Friday, September 13, 2013

2013 Chicago Half Marathon

Half Marathons seem to have become a staple in my life these days.
For some crazy reason, I just can't seem to get enough of them.

ones that make me curse myself
and even ones that are so cold that I have nearly gone into a hypothermic shock

I think it would be fair to say that at this point I've become somewhat of a half marathon junkie where I've pretty much seen it all.

Guilty. As. Charged.

This year alone I've already toed the line of 3 half mary's (including the Chicago Half 2013) and have another one a mere 8+ days away. It pretty much became a no-brainer for me when I realized I accidentally committed to the race that fell the morning after one of my favorite people in the whole entire world was getting married that this race would NOT be an ideal time to go out for a PR.

College girlfriends with the gorgeous bride
and of course, my terrible posture. baagh, just can't cure it! 
Honestly, I never once even considered calling it an early night for the sake of the race.
Your girlfriends only get married once (well, maybe...sometimes two, three, and four times but hey I don't judge I just celebrate) while races come around nearly every weekend. So instead of spending the night before a race on my sofa wrapped up in my snuggie with the company of my pups while calling it an early night I was staying hydrated on the dance floor sipping sweet tea vodka out of mason jars while gorging myself on southern goodness.

Sweet tea vodka, who knew?
So amazing. So refreshing. And goes down oh so smooth.

I ate.
I drank.
I danced.
And I stayed out way past my bedtime.

The cutest wedding photographers ever set up a photo booth that caught some pretty awesome snippets of the evening.
By the time my 4 am wake up call rolled around race morning, I felt a bit hairy to say the least.
While I still left the door of opportunity open for hard effort race morning, I knew within minutes of being awake that it would be a slow and steady wins the race kinda day. 
No big deal, especially since I knew I was going to do it all again in 2 weeks anyhow.

Besides, this race was going to be my brothers 1st half marathon ever.
A former heavy smoker with some fairly serious smoking related health issues who in early 2013 decided enough is enough and randomly took up running. A man that had never gone for a run willingly in his entire life before and had a smoking habit that lasted nearly 50% of his life was now running, and racing for heaven's sake. From smoker to half marathoner in less than a year, makes me tear up just thinking about how much he has transformed his life. 

As the older brother and I parted ways before the race venturing off to our respected start areas, I ran into quite a few people I've met in the past few years through running. Some that I've connected with through this blog, some that I've met within the past year from the running store I work for, and some that I just seem to bump into at nearly every single Chicago race I've ran. All of which have come into my life because of running. It made me realize how much the sport really has enriched my life connecting me with some pretty neat people that I wouldn't have met otherwise.

Marathonfoto seemed to capture this day spot on for me
Honestly, the race wasn't anything special for me. Before the gun went off there were talks in the corral with one of my newer running peeps about hanging together to get him finally under that 1:30 mark, but by mile 4 that plan fizzled out when the humidity and dew point seemed to make the race not the most ideal day to hit a new benchmark. So we parted ways, and I continued on with my pace which seemed to sit pretty steady within my goal marathon range. 

As the miles clipped on, the humidity was making me feel like I was sweating out pure vodka from the previous evenings shenanigans. Sweat poured into my eyeballs, my entire body was sopping wet as if I'd just taken a dip in the lake like the olden days, and I felt very calm and relaxed. My head pretty much just went blank while locking into a comfortably uncomfortable familiar pace as I coasted along LSD. It was almost therapeutic offering me a bit of assurance that good things are to come for me in the next 8 weeks. 

I finished pretty much where I expected for the day

a solid 7:02 pace
with plenty of gas left in the tank
just about where I hope to be on 11/10 for my full

As for the brother, he finished with a solid 1:52.
Less than a year of running in those legs and already holding mid 8 pace like it's nothing for 13.1 miles and already talking about a potential full next fall.

Some races bring those PR's, and some don't.
I never expected that PR on Sunday, and instead embrace the experiences I had instead.
I'll get my day, and damn it'll be sweet.


  1. Love how you chose to have an amazing time at your friend's wedding the night before, you will never regret that!

    And wow girl, that's a strong performance after a late have some PRs coming your way later this year...

    And PS you look so cute in the photo of you dancing with your husband.

  2. Definitely had to have fun at your friends wedding! Glad you had a great time (love the photos) and still ran a solid half the next day!!

  3. Very strong race after such a fun wedding! Congrats!

  4. Holy crap I can't believe you ran a race after a night out like that! You go girl! That is amazing! I'm pretty sure I would have crashed and burned lol

  5. That picture of you and your husband is adorable!!!! And congrats to your brother! And I know you didn't run a PR, but damn, I couldn't even do that pace for a 5K :)

  6. Congrats to you and your bro! How awesome for his first half and that he has done so well with stopping smoking.

    And what a fun wedding!

    I love what you said about how running has lead you to so many great people! I feel grateful for that almost every day! :)

    And great idea that you used this to test out GMP!

  7. Fun wedding pics!

    Nice job on the race, and congrats to your brother. That's amazing!

  8. Way to not let running get in the way of living it up and enjoying life ; ) Congrats to your brother!!

  9. Congrats to you and your Bro in this race. What an amazing transformation your brother has done in the past year! Girl, youre going to rock Fox Valley next week and get that marathon you deserve in Naperville. And that wedding looked like so much fun! Letting running get in the way of a fun night like that would just be plain silly! :)

  10. You are amazingly fast. It is so nice to see some other familiar faces as well. I hope one day to get these same sort of pics with you

  11. That is so great for a late night at a wedding!! I'm looking for a time like that getting normal rest! Great job and cute pics :)