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Chicago Marathon - Run

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Chicago, Illinois
United States
Chicago Marathon
60F / 16C
Total Time = 4h 59m 36s
Overall Rank = /
Age Group =
Age Group Rank = 0/
Pre-race routine:

Didn't sleep that well, but got a few hours in a row at least. Woke up before the alarm at 5:30. We had room service deliver an English muffin with peanut butter and jelly at 6:15, banana and some tea. Some caffeinated, some not. Walked over to the race start with DH until I had to go through my corral. I layered up because the TV report said it was in the low 50s, but once I got outside it wasn't really cold at all.
Event warmup:

DH and I hung out in the park for a bit and I took it all in. Then realized I'd better head to my corral. Got through the security quickly and found my corral (G) and then realized I should go stand in line for the portas. I think it was 7:20 and we were supposed to be in line by 7:45. Porta potty lines weren't bad but slower than I expected. We ended up standing in a garden right there in the park, chard, lettuce, kale, cabbage and tomatoes with marigolds between rows. Cool to have a garden like that in the city.

Finished in time to get back to corral. I did some leg swings and some easy lunges as a warm-up. The corral was full, but not any more packed that most other races. People started shedding their top layers and a couple of things fell on my head instead of on the side. I got my ipod set up and took my arms out of my long sleeve shirt, finally shed it and we started walking toward the start line. There was one other corral ahead of ours, so we left at 8:06.

I wore sleeves, gloves and my DNation singlet with shorts.
  • 4h 59m 36s
  • 26.87 miles
  • 11m 09s  min/mile

I started out easy. My plan was to do the first 6 miles easy, leaving behind all the treatments, diagnosis and other "stuff" I've been through in the past year and a half out on the course to be recycled into the universe. So far, so good.

When we ran through the first underpass on Wacker, I realized men running off to the side to pee against the wall. WHAT? Yes, they were lining up on either side of this underpass to take a whiz. It looked like they were lined up at a trough. Tacky.

On the first bridge a woman tripped on the grating and looked like she hurt her shoulder or something, too. There was carpet laid down on parts, but not on all of the grating.

As we wound our way up to Boystown, I kept hoping to see some colorful characters, but I think they were all still sleeping it off from the night before. Anyway, lots of cheering and crowd support. Good signage as well.
"The government isn't running, but you can" and other similar verbage.

I felt pretty good up to mile 7, but then my left ITB started hurting. It kept getting more intense and I slowed down some. I had a gel at mile 8 and that helped a bit.

For the second 6 miles I wanted to leave the doctors behind. I like my docs, but I don't really want them to be a regular part of my life, so I left them out on course.

By the third 6 mile segment, my left ITB and right hip flexor were grabbing my attention, so I just tried to focus and keep my pace. We went through Old town with quaint red brick townhomes on a tree lined steet that made a canopy over the road. It seemed like we were greeted by a roaring crowd at every turn (and there are a lot of turns). I realized I was running with the 4:25-30 people most of the time.

Then I stopped to get a piece of tape to wrap around my knee in hopes of stopping the ITB pain. It did seem to help for a while, but I got behind the pacer group. I could see them up ahead, but between the people and my inability to move up, I didn't catch them.

At the 1/2 I felt better though and just focused on enjoying the crowd and their energy. If I saw kids lining the side with their hands out, I tried to make it over there. I had put my name on my shirt so every so often I'd hear "Go Lynn" and that sure helped. I tried to make eye contact with them and mouth the words "thank you."

I took another gel somewhere between 14-18, I honestly don't remember when. I did remember thinking that I was 14-15 and before long I'd be at 17 and then 20 wasn't too far behind that and then it was all downhill (figuratively) from there.

I tried to take in the gatorade endurance at about every other rest stop in the first half and then drink my gatorade in my bottles when I wanted a drink and wasn't near an aid station. I began walking the aid stations as well. I took a gel from an aide station as well as a gatorade gel. I remembered though that I'd never had those, so I probably shouldn't have any more than the one I already took in.

