Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Chicago Marathon 2013

My adventure to run my first Chicago Marathon began last winter when sign up day came and 1000's of people tried to all sign up at once and crashed the website. In the first minutes of it being open i registered so many times i couldn't even tell you how many...it would freeze up and i would have to start over and over and over...and finally i got all the way to the end. I still panicked because i wasn't sure i was registered but once i checked my bank account and realized they had taken the $175 out of my account i realized i was in! Shortly after is when the site completely crashed and the rest of the entry period turned into a lottery, so i was very thankful to have gotten in!

In June after starting my training out by spraining my ankle 
and being in a cast for a couple of weeks, i got my training off to a real start. 

A long hot, humid summer with many very early morning began! So happy to train alongside various great running buds but the majority of my training i did with my fantastic training partner Laura! We were both in the same start corral so we knew we could at least start the marathon together. 

This picture was after our last long run together on a Sunday morning, which is when we did a lot of our long runs thanks to a local running group that puts out aid stations on Sunday mornings!

Finally it was time to go to Chicago. I flew with my sister and brother in law who were also running. We wandered around the expo for awhile...

For dinner i met up with a big group of runners (a bunch of rockstar runners that i am privileged to run with!) from the running club that i am a member of   and we all had our share of carbs! We did get a group picture but i didn't get my hands on that one...

Before i ever signed up for the marathon i joined a team of runners that was going to go to Chicago to run and raise money for orphans in Ethiopia. My sister and her husband were also a part of this team. I was extremely thankful for the generous people who gave to this cause and i met my goal of raising $700 of which 100% went straight to help these kids. The members of the running club i belong to stepped up in a big way and were a huge part of this amount along with many others! Thank you if you were one of those people!!
 And then, after all the training and travelling there was one more thing to do...run a marathon! My last marathon i really tanked so i was nervous but training had gone great so i had hopes of feeling good to the end...this was my stick it in front of your face inspiration...

and no, i didn't purchase any of the ridiculously priced photos but i did screen shot some :)

Laura and i showed up to our corral with time to spare. It was chilly but not bad and we had our throw away clothes so we were pretty warm. We had time to use the porta potties, i snacked on my peanut butter and banana and we just chilled and stretched a bit.

We waited till the very end to toss our clothes. They had bins that you could throw them in but i wish i had a picture of the flying clothes right before the gun went off!

We had to do a lot of weaving in and out of people but Laura and i stuck right together. We were both feeling great! There were SO many people out lining the streets, it was just amazing and took your mind off the miles that were clicking by!

At around 20 miles my quads started cramping up. I was thinking "NO, stop it right now, i need my legs to cooperate!" They did not though and i had to slow and Laura and i parted ways.

For the next 6 miles i had to stop at least 7-9 times to stretch and walk as my quads would just cramp till they were in a charlie horse! I remember on very kind person on the sidelines that said "can i get you some water and went and got me a water bottle. I don't know why i had so much cramping but assume i probably didn't drink enough at the water stops...you live and you learn!

When i saw the sign that said 800 meters to go that felt almost impossible...my thought was "oh goodness, that is like 2 whole times around the track!!! I was not feeling comfortable to say the least! But it's amazing what your body will do in spite of what my mind was saying and i crossed the finish line. It was a bit dis-heartening as i really wanted that sub 4 hour marathon but finished in 4:05:45. This still was a personal best for me beating my time when i was in my 20's so i will take that, and there is always a next time to get that sub 4 hour!

A couple of these pictures are when i was hurting really bad! The guy in the blue hat encouraged me and got me going again for awhile.

After crossing the finish line and making my way through the finishers chute which is a very long walk by the way i met up with Laura who had crossed in 3:57. 

a tenth over the marathon distance :)

My official results...

It was a beautiful sunny day by this point and i had met up with my brother in law who had finished 5 minutes before me and we hung out and waited for the rest of my sister's group.

Me and my sis after she came in...

This marathon was such a great experience! I could have done without the cramping but even with that i had an amazing time and want to do it again! They just announced that it is going to be lottery this year so i will be entering the lottery to see if i get to go back to Chicago in 2014! 

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