All I can really say about todays races is...HOLY FREAKING WIND! Honestly the wind was brutal and made for interesting race conditions.
I'm in the flaming magenta top.
I felt like I was well prepared for this race. Speed workouts, long runs, resistance training, yoga, a well balanced diet, my new foam roller; all culminating into the perfect training cycle. Sure there were rough days, but overall I felt more prepared then ever for a race. I knew going into this morning that the weather was going to be a problem, so my solution was just to not think about it. My mind set the past few days was that I can't control the weather and everyone will be running in the same conditions so there is no use getting bent out of shape about it.
The course was an out and back route on the lakefront path with about 2,000 participants. At the start it was rainy horizontally, maybe 40 degrees, and extremely blustery. Good news was the wind was at my back for the first 6.5 miles, so I was soaking it up. I felt amazingly relaxed and in control. My breathing was in check and my legs were ecstatic to be running fast, adrenaline was pumping through my veins faster then I could have imagined. I was taking the best advice ever from Amanda to "just enjoy running fast", and I was enjoying every stinking minute.
Mile 1: 6:39
Mile 3: 6:35
Mile 4: 6:32
Mile 5: 6:28
Mile 6: 6:33
Then the course took a turn at 6.5 into the wind. Yikes, is was torture. The gusts were fairly strong, 20-30 mph, and coming directly off of the lake which gives an added chill factor and the rain was fairly steady. I was wet and my hands were numb. There were times when it felt as if I was running on a treadmill, like my body was moving but not actually moving. Even the giant puddles along the course had whitecaps. But I kept at it trying to remain focused.
Mile 7: 6:57
Mile 8: 7:25
Mile 9: 7:25
This is when things started to turn south for me. My breathing became deep gasps from the muscle power that was being required to maintain forward motion. My formed stayed tight, but I just could not overcome this wind. It was sucking every ounce of energy from me, but I wouldn't give in.
Mile 10: 8:02
Mile 11: 7:37
Mile 12: 7:47
Mile 13: 7:15
Last .16: 1:05
I begun to get tunnel vision around 10, and honestly felt like I was drunk and it begun to be difficult to even keep my eyes open. While I should have been panicking at this point for what was going on with my body, I instead decided to just stay focused on the finish. Honestly I don't remember these miles, at all. My body begun to go into "black out" mode.
I crossed the finish line in 1:32:59, no where near my goal. The wind had got the best of me, and it begun to get a bit scary at that point. Tunnel vision turned into double vision and my legs could no longer support themselves. I lost all feeling in my body and spent the next hour in an ambulance. My lips were blue, I was trembling like a fool, and I had lost control of my legs. Never in my life have I ever felt like that. It was weird and scary, and it was only by the grace of God that I ended up making it to the finish line. While you can have all the right preparations for a race and feel like you are going to knock it out of the park while at the starting line, the weather may feel otherwise. Today was me vs. the wind, and sadly the wind won.
I could waste time boohooing over my finishing time, but I was the 3rd female to cross the line. Overall I would say that times for this race were significantly slower then last year and clearly I was not the only one battling the wind today. I mean if I was 3rd crossing at 1:32:59 in that weather, then I am fairly certain that those two women ahead of me had slower times then they expected as well.
Yes it sucks that I now have to wait until September to attack another half marathon to get that sub 1:30. BUT the good news is I know that I am more then capable of it now. Without those winds today I would have crushed that second half of the course. I really think that the headwinds added several minutes to my time, so thats my story and I'm sticking to it.
Oak Brook Half Marathon, I am going to own you on September 5th. Seriously watch out because IT. IS. ON.