Monday, July 23, 2012

Rock n Roll Chicago: Spectator Edition

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.
Starting line
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.

23 comments:

  1. I love your signs:)

    Congrats to your hubby - yesterday's weather was definitely NOT ideal for a race!

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  2. I love the 'view' from the spectator! I ran it yesterday with my cousin (her first - so I was the encourager running alongside of her) and I'm glad that's how I ran it! With the humidity, I am pretty sure I would have pushed way too hard if I was running on my own. RnR did an amazing job with water stops, cold sponges, misting stations and more! Beyond impressed :)

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  3. There is definitely something to be said that sometimes not racing is a good thing. And I just wanted to let you know that I nominated you for the Very Inspirational Blogger Award {all the details can be found on my blog http://reneerunsmiles.blogspot.com/2012/07/the-very-inspiring-blogger-award.html } I so appreciate your honestly about your struggles and what you are doing to overcome them. You will get there!

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    1. thanks so much renee! running is hard for everyone, no matter what speed you take it at. my intent is never to make it seem like it's all glory and never challenging for me, because the truth is i struggle just as much as everyone else!

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  4. I think I saw you standing near Michigan Ave as I ran by. Yes, it's a great race and a great course, but the weather made it a good race to pass up if muggy heat is not your thing (and whose thing is it really?) You are correct about the sweaty runners, I was completely soaked by about mile 2!

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  5. Great post! I actually ran this race yesterday and saw you waiting around the mile 2 mark. While the morning was hot and muggy, the course was fantastic and showcased Chicago extremely well--probably the neatest city I have every been to. Like you, I have been working on recovering from a spring wrought with over-training and burnout disasters. I'm so glad I decided to run this race easy, relaxed, and without a time expectation because it allowed me to truly enjoy the experience rather than being focused on the time and split of each mile. My sister and I got in some easy runs on the Lakeshore the days preceding the race, and I can see why you love running there and in this city so much. The views, the vibes, and the location were perfect. Thanks for spectating and for sharing your city with all of us out-of-towners for the weekend!

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    1. yup i was just after the 2 mile marker! glad you gave yourself a bit of wiggle room for the race in those icky sticky conditions. overcoming the overtraining rut has done a good number on me mentally more so than physically i think, i don't know about you but this race would have eaten me alive if i raced it. warms my heart to know that you enjoyed the beauty of the city. really there is no place like the lakefront to run!

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  6. I used to think I would hate spectating but the more I race the more I don't mind it so bad, although there is always a part of me that wishes I were out there with the other runners. Great job supporting your man!

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  7. Congratulations to your hubby! I love your signs and the support you give him!

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  8. Awe, so nice! Are you going to actually run with him for the entire marathon? That's sweet! Have a great time.

    The D-List Biggest Loser celeb, I belive is Dan. He lives about 4 miles from my house and is a musician but I don't "know" him.

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  9. I thought I saw you in the VIP area but I wasn't sure if it was you or not! Next time I'll definitely know to say hi.

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  10. Spectating is so fun! Also, I agree, it's so easy to get caught up in your friends/loved ones running goals as much as your own!!

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  11. Aw, you were such a good supporter. It was HOT out there and really difficult to run quickly. (It's unfortunate that they moved the race up from August.) I hope your husband enjoyed his run even if he didn't quite get the time goal he was hoping for.

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  12. you are not only an amazing athlete, but also an amazing TRUE supporter of those you care about. Awesome post lady!

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  13. Congrats to your #1 and awesome signs!! Sometimes watching other people run motivates you even more than participating!

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  14. Congrats to D! I think that is a race I would have been happy not to be running too. Too muggy and UGH.

    So cool that you got to meet Frank S! SO SO COOL!

    I do not get the art of those fountains either. But I LOVE how children flock to them. I think that is so fun to watch :)

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  15. Congratulations to your hubby!

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  16. It was great seeing you guys out there yesterday! And huge congrats to D! I hope his toe heals up quick, it's still giving me nightmares :)

    I read an article yesterday about the other "celebs" who ran... The man and women who won are running the Olympic marathon for Mexico and Poland. There was a Brazilian NASCAR driver who did the half and D-lister queen Kate Goselln (Kate plus 8 chick) ran the 5k.

    Thanks for being a wonderful "athletic supporter!" :)

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  17. Congrats to D! It was a tough day out there for sure. Darn it I was in the VIP tent and totally missed you.

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  18. You win some and you lose some.
    Actually you never win some…unless you’re Kenyan.
    But I always say that what’s more important than your finishing time is how good you look out there with your short running shorts on.
    That photo of D with his red singlet on is proof that regardless of his time…he smashed it. Great post…great pics.
    Chi-Town STAND UP!

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  19. Great pics! I can't wait to run in Chicago someday. You are right about being a spectator. It does require some planning and organization. My husband has turned marathon cheering into an art. Not quite sure how he makes it to so many locations but I know with streets closed and finding parking it is not an easy task. Congrats to your hubby!!

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  20. Aw congrats to your husband!! It must really be a special (and nerve-wrecking) feeling watching a loved one race. I have never spectated a race but hope to do so this fall.

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  21. Congrats to D! He is so lucky to have someone like you for such amazing support. You wanna come be a spectator here too??

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