My lower GI started to not feel great so I began thinking about stopping at a porta potty, but I didn't see one. At mile 19 I spotted some porta potties and decided to stand in line. That meant I would totally lose the 4:30 and the 4:40 group because by that time I was taking a few walk breaks, mostly at the aid stations.

After a five minute wait for the potties, I started back to run and felt a bit better. I was able to keep my feet moving and wasn't doing the marathon shuffle. My ITB, knees and hip still took turns getting my attention. You just never know what will show up with the body on marathon day.

The last 6 miles were dedicated to my family -- miles 20-21 to my Grandma, who died 27 years ago and who raised me for my formative years. Mile 21-22 was for my Mom, who'll be gone 21 years soon and I seemed to walk a bit of that because my Mom would NEVER have been out running any sort of run let alone a marathon. Ha! Mile 22-23 was for my son and DH -- the best family ever. Mile 23-24 was for my cousins who were there and my other family. Mile 24-25 was for my cousin Randy who passed on Oct. 1st from Colon cancer and then the last little bit for me.

There was a bit of an incline coming into 22-23 and I knew we'd be there soon. Then after the incline (up/down a bridge) a decline, which felt good. Then down Michigan and left up Roosevelt -- ran up with my elbows driving and then up over the rise , 800 M sign and downhill, 400 M sign, looked at my watch and realized I needed to pick it up in order to be under 5. Those two times stopping and the walk breaks affected my time for sure, but I wasn't trying to PR. I was just there to enjoy the experience at one of the top five marathons in the world. I gave myself permission to walk some, but I would always start running again. At 200 M, I picked it up and at 100M I did what was my version of a sprint and got in just under 5 at 4:59:36. I also managed to run 26.87 miles instead of 26.2 because of the people and the many curves.

As I crossed the line, I knew I'd scored a victory for myself.

A good friend said this could be my PR after my diagnosis and so that is what this will be. But I do know I'd like to leave what I decided to leave on the course.

Got my medal and was happy to have finished a marathon. Life is Good.
What would you do differently?:

If I could have trained a little more intensely I would have been able to run faster, if I .....if, if, if. But, really, all said, I think I made smart decisions in this race. It wasn't about running as fast, it was about running to finish, running for a personal victory after cancer treatment and still being on a chemo drug. I'm very grateful to have been able to finish and feel okay. I will rate it below average though because I know I can run stronger, but not this training cycle and not this race.
Post race
Warm down:

Walked through the corrals until I could find a way to make it back to charity village to see what the ACS had for us. It was a long walk back and my stomach started to act up. Nauseous and tired and cold. Even with my space cape. I gathered some free samples but was headed back to the leg sculptures where we had agreed to meet.

Anthony saw me and gave me a big hug and congratulations. Then I saw Lea and the girls -- got another hug and congrats and took a picture. Then went over to the ACS tent where there was some pizza, beef sandwiches, chips. I had a bag of lays chips and some water. All I wanted was salty. We sat there for a while, then I went into the little tent to change and put dry, warm clothes on. Then headed back to the hotel. It was a long walk, but I knew that's what I needed. I was pretty pumped and chatted most of the way.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Stuff. Who says faster is always better?

Event comments:

Chicago does it right. They had to up security because of Boston and they did a great job. There were water and aid stations and lots of volunteers as well as hoards of people cheering us on.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2013-07-31 12:00 AM
04:59:36 | 26.87 miles | 11m 09s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Below average
Course: Through 29 neighborhoods of Chicago. The weather was perfect, mid 50s to start and sunny, light wind.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Yes
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

2013-10-17 9:47 PM

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Vista, CA
Subject: Chicago Marathon

2013-10-19 4:36 PM
in reply to: #4879636

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Subject: RE: Chicago Marathon

Congrats! You stayed tough, I loved how you dealt with the last 6 miles. I had no idea about the chemo, you're awesome.

2013-10-19 9:35 PM
in reply to: ChiLakeShore

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Subject: RE: Chicago Marathon
So awesome and so beautiful Lynn!!!! What a special race. Congrats- on EVERYTHING
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