Sunday, May 15, 2011

Chicago Magellan Spring Half Marathon

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 2:6:40
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.


  1. 20-30 mph winds. WOW! With out those winds in your next half I'm POSITIVE your time will be well below 1:30. GOOD JOB in your race!!

  2. Wind is one of the variables no one can predict! I can understand the frustration when everything was lining up. Congratulations on the placed finish!!

  3. HOly smokes girl!! Your first 6 miles is incredible!! So sorry about the wind! Your next half of the race is freaking incredible too considering those conditions! And you look hot doing it! :) And congrats to you even though it isn't what you had hoped. This was obviously not normal conditions and now you know that you have what it takes to break surely would have been there without this stinking wind! You look so cute with your two big ol' medals! :) Great recap and writing as always.

  4. Great Job!! It was raining/drizzling in Denver today too! Happy Recovery!

  5. Congrats on 3rd overall! You will certainly break your goal in the next half.

    My gosh the wind and rain were awful for the 2nd half. I heard people talking afterward about "giving up" around mile 10, and when I got home I realized mile 10 is where I broke mentally too. Seemed to be a more exposed part of the course.

    I'll be at the Soldier Field 10 too. It would be cool to meet up with you if possible. Hopefully the weather will be MUCH better than today. :)

  6. wow i am sorry to hear about what happened. i am glad you are okay! that would scare me too. and great job with your time especially with the weather conditions. congrats!

  7. Wow. You are amazing. 3rd woman out of 2,000 participants?!

    You will get your goal time. Just wait.

    You look very fast in the top pic!

  8. Oh my gosh! The wind sounds insane! I was so scared reading the part where your lips went blue and you got tunnel vision. Glad you're okay now.

    You totally have the right mentality. Without the wind you would have crushed your goal which means you're gonna double crush it in your next race :)

    P.S. 3rd overall women and a 1:32 finsh?! That is so awesome even if it wasn't your goal.

  9. Congrats on 3rd overall woman, you will break that 1:30 soon! Those conditions are insane.

  10. So-first of all I'm just glad you were OK!! Weird and scary is right!!!

    HOLY SMACK girl!!!! Amazing first 6 miles and some serious will power to fight through the wind and body issues! I have like ZERO doubts that you OWN that sub 1:30 in better conditions!

    I love your attitude! Inspiring, Confident! Super congrats on 3rd female in a time I could only dream of on a flat course with a 30mph tailwind-ha! Seriously can't wait to see what you're gonna do in September! Pat yourself on the back and CELEBRATE a job WELL done!!

  11. Congrats on the race even though the time didn't come through - you are obviously strong enough to get it with those wind gusts! Sub 1:30 coming up soon:)

  12. Awesome job!! 1:30 is SO yours next race!! Congrats on 3rd place. That's amazing!

  13. Congrats on such a great race considering the conditions! 20-30mph winds are INSANE to run in. You SOOO have 1:30 at your next half.

    Oh -and congrats on 3rd Female overall. Woo-hoo!a

  14. Thanks so much for writing this!! I'm a much slower runner than you but I trained so hard and was so bummed about my finish. You're going to get it next time--I'm glad you're ok! :)

  15. Great job on a tough race, Britt! Can't wait for you to crush the OB 1/2!! I hope I finish in time to make it to the awards ceremony so we can meet.

  16. That is so great, congratulations! And more importantly, glad you are okay!
    And like Heather said above, thank you for writing this. I'm nowhere near as fast as you but I've also been training for a race. I did my 2nd 10k yesterday and it was such a hard run for me. I was slightly disappointed with my time, but I know it was good nonetheless. I just have to get back out there and train some more, regardless of wind or hills!

  17. Man the weather really sucked the life out if us all this weekend!!! You did awesome and you were totally on track!!! Stupid wind!!! I can totally relate to the frustration! I felt like I had a 3:16-17 this weekend and then the dehydration set in. I keep thinking there MUST be something we are to learn from these races. I will let you know when I figure or out. I think you are amazing and had that wind not hit.... U predict you would have pulled a 1:26-1:27 Britt!!!!! You are amazing! And p.s you better set a new goal for fall:) 1:25 maybe??? You rock! I so look up to you! Good job on your 3rd place!!!:0)xoxoxoxoxp

  18. Holy crap those first 6 mile splits are fast! Close to your PR in bad conditions is still pretty awesome.

  19. I'm so glad that you're ok! You were so close to your goal, and I know you would have smashed it if you hadn't been racing in such crazy wind. Congrats on placing!

  20. Your times piss me off. LOL JK They are really impressive.. I can't even imagine how fast you would have been if the winds hadn't been so insane.

    But seriously... People like you with those crazy fast times serve as serious motivation for me and my not-so-fast running.

    Congrats on running such an awesome race, and for placing!! :D

  21. way to rock it, girl. even with the wind, i'd say you did a stellar job!

  22. You may not have reached your goal, but you are still so inspiring! I don't think I could do a half, much less do one with a goal in mind!

  23. Girl, you still totally rocked the race, even if it's not quite where you wanted to be! 3rd place, speedy time, rain, 20-30mph winds - you are my hero! Glad you are feeling better!

    Sept 5 - watch out, Britt is about to rock your world! :)

  24. You're quite welcome! The props are well deserved! We will def plan a meet up in October...crazy it will be here before we know it!!

  25. You are AWESOME! Your time was still crazy fast, whether it was raining or not! Congrats on an awesome run. I know how much it sucks to run in the rain and wind. There will be many more races for you to hit your goal! Congrats :)

  26. Fantastic job in that horrible weather! Sorry about the whole ambulance scene and I hope you're feeling much better.
    Congrats on the 3rd Overall!

  27. GEEEEEEEZ!! You are a gazelle and such a fighter into the wind!! WOW! CONGRATS on a 3rd OVERALL finish...that's huge Britt!!
    I have no doubt you will punch your next half in the face-hole!!!

  28. Woohoo! Congrats on kicking it on such a horrendous weather day.

    It's clear that everyone else was feeling the wind too.

    No question you would have gotten under 1:30 if the weather had not been such a disaster!

  29. congrats what a well run race! that sub 1:30 is going to feel so so great :)

  30. What a horrible windy day! Ugh! If only it all would have been the same direction on the path! You did so well though, considering how awful it was, and congrats on 3rd place! I am happy you are okay :)

    Why not tackle the North Shore Half in June? :) It only has one really scary hill.