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Chicago Marathon - RunMarathon

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Chicago, Illinois
United States
Chicago Marathon
45F / 7C
Total Time = 5h 37m 23s
Overall Rank = /
Age Group =
Age Group Rank = 0/
Pre-race routine:

Oh goodie, my first race report on BT. Still trying to navigate this site. This was the first marathon for my hubby and I and we were so happy to run it with my sister, lisac957. We've been running for about 18 months, banked 3 half marathons (the most recent was with my 12 year old son), and Todd has lost 80 pounds. We've also been with a marathon training group since June.

Soooo, prerace involved greeting my family from Wichita Friday night, going to the Expo Saturday (fun but tiring), stressing out about the weather, packing for the race Saturday night, and leaving REALLY early Sunday. My blood sugar was perfect waking up (104), I took 1 unit of novolog and had 2 waffles. Good start for blood sugar, it had been a mess the last 2 weeks with the tapering.

We left the house at 5am, picked up 2 other runners and drove into the city. Got a great parking stop and met our training group at 6:30 for photo shoots, video and PRAYER (we needed that)! Saw my friends and headed over to the gear check. Stuff was closer together than I thought it would be. Was happy that the gear check, potties, and corral were all right next to each other. I checked my blood sugar again right before I checked my bag -- it was 180, perfect. I didn't want it too high because I planned on eating a Bonk Breaker, which I did about 30 minutes before we started. Got in our corrals, and I was bummed Lisa had to go into her assigned corral and couldn't move back with us. (Grouchy mean Chicago union laborer lady made Lisa go into her corral), but we ended up finding her right when we started.) Too many really chatty women were next to us and they wouldn't shut up. But we finally moved up, found Lisa, and started. We crossed the start line, it was very overwhelming, and I had to catch my breath more than once because OH MY I"M RUNNING A FLIPPIN' MARATHON.
  • 5h 37m 23s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 12m 53s  min/mile

The start to the race was just unforgettable with Todd, Lisa, and I crossing the start line with so MANY people, music, energy, noise, the skyline, signs -- it was a LOT to take in. I was just watching people and signs forever. Todd had to leave at mile 1 to potty, so Lisa and I kept running. We stopped for me to pee at mile 5. I didn't want my memory of the race to be that I had to pee the whole time! That took 7 minutes waiting in line. Had a GU, tylenol, and salt stick then. And sent a photo to my mom :) We kept going, saw several Oasis cheering sections and I warmed up pretty comfortably. But there were SO MANY PEOPLE -- spectators and runners! I've realized I'm not much of a social runner. I like the cheering sections, but around mile 11, it started getting hard and I knew that I could not "people watch" the whole race or I'd never make it. So I told Lisa I needed to crank up the music. I turned up my music and focused straight ahead on the pavement in front of me -- didn't look to the left or right, I just ran. I started getting tired around mile 13 and really needed to focus. I was surprised I got tired as soon as I did, the overwhelming emotions of the race and all of the people and excitement made it harder for me to run so far.

Had a Bonk Breaker at mile 10 and checked my blood sugar at mile 15. It was 104ish I think, really good. Had another GU/Salt Stick then. By mile 17 we were both pretty warm and had to take off the base layer. Which involved me stripping down to my sports bra in front of about 1000 people. Did that (ugh), put my tank back on, tied my compression shirt around my race and felt SOOOO much better. Got a huge second wind. Lisa needed to walk about then and I kept running. I felt bad leaving, but we decided ahead of time we would do that if/when we needed to.

Oh, I forgot, I started to feel queasy after the Bonk Breaker at mile 15, so when I took off at 18, I had a lot of energy, but was queasy. At that point I was doing a run/walk thing. At mile 19 I got a text from my mom that Henry (my 9yo) made the Junior National Gymnastics Development team for his division. Holy cow, that was a huge boost. Kept going, and really started to slow down around 20-21. Todd called me at that point and he was not far behind so I stopped to stretch and waited for him. And when he caught up he was a MESS. Poor guy, his hamstring felt like it was going to snap back at mile 15 and he was in an EXTREME amount of pain. So we went really really really slow together. He was at the point of tears and I had to coach him through the last 6 miles. I didn't know if he would make it at some points.

Sooooo glad to see Jen, Peter, and Dawn at mile 23. Jen said she was going to try and be there and she WAS! I was feeling good at that point (made a potty stop at mile 22 and queasiness went away), but I was feeling terrible for Todd who was SO rough.

It took a really long time to get to the finish line, but we did it together. No was was I going to leave Todd alone for the last 4 miles in pain! So happy we made it over the line together!
What would you do differently?:

I would have had only 1 bonk breaker during the race and not 2. Think it made my stomach queasy.
Post race
Warm down:

Really nice lady gave us our medals, started walking and found Lisa within 2 minutes! She finished just 30 seconds behind us. So proud of her! Ended up really taking our time, getting our finishers photos, gear bags, ate a really yummy brownie, changed to dry clothes, and headed over to our Oasis friends. We ended up having to walk at least another mile by the time we got to the car.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Queasy stomach. Had to make 2 potty stops. Probably would have done what Lisa did with the hydration. I kept my water bottle filled with 1/2 gatorade 1/2 water, but next time I 'll fill it with just water and have gatorade at the stops. I think I had too much of the salty performance gatorade.

Event comments:

Can't wait for next year!

Profile Album

Last updated: 2012-05-30 12:00 AM
05:37:23 | 26.2 miles | 12m 53s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Average
Keeping cool Good Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %0
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
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

2012-10-09 7:36 PM

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, Florida
Subject: Chicago Marathon

2012-10-09 8:04 PM
in reply to: #4447292

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Albuquerque, New Mexico
Subject: RE: Chicago Marathon
That's quite a first post. Congrats on your first marathon. It is sobering to think of having to manage blood sugar on top of regular old race nutrition craziness. Great job.
2012-10-09 8:22 PM
in reply to: #4447292

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Straight outta Compton
Subject: RE: Chicago Marathon
Awesome race report, Brenda!  Congratulations on your finish and what looked like a great weekend for your family!  Welcome to BT.
2012-10-10 9:50 AM
in reply to: #4447292

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Atlanta, Georgia
Subject: RE: Chicago Marathon


I already told you how proud I am of you, but CONGRATULATIONS again! Hope you're healing up well this week (I am finally walking normally today - Wednesday ) and can't wait to hear what the next adventure will be

2012-10-12 1:11 PM
in reply to: #4447292

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Crab Cake City
Subject: RE: Chicago Marathon
Welcome to BT and Congrats! pretty cool that you got to race with your family and good to see 2 sisters on this site together.
2012-10-18 11:56 AM
in reply to: #4447292

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Chicago, IL
Subject: RE: Chicago Marathon

Awesome race report, and a huge congratulations on finishing.

I can sympathize with the final gruelling miles, as I wrote in my own RR, it gets tough FAST. Great job to both of you for gutting it out.

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