|L to R: Maggie, Markemmanuel, Kayla and me|
We did make it in time to see lots of FN runners before the race too.
(Thanks for letting me steal your photos Maggie!)
I then headed to the corrals. I was going to start in corral 7, still aiming towards my lofty goal. I ran into Gingerfoxxx so we said some hellos before the gun went off. I started out and felt strong. I was starting to get into a stride and passed Susan and Wayne from the FN runners around mile 2. I felt great and was still smiling. This was my goal race!!
And then at mile 3 I had cotton mouth. I was so thirsty but I knew I shouldn't have a lot to drink. I always get a sloshy stomach when I drink too much during a race. I watered normally at the water stops and took a few small sips from my handheld. At mile 4, the singlet came off and I had to switch my bib from my shirt to my shorts. That bib was massive to begin with so it was a little cumbersome to do while still trying to run. At this point I hadn't seen a single misting station, we were out in the sun in the middle of no where and I was HOT. I grabbed some ice, at the next cooling station, put it in my sports bra and slowed down my pace. At this point, things were looking more like 2:00 than 1:50. Around mile 5, when Wayne and Susan passed me with a friendly wave and I knew I was in trouble. Around mile 6 I knew my pace was slowing even more and I just could not cool off. I was so hot and we still had a looong way to go on the course. I felt completely defeated and my Garmin kept beeping that there was a low battery. I decided to turn it off and just try to finish. I just wanted to stop running. I was so hot and there was nothing I could do.
I picked up some more ice around mile 8 (after shedding some tears at mile 7) and grabbed 2 cups. I put some in my sports bra and ate the other cup. Yet again, I hadn't been misted and I was still sooooo hot. Why was none of this stuff working??? At mile 9 I finally got misted and that felt nice. At mile 10 there were sponges but by that point, it was so late. Some folks with a 2:00 pace sign were passing me at this point but I couldn't muster up the energy to ask them what corral they stared in. They seemed to be moving so fast, I just couldn't keep up for more than a half mile. There were a few small hills that I just walked up. Some of the coaches for Team In Training and American Cancer Society were cheering through the hills "What hill?? You can do this!" I just said to myself some expletives about these "hills" and kept walking. I was miserable, was no where NEAR my goal, and just wanted to be done. Who's bright idea was it to have a goal race in July?? Haha. More misting and icing somewhere between mile 11 and 12. When I finally saw the mile 12 sign, I felt relief. I was almost done with this sh*t show of a race and I could be done. Once I saw the finish line, I just started to move my arms as fast as I could. I once heard that if you move your arms fast, your legs will follow. That is what I did and that is what happened--except the finish line seemed to get farther and farther away, no matter how fast I ran. I was picking up some speed as I was so excited to finally be DONE. I threw my hands up in the air as I begrudgingly crossed the finish line. IT WAS FINALLY OVER!! I was dyyying when I was done. I couldn't breathe. I was so hot and there was no water in sight. I finally found some water and started down the path grabbing lots of foods as I went in an attempt to cool off... Chocolate milk, popsicles, Jamba Juice smoothies... nothing was working. I still felt so hot. I took a "finisher photo" and so far, this is the only photo showing up on the website.
Considering how crappy I felt for 90% of this race, I would be happy if this is the only photo. I slowly made it over to the gear check area for Ups for Downs (Amanda's charity that graciously let us store our stuff at their spot). I still needed water. After I got some, I felt better and headed over to the VIP tent to interview Dr. Andy Baldwin. He was a really great guy to interview and I was happy for the experience! (I'll be posting more on the interview later this week!)
After my interview with Andy, I met up with Coach Britt to talk about the race and how disappointing it was. Her husband ran the race too and he didn't meet his goal either. It seems like a lot of people didn't meet their goals during this race. After talking with Britt, I felt much better about the state of things. Although I didn't meet my goal, I still put in a lot of hard work and great workouts that no one can take away from me. I have been building a strong base during the hottest summer of my entire life. I guess that can only lead up to an EPIC fall and winter race season once these ridiculous temperatures start to cool off. I have to stick with the positive takeaways!
Once the endorphins from the race and the Andy Baldwin interview subsided, I felt light headed. I was having trouble putting complete sentences together while talking to Britt so I decided it was probably a good idea to stop by the medical tent. They laid me down, put some more ice on me and gave me some salt water (yes, it tastes as gross as it sounds). I just laid for a little while and tried to cool off. Maggie, Amanda, and Kim met me there and kept me company while I was waiting to feel a bit better. (I was supposed to drive home and didn't want to feel loopy on the highway.)
Thanks to Maggie for reminding me to capture this moment. :) Maggie was also able to look up my official finishing time while I was "chilling" in the med tent... 2:05:28. Not too bad considering all the walking and how horrible I felt... After I felt better and not like I was going to throw up, we headed home. (Thanks again Amanda for driving my car home!) This wasn't my day and I'm okay with that. There is always another half marathon I can do. I'm still going to try for that 1:45. I just know I can do it! I plan on running the Zooma race in Lake Geneva with several of the other Chicago area bloggers. Maybe that will be a goal race? Temperatures in October should be cooler than July. :)
Overall thoughts on the Rock N Roll race:
Pros: lots of cool stuff at the expo, well organized race, great swag and post-race party, love that it runs through the streets of Chicago, early start time for a summer race
Cons: the expo being at McCormick place (the most inconvenient place ever), the course itself (lots of "psych-outs" and turns), a white race shirt (can see your sports bra, gets dingy fast, not great for people with hard water)
Overall: The pros outweigh the cons and I will probably run this race again next year!
And I just want to say again, thanks to everyone for all their support through the blog and Facebook. I am so lucky to have such great readers and friends to cheer me on, regardless of the end result. I really do appreciate it so much.