This was my most frustrating marathon to date, in terms of disappointment with my time and performance. But it was my favorite marathon to date in terms of the course. And it was Marathon Number 10. TEN! Who would have thought I’d ever run TEN marathons!?!?
The quick version: 4:01:54. First Half: FABULOUS feeling, on pace for 3:25. Second Half: SUCKY feeling, issue with my right quad which made it feel like I was going to collapse when I ran, so I literally would walk 100m, jog 100m, repeat.
The F-Bombs: Despite my No F-Bomb Marathon Strategy, I’m gonna estimate there were about 10. Pretty impressive that I controlled myself and only let 10 F-Bombs go when really my whole race fell apart at mile 16 and it was seriously THE LONGEST 10 miles of my life.
Random Puking Issues: From miles 7 – 10 I had something happen that I’ve never experienced in a marathon. I almost puked. Several times. Not like nauseous overexertion puking. Little random puking. Like I would burp and puke would come up and I’d swallow it back down. Gross, I know. But I like documenting things. 🙂 Thankfully this only lasted about 3 miles. Not sure what that was from. I don’t think I over hydrated the day before. I DID eat 1/2 a piece of chocolate cake for dessert the night before, but would that really cause random puking? (I regularly eat WHOLE pieces of chocolate cake the night before training runs and that never affects me).
Random Meet Up: I met the other blonde running blogging lawyer in a sea of runners ON the frickin race course! How cool is that? About mile 5.5 I look over and see a fast chick in a bright pink singlet, which I knew Mindi would be wearing, and sure enough it was her. We chatted for a few minutes before she sped ahead and nailed her race with a 3:23!
What Went Right: My pace from the start. It felt easy. Controlled. Right where I wanted to be for my goal (I thought I could get 3:23 – 3:25). My breathing was good. My legs were feeling good. I was pumped up. I honestly thought I was going to have a break through time and a banner day.
What Went Wrong: About mile 15 or 16, I started to have issues with my right quad. It felt off and weird and like my leg was going to buckle. I slowed to see if that would help. But it persisted. Walking felt ok. Running felt not ok. 😦 So from mile 16 until the end, I literally walked 100m, jogged 100m. Repeat. Ugggggggggg. My last 6 miles were 12 and 13 minute miles. So so so frustrating. At about mile 18 I seriously thought I was going to be a DNF. But I put one foot in front of the other and just moved forward (even if walking). At mile 24 I started smiling again because I knew I’d at least finish.
The Crowds: Holy crap were there ever a lot of people spectating. A CRAZY amount. In some places they were 5 and 6 deep. And loud. And fun. The best, most motivating crowd I’ve ever experienced in a race.
The Course: Fabulous. Generally very flat, with just a few inclines over bridges. The “hill” at mile 26 isn’t as awful as some have blogged. It just comes at a really bad time. (But for me, when I was walking by then anyway, it wasn’t a big deal). The course was an incredible “tour” of all the different parts of the city. Very very cool!
Victory: I finished marathon number 10!
The Clothes: At least I looked fast and cute.
The Best Part of the Whole Race: I had my own personal cheerleader. So motivating to actually see my Number One Fan at FOUR different places along the course. 🙂
The saying on the yellow sign is courtesy of Coach MB from his inspirational email in advance of the marathon! (Congrats to Coach MB on a fast 2:39 marathon in Chicago!)
The Rest: The rest of the weekend can be summed up as follows: pancakes, beer, wine and friends.
Wild Berry pancakes from Wildberry Cafe – so yummy!
Chocolate Chip pancakes from Nookies – Yum!
The Chicago runners from our training group (the rest ran Twin Cities) – such a great group of friends and runners!
Chicago Marathon 2012 was the best overall marathon weekend experience I’ve had so far.
Lesson Learned: Even if I didn’t OWN the Chicago Marathon itself, I owned Chicago for sure.