Thursday, October 13, 2011

I Did It!

Time to check off another mark on my bucket list.  Chicago Marathon  - Check!

The greatest thing about running a marathon is that no matter how well trained you think you may be, you just never what will happen on race day.  Anything and everything can happen.  So when you have a good day, you just have sit back and give thanks to the marathon gods, the support of family and friends and for the ability to put one foot in front of the other.  It truly is a gift!

Running a marathon in a different city always has its challenges. But, at the same time, it's exciting to travel to places, explore new cities and run in places I'd never get the opportunity to otherwise. 

Thanks to my wonderful friend Jill and her awesome pre-planning, we stayed at hotel so close the start line, we could actually see the port-a-potties from our room.  (A HUGE bonus for a runner!)


After a long day of Planes, Trains and Automobiles...and Shuttle Buses, I called it a VERY early night.  Unlike any other marathon I've ever run, I slept like a baby the night before the race!

Up and at 'em by 4:00 a.m.!  I was excited! I could feel the energy in the air and once my race gear was on, I knew the day was going to be great!!


Jill and I working out our pre-race jitters in the hotel lobby!  A highly coordinated race outfit is essential!!



Ready!  Set!  Race!!  At 15 feet into the race, I realized I had committed the ultimate race mistake.  I messed up my Garmin and accidentally removed PACE.  I contemplated trying to reset it while I ran, but I knew it would cause me to lose valuable time and mental energy.  I decided to let it go and just run.  This probably was the best mistake I made all day.  I didn't focus on my watch.  I just ran how I felt.  The air was warm, but I was feeling good, so I decided to just go for it.

 I don't remember much about the course at all. I remember seeing Elvis, China town, some random poop, a lot of fans, some really funny and motivational signs and a lot of different shoe styles. I focused on the race. I'd save the sightseeing for the next day.


My goal was 3:40.  With the heat, I made the decision to get water AND Gatorade at each stop, which slowed my pace slightly the second half.  Overall, I lost five minutes, but keeping well hydrated was more important to me.  Finish time - 3:45!  I'll take it!


 
This is what a rockstar feels like! All the spectators barricaded behind a fence!




I took a LONG time to get from the finish line to the post-race party.  I iced, napped, changed, had a less than awesome massage and read all my text messages of congratulations.  Having beer after a race has never been appealing to me.  I just enjoyed the energy of the masses at Millennium Park.


I met these fantastic friends on the plane from Dallas!  We got together that night for dinner and to share our warrior stories and bottle of wine!




What is a marathon without a little swag?  I was knocking at the doors of Niketown on Michigan Ave. at 8:00 a.m.!



And of course, a visit to the Bean!



Chicago did not disappoint! I love the city for its clean streets, unique restaurants, beautiful architecture and it's extremely organized marathon! From the moment I arrived, I knew the weekend would be special!


Marathon number five is in the books!  Next - Boston!


5 comments:

scrapping4twins said...

Love your recap! I'm going to have to copy your idea and take a picture of my medal with my finisher shirt too! This was my first Marathon and I did 4:22:55! I was super excited!

Marathon Lar said...

OH man I missed out on the Nike finisher stuff! I'll have to go online and get something. Congrats on a awesome time...you kicked AS$ in that heat!

Kara said...

What a great recap! I hope to one day run as fast as you! :)

jillconyers said...

Great recap Rhonda and all so true. Chicago was an amazing experience. And finally getting to meet you in person made it even better. We must do a race meet-up again!

I blogged my photos today too :)

Summer Jo said...

Great recap ... thanks for sharing!

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