This weekend was an epic weekend of awesomeness that was full of meeting up with thousands of fellow runners for the Chicago Half Marathon. While I have quite a few half marathons and long distance runs under my belt thanks to marathon training, the anxiety was building just realizing that the next time I will be running a race in this city…it will be for the FULL Chicago Marathon. EEK. Shit just got real guys. This was my fav running buddy’s first half marathon so we prepped accordingly.
The first thing in order was packet pick-up at the epic expo they had. It was swag galore and one can never have enough swag. We got mugs, tech shirts, free samples etc. It’s the best way to get the hype built up until race day.
After we snagged our stuff and scoped out all of the different sponsors and vendors there, we carb-loaded. Obviously. We went to Noodles & Co. for some penne pasta with chicken and feta. I shoveled it all into my mouth. #noregrets.
Once we filled our stomachs with all the yummy things, we snagged ourselves some lattes, headed home and started to wind down so we could actually have a chance at getting up at the ass-crack of dawn. Seriously, the things runners go through….Netflix, lattes and tea in our badass mugs happened.
Once it hit our bedtime…we had to set our alarms so we’d be out of the door by 3:30am…yes you ready that right…being a runner pretty much forces you to become a morning person. We were up and munching on energy chews right when people our age are just getting home from bars. #runnerlife
Unfortunately we were split up when we had to get into our corrals, but we were both pumped to finish this race so we could get that bling and umm…nap. Over 13,000 runners united for this run and it was awesome. One thing I have to say though was that the volunteers and spectators cheering us all on throughout the WHOLE course were the best. I loved reading all of the signs and hearing all of the cheering. I even stopped my playlist for a bit so I could get amped up just by their support alone! Some of my favorite signs were as follows:
- Run faster, I just farted.
- On a scale of 1 to 10, you’re a 13.1
- Touch here to Power up (points to a shirtless photo of Adam Levine)
- Run faster so the zombies won’t catch you!
I happened to be right in front of a lot of the photographers too throughout the course so I can’t wait to look at those disaster photos. Especially at mile 12. I lose all realization as to what kind of facial expressions I’m making by then. I haven’t even attempted to look at the photos from the CARA 20-Miler from last week. Because why? I’m sure I look like Courtney Love on her worst day, although at mile 18 I could only wish for an excessive amount of drugs to numb the soreness in the lower half of my body.
Once I hit the finish line though, it was a MADHO– USE. There were so many people finishing at the same time, the only way to know where to pick up your medal was to listen to the huge things clink and clank together. It was all so worth it though. Ignite the runner’s high.
I was bummed that I couldn’t see my friend finish since it was just so crowded, but once she did, I was SO proud of her. Finishing your first half marathon is no joke. However, the size of these medals definitely was.
Once we separated ways, I couldn’t wait to shower and relax for the rest of the day….even though I kept on thinking about how the marathon was so close and analyzing what or how I should change my routine for marathon day. I PRed for this race which was way faster than my goal pace for the marathon. I need to add on at least another minute and a half to my time so I conserve enough energy for the marathon. It’s pretty much the hardest thing for me.
My mom like I’ve said before is one of my biggest cheerleaders and got me this awesome medal rack. Once I got it home I couldn’t wait to hang it up in my office.
This week will be the very last full week until marathon week and I’m sure everyone around me wants to strangle me talking about it so much. What if i injure myself just halfway into the race? What if I miss my alarm? What if I eat something bad the night before? What if I forget to pack something? What if my playlist is just all off? What if I die?
I know this is highly unlikely, but hey I love to be dramatic in times like these. I officially got my participant packet/ticket in the mail…it’s go time. No turning back. My fundraiser goal is just about met and I’m tapering like a pro….it’s happening.