12:00 AM
Running
05:38:09 | 26.2 miles | 12m 55s  min/mile
Age Group: 2603/
Overall: 32695/
Performance: Average
Course:
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Evaluation
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

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2012-10-08 6:44 PM

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Atlanta, Georgia
Subject: Chicago Marathon


2012-10-08 9:09 PM
in reply to: #4445781

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Master
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Overland Park, KS
Subject: RE: Chicago Marathon
As usual, great RR Lisa!  I love how you take unfavorable situations (that would totally bum a lot of people out) and turn them into a positive experiences.  Love the half full attitude, great for this sport Smile
2012-10-09 8:30 AM
in reply to: #4445781

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Extreme Veteran
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500
Olathe, KS
Subject: RE: Chicago Marathon
Great Job, Lisa! Glad you had a good time and that your shin injury went away early in the race. Congrats.
2012-10-09 8:48 AM
in reply to: #4445781

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Master
1730
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Straight outta Compton
Subject: RE: Chicago Marathon
Congrats, Lisa!  Great race and great race report!
2012-10-09 9:36 AM
in reply to: #4445781

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Expert
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Eagle River, Alaska
Subject: RE: Chicago Marathon
2012-10-09 9:56 AM
in reply to: #4445781

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Extreme Veteran
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10002525
Subject: RE: Chicago Marathon
great job!


2012-10-09 10:16 AM
in reply to: #4445781

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Extreme Veteran
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Colorado
Subject: RE: Chicago Marathon

Yay, Lisa!! I love how you were able to realize and be in the moment. I could totally feel your energy and excitement as I read your race report. Well done to you and your sis and bro-in-law!!

2012-10-09 10:31 AM
in reply to: #4445781

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Chicago, IL
Subject: RE: Chicago Marathon

Ace report. Congrats on a great day!

You make me wish I'd found a running buddy for the last 5 miles, because they SUCKED!!!!

2012-10-09 10:45 AM
in reply to: #4445781

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Pro
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Subject: RE: Chicago Marathon
Congrats, Lisa! You're awesome!
2012-10-09 11:04 AM
in reply to: #4445781

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Champion
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Chicago
Subject: RE: Chicago Marathon
You are right.......That was an EPIC day!!!
2012-10-09 11:06 AM
in reply to: #4445781

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Expert
1358
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Albuquerque, New Mexico
Subject: RE: Chicago Marathon
Congrats on the race Lisa. Isn't running thru the city amazing? I am glad you enjoyed that. Funny about your shin pain going away...I have a few little aches and pains like that that actually go away after a while too. Strange. I'm glad it cooperated. 


2012-10-09 11:30 AM
in reply to: #4445781

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Expert
3145
2000100010025
Scottsdale, AZ
Subject: RE: Chicago Marathon
Awesome stuff Lisa!  Still bummed I couldn't make it out but that's what I get for cramming my calendar this year.  Sounds like you guys had a blast.
2012-10-09 12:52 PM
in reply to: #4445781

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Seattle
Subject: RE: Chicago Marathon

Sounds like a ton of fun!!! I am very impressed how you were able to just roll with the punches and make this such a great experience, just as it should be. 

This race is definitely on my list!

2012-10-09 1:02 PM
in reply to: #4445781

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Champion
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Williamston, Michigan
Gold member
Subject: RE: Chicago Marathon
Awesoem job!! COngrats on a great finish andhope that shin is well!
2012-10-09 4:28 PM
in reply to: #4445781

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Veteran
410
100100100100
Subject: RE: Chicago Marathon
So happy that you had a great race! Awed that you were able to push so much to stay with your sister. And a little lot jealous that you Sis and BIL are runners now. What a great memory. You guys will look back on this forever!
2012-10-09 8:47 PM
in reply to: #4445781

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Master
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Central Kansas
Subject: RE: Chicago Marathon
Well done! I'm glad you found a running buddy for the last few miles. Congrats to your sister and brother-in-law, as well!


2012-10-10 12:30 PM
in reply to: #4447360

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Sensei
Sin City
Subject: RE: Chicago Marathon
Nice job, Lisa.
2012-10-11 1:17 PM
in reply to: #4445781

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Expert
1121
1000100
Menomonee Falls, WI
Subject: RE: Chicago Marathon
Great job and I can't agree more with your parting words, "DO THIS RACE"!
2012-10-11 4:25 PM
in reply to: #4445781

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Elite
5145
500010025
Cleveland
Subject: RE: Chicago Marathon
Nice job, Lisa... and that is seriously cool to get to do a marathon with family!
2012-10-11 5:59 PM
in reply to: #4445781

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Expert
924
500100100100100
Western WI
Subject: RE: Chicago Marathon

BAM! Nice work!  Sounds like you had a super day! Thanks for sharing, congrats on #6!!

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