I survived my third half marathon.
For a quick recap, I ran the Chicago Spring Half Marathon on May 22. The course was along the lakefront, and it was kind of cool to start just south of Navy Pier with the sun rising over Lake Michigan. It's a course I know very well, so I knew there would be no surprises. I was able to meet up with two of my running friends real quick before the race, which was nice. After that we parted ways for our corrals. I was in the second to last corral. I had a long time before I'd ever see the start line. Somehow I was able to keep my nerves in check. And once I crossed that finish line, any last nerves melted away like magic.
Now if you remember from my last blog, I had listed three goals for the race. Here is how each goal turned out:
1. Run the whole race without slowing to a walk. I lasted approximately six miles before I had to slow for a walk. What can I say? It was ridiculously hot out. And by ridiculously hot, I mean, like, maybe low 70s and sunny. Which is HOT. At least for me. For a moment I was worried that this was it. That this was where I was going to fall apart. I could kiss my PR goodbye. Up until that point, I had kept up with the 2:30 pace group. But, even as I slowed for a walk at that water station near Mile 6 as well as every water station after that, I didn't lose track of the 2:30 pace group. I kept a fairly consistent 11 1/2 minute pace. That is until Mile 10. I hit a wall. "The Wall," if you will. My feet and legs started to get sore, the wind gusts were no longer keeping me cool and I just simply wanted to be done. But I couldn't stop then. I was so close to that finish line, and nothing was going to stop me. Thank goodness there was a kind soul there with a sign that said, "Touch here for star power." I swear, that's what kept me moving even as my pace sunk down to in the 12s and 13s for those last three miles.
2. Get a new PR. In spite of the fact that I slowed to walk, I managed to get a new personal record time! Booyah! I finished in 2:37:50, slashing five minutes off my old best time. Plus, now I have something to work toward. I'm coming for you 2:30 half marathon finish. I'll see you at the Chicago Half Marathon in September.
3. Have fun. This goal was accomplished easy-peasy, lemon-squeezey. Like I said, all my anxiousness slipped away as soon as I crossed that start line. All the runners were in good spirits, helping boost my own already cheerful mood. Even the first place runners were smiling as they were racing toward the finish as I was barely passing Mile 2. I Was well hydrated and well rested. My playlist was on point. The sun was shining. I met up with some good friends. My boyfriend was there to cheer me on at the finish. The after race party was chock full of activities, vendors and delicious food. I pushed past "The Wall" and kept going, managing a PR in the process. I went home, ate my weight in food and got to take a fabulous nap. Overall I'd say it was a good day.
Now it's time to gear up for the Solider Field 10 Mile. It's tomorrow. Why am I running a 10-miler less than a week after a half marathon? Because, I'm crazy and like to torture myself.
I'll leave you with these fine words of wisdom from my boss, Summer Moore. She told me this as I was getting ready to leave the office today, "Don't die during your race this weekend. We need you back here on Tuesday"
I'll try not to.
See you all Tuesday.