**First things first, have you entered my latest charity raffle? A pair of the Mizuno Wave Rider 15s!**
I debated the night before how to best get to the race. I ended up carpooling with Amanda's caravan to downtown Chicago. It was great to get down there early and have time to gear check, stretch, and use the porta-potties (TMI?). We met up with a large group at the Hilton for a group photo.
Then, we headed to our corral (B). When charging my Garmin the night before, I wasn't paying attention and didn't realize that it was frozen. When I went to turn it on before I left, the battery was dead. I was heading to the race with a time goal and no way to track my time. I didn't want to run with my phone so I was just going to wing it. Maggie said "Watch, without your Garmin, I bet you'll do awesome and knock that PR out of the water." I doubted it but had no choice but to give it a try. I started the race with Amanda and Maggie but Amanda quickly was speeding ahead. I tend to start off too fast so I wanted to be comfortable yet pushing hard. My goal was to break 40:00 and I knew if I had splits under 8:00, I would meet my goal.
|Hanging out with Maggie and Amanda in Corral B before the start|
Maggie was so kind to say our splits out loud at every mile and mile 1 was 7:55. The first mile my legs felt tired but I knew I was off to a good start.
Mile 2 the split was 7:40. The speakers were blaring LMFAO's Party Rock and hearing lyrics talking about shuffling while running the Shamrock Shuffle can be pretty motivating (or nerdy, however you want to think about it).
I didn't want to run out of steam so I slowed down a tad for mile 3. I knew most of this mile would be in the sun so I was happy when Maggie announced our mile 3 split of 7:55. At this point I felt great. There were less than 2 miles left and I knew I was going to meet my goal. I started to pick things up during mile 4. I turned and Maggie was no longer with me. I just kept moving and kept pushing towards the finish line.
Right after I passed the mile 4 marker, I spotted Amanda up ahead. I knew she was aiming for the 38's so I started to think either a) I'm having an awesome day or b) Amanda's not having a great day. Even though I was running towards Amanda, I would have never dreamed to be in the 38s. I just kept moving and realized I was gaining on Amanda. I tapped her on the shoulder as I passed and gave her a wave. She shouted "Go Kelly!" and I just smiled and waved. I wanted to conserve energy for the Roosevelt hill so I didn't say anything in return. Sorry Amanda! I wasn't trying to be rude. :)
I ran up the hill and it didn't seem to hurt as much as much as I remembered. I guess that means my hill work in Palos this winter is paying off! I saw the finish line and sprinted to the finish. My name was one of the few announced as I was crossing the finish so I hope the photog got a shot of me with my arms in the air shouting, "That's me!"
And snap a pic with the green guys too.
It was now time to enjoy the fruits of this race and drink some post-race beers. Some folks gave us their beer tickets so we were of to a great start.
Amanda soon joined us and the party continued.
More friends stopped by to say hello too!
|L to R: Jenni, Nohemy, Mandy, and me|
I didn't see everyone I would have liked to and we didn't get our obligatory Kate Kate Kelly photo. I obsessively checked the website afterwards for the official results.
As I mentioned before, this was my 6th year completing the race. There were quite a few complaints about the shirts this year. Can you see why? Here is a history of the swag.
|Which one of these is not like the others?|
*Special thanks to Nicole, Maggie, and Amanda for letting me use/steal their photos!