Thursday, November 23, 2017

The Amazing Race that is the Chicago Marathon: race recap part 2

Hi everyone! I'm back for the last part of the race, as promised!

When we left off, I had just loaded up on Biofreeze. But the truth is, for almost the last half of the race, FOR 13.1 MILES, all my body wanted to do was quit. When I realized I was definitely not going to hit my goal time unless I sprouted wings, the negative thoughts threatened to take over:

I started to question my sanity about running, and ability to run, the distance:

By the way, this always happens when I get past 20 miles.

I was having kind of a hard time staying positive.

Things were not great.

Erika could tell I was struggling, so she revised our plan to get to the finish.

I had a fairly fully-formed sentence in my head, but all I could muster was this gesture for her to interpret.

Erika thought I was really angry but I was just preserving my energy so I didn't fall on my face.

She tried everything in the book to keep me motivated.

Encouraging words:

Stern talking-tos:

Dancing in Boys' Town:

I used a couple of other fingers to respond that time.

But honestly, how come she had so much energy??

There was nothing to be done. I just had to keep moving through the misery. As Sir Winston Churchill apparently once said:

Sure, he was probably talking about war, but whatevs.

For the last 2 miles until close to the end I think we did something like a 4:1 walk/run, then we ran the last half mile in.

My finish time was 5:14:34, which is 4 minutes slower than my previously slowest marathon, but I was so relieved to be done!

I received my finisher's medal and got my picture taken.

That photo sure is a keeper.

Then I found a spot of pavement and tried not to pass out or vomit.

Thankfully I did neither, and once we I gathered ourselves myself, we wandered back to the hotel, showered, and limped to the restaurant next door for dinner.

We did actually eat too.

We  did a bit of sightseeing that night and before heading to the airport the next day, we even made it to the Bean!

So, here are my final thoughts on the race:

1. While I had really wanted to come in under 5 hours, I am happy that I pushed myself to finish. The thing is, my marathons never live up to my training.

I *should* be racing faster, based on my training paces. Mere seconds are lost per mile but over hours they add up and the number in my head goes right out the window.

2.  Hurting my IT band definitely had an effect on my training, and I'm certain that one 16 miler was not enough to prepare me. But, that was the best I could do with the time I had left.

3. No matter how rough it was, running with my best friend is one of my favourite things to do!

4.  The Chicago Marathon has great volunteers and unbelievable crowds. I never turned on my music because there was always something to see and hear. It would be a great first marathon!

5.  Yup. I'm retiring from marathons.


UPCOMING POSTS: Plans for the upcoming year--Will I race more? Will I blog more?? 


  1. I love Boys Town!!!
    But seriously - I’m still so proud of you for not quitting when I knew you wanted to. I tried so hard to keep you focused on the finish - and to not slug me in the face as well (haha!)
    I truly loved our weekend - let’s do it more often but maybe shorter raced :) :)

    1. Haha! I would not have slugged you :D We should definitely do some short races together!!

  2. Great post...and your rendition of the Bean is incredible!I can totally relate to your marathons not reflecting your training. I have had a couple that have been struggle bus rides...some of it was due to race day conditions (weather, terrain, etc.) but very frustrating none-the-less when your finish time is way off your most conservative estimate.

    1. Thanks Kimberly! Ugh, yes it's so frustrating! But I was being too optimistic this time around.

  3. I love this recap! LOL! The marathon is such a beast--no matter how you train, how well you've prepared, it all comes down to that day. Sounds corny, but you know what? You get what you get. 26.2 miles is really far. That's why only 0.1% of runners actually finish one! So you are in elite territory. Congrats!

  4. Ugh! Sorry it wasn't the race you hoped for. That can be so frustrating, but at least you finished. And didn't vomit. :)

    1. Thanks! Yeah, it was frustrating but like you said, I'm so glad I finished and didn't vomit!

  5. Congratulations! If I ever did a marathon, it would be Chicago, but my body says never for real. The Churchill quote is great. Yay for awesome running friends!

    1. Thank you! I have no way to prove he's the one who said that, because we're living in a post-fact world these days, but it's still good!

  6. Congratulations on finishing! It must be SO hard to keep going once you hit that wall. Honestly, that's more impressive to me than some of the other races you've blogged about. Good for you!!!

    1. Thanks so much, Gia! It is so sucky!! But once you decide you're going to finish you just keep going even though you're hating it and cursing every step!

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