Training May 20th – May 26th

Yea… Ok – I know it is now Friday and I am just getting around to posting about my training from last week… Its been a VERY busy week…

May 20 - 26

Monday – 2.74 Miles

Monday was just a normal run day. I was coming off a race that did not go as planned which I was angry about. But knew I just had to get back out there. Great weather and was able to get in some strength training as well. The plan was to get in 4 or 5 days of running and a long run of 6.50 miles and keep up the strength training… Yea.. Plan…

Tuesday – 2.50 Miles

Decent run and weather. Had a Condo Association meeting in the evening so couldn’t do the run and strength training. But I figured I would get back to Strength training on Wednesday…

Wednesday, Thursday & Friday – Rest

Yea – Remember that plan… It all went to hell… Tuesday after my run I noticed that I had no water pressure in my shower… Wednesday the building engineer figured out the issue and thus began three days of having to be an adult and deal with that instead. Beyond frustrating. I had been thinking about the Soldier Field 10 mile race for months but knowing that 10 miles is a significant amount I was hesitant to sign up and figured I would just pass for this year. But on Thursday I was finding it increasingly difficult to ignore the desire to do the race. I was still angry about the 10K from the previous week and needed a little run ego boost. I found out I could still register then I did a quick check of the weather and found out it would be perfect race weather so I signed up. Friday, Eric and I did our usual Pre-Race pizza… though we were both too tired for the movie portion and decided to call it an early night.

Saturday – Soldier Field 10 Mile Race

I already posted about the race here: https://jml222.wordpress.com/2013/05/26/soldier-field-10-mile-race-re-cap/  But let me state again that this race was AWESOME for me. I felt good the entire time… even if I did start to feel my legs getting sore (which I was expecting). This was exactly the run ego boost I needed.

Sunday – 1.04 Miles

I figured a little jog would help with the soreness I was feeling from Saturday. I was not nearly as sore as I had expected but also know that second day tends to be worse so I wanted to try to counter that. So I slipped on the Vibrams and jogged over to the beach to meet some friends to play Volleyball. I then proceeded to walk home because I didn’t want to overdue the running the day after the race.

The week certainly did not go as planned as far as training in concerned but I am glad that I was able to stick to my running goal of at least 4 days a week. I am also VERY happy to report that last week completed week 12 of consistent running for me! And yes – Of course there is an excel for that :-p

12 Weeks

I have another post that I am hoping to get up today…

My dad gets into town today for the weekend – Time for Baseball on Saturday and my FAVORITE 10K – United Run for the Zoo on Sunday

In case I do not get to the other post today – Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

Throwback Wednesday – My 5K PR

After completing my first 5K in June, I wanted to see if I could get my 5K time under 30 minutes. So when I started to look for other 5Ks to sign up for, I discovered the Pumpkins in the Park 5K Race. The allure of the race was simple – In my neighborhood, A course I run all the time, In October (so generally cooler) and at 4:00 pm (pretty much my normal run time).  I quickly signed up and was excited for the race.

My Half Marathon Buddy (HMB) also signed up with me. And to top it all off, my mom was in town that weekend. Since this is a Halloween themed race, lots of people where wearing costumes. In fact, HMB suggested I wear one. But, since I wanted a good time, I opted to just get a fun Halloween t-shirt instead and wear that for the race.

It was a perfect weather day – Sunny and cool with no wind. Mom and I headed to the race where we met up with HMB. She knew I wanted to PR. We started in the 9:00/Mile group and when the race started we were off. I had my trusty watch on (at the time a Nike watch with a foot pod) and started it when crossed the start line. We were already doing quite a bit of weaving. It was a crowded course but we were passing a lot of people. Eventually the course thinned out a bit and we didn’t need to do as much weaving. HMB and I were chatting off and on and she kept telling me she needed to use the restroom. When got to the turnaround point and were heading back, we passed the water station and it was crowded. I wanted some water (didn’t need it) but because it was crowded I decided to skip it… I didn’t want to get held up and I knew that there were a couple of water fountains not too far ahead. All of a sudden I didn’t see HMB near me… a few seconds later she appeared at my side again. Her cat ears had flown off and she stopped to grab them. We get to a water fountain and the port-o-potties are there as well. HMB tells she has to stop and that I should keep going. I grabbed a quick sip of water and was so glad that there was no at the water fountain and continued on my way. There is one huge hill in this course… I run up it all the time… It’s a hill that I have a love/hate relationship with because I am always exhausted when I reach the top. I knew it was on the course and thought it was mean to put it on the course… But oh well… I also knew there was a downhill shortly after.

Once I go down the hill I know I am in the final stretch of the race. I start speeding up a bit and passing people and was very glad that there was plenty of room to pass people. I take the last turn on the course and from here it is a straight, albeit slightly long, stretch to the finish. I am running as fast as I can, passing people, just hoping I make it. I cross the finish line and stop my watch instantly (lesson learned) and check the overall time. My watch says 30:02… off by 3 seconds – DAMN!

BUT – I know that my watch usually shows a higher time than my official time. So I think that maybe just maybe, I made it. I find my mom and tell her that I think I did it but I need the official time. She says she doesn’t think I did because she saw the clock when I crossed the finish and it said 31 minutes and some odd amount of seconds. I then remind her that I didn’t cross the start line the moment the clock started. We find HMB and say our goodbyes. Mom and I are supposed to meet some of her friends for dinner and I need to shower (I do NOT smell good after a run).

That night when we get home after dinner, I check the race site to see if the official times are posted.  They are not… Shoot… I hate waiting. So I go to bed not knowing. When I wake up the next morning I check the site again… They are posted…

29:39 PR! I met my goal – 5K under 30 minutes! I am so excited!!! My mom is just as excited for me! We both post to our respective FB pages about my PR!

Official Time 29:39 at a 9:32 Pace – This race remains my 5K PR… I have not even come close since then… But maybe one of these days…

Updates

So… I forgot my Garmin at home this morning and therefore I don’t have the total times or paces from all my runs last week except for the race… The training re-cap will have to wait until tomorrow…

I am still a tad sore from Soldier Field. But I am also still riding the High of a PR and a really good race for me. I definitely