Yesterday was the Rock n Roll Chicago Half Marathon. The #1 in my life was running, as were a handful of the runners I coach, which left me incredibly excited to be on those sidelines cheering on some of my favorite runners.
The expo for this race was pretty neat and Brooks had a really great set up that was carnival themed. There was an electronic fortune teller there where D's fortune had me snickering to myself about the crazed maniac of a wife I was going to be on the sidelines cheering for him the next day.
The morning was extra humid which left the air feeling a bit heavy and sticky. While it's tough for me to be on the sidelines of a race and not sweating it out with the rest of the runners, I was actually glad that I wasn't hitting those streets yesterday. My head is still pretty fragile from the tough spring racing season I had this year where I'm pretty sure that this race would have really done me in mentally for the rest of the year if I toed that line. Sometimes sitting one out turns out to be not such a bad thing.
|Beautiful 5 am sunrise over the el stop|
D doesn't race much these days and is slow trying to get back in the running game to reclaim his running mojo. His last race was in the fall and he crushed it, and I was stoked to see him get out there again as we are beginning to ramp up for the marathon.
This race was very organized where they actually held each starting corral back for a separate start to reduce crowding in the early miles. It was weird that there were about 30 starts, but with races of these size the early miles are always unsafely crowded so it was nice to know that they were prepared for this.
|Just a little signage for my man|
Being a good spectator requires a lot more planning than I'm used to, but I somehow worked it out. The morning was actually quite peaceful as I roamed the streets by myself thinking about my game plan. Sunday morning at 7 am the streets calm and people aren't out and about in the city, so it was a great time to just soak up the day and get pumped for my runners.
|This area is rarely ever vacant as tourists like to turn it into a water park splashing through the water as it squirts out of the faces mouth in their bathing suits. It's weird and I've never understood this.|
Standing on the sidelines waiting for those that you're out there supporting is really nerve-wracking. As I was waiting for the man to pass by when the mercury was rising quickly and the humidity begun to wear out it's welcome, I was so nervous and anxious that I wanted to vomit. He had a big goal for the day and the conditions weren't exactly ideal. Every runner that passed by me even at mile 2 had pretty much sweat through their entire outfit already. It was grossly muggy and no one looked even remotely comfortable.
I tried to stay positive for the man and encourage him the way I would have liked someone to do for me, but he didn't care for my methods. Apparently not everyone wants someone in their face toting alongside them telling them to focus and kick it into high gear ASAP, so I learned something new about my man this weekend.
|D and Frank Shorter|
After a bit of recovery time in the VIP tent chilling out like rock stars with this gal and this gal, we had a running celebrity sighting. Frank, or Mr. Shorter as my husband insisted, was just hanging around like he was no big deal and kindly let us steal a few moments of his time to chat. After fawning over him for a quick minute, D begun to pick his brain about GPS training and Mr. Shorter's thoughts on it. He verified everything I've been thinking about these dang watches for sometime and plainly put it "a watch will not make you any faster" and that it's rather "a runner's intuition that will allow them to improve". Thanks Mr. Shorter, this was probably the exact thing I needed to hear at this point in my life.
|There were a few D-list "celebs" in the VIP area. The guy behind D was a contestant on the Biggest Loser, but I'm not sure what his name it.|
This race was very organized where even though I wasn't running, I got my fair share of SWAG and had a great time. While these RnR events do come with a higher price tag, I would say that they are well worth the money for the organization as well as the pre/post race events. I've ran my fair share of races, a lot of which seemed like organizers were flying by the seat of their pants, it was nice to be at event that put a lot of thought into every detail no matter how big or small for the day.
The heat gave D a really good run for his money, and it looks like we will be sitting back in the open corral for the marathon this fall...which actually might be a bit of fun for us. Being that this was the farthest race this beautiful man has ran in 3 years, I'm beaming with pride at his accomplishment. He is going to rock the Chicago Marathon this fall and I can't wait to at his side for support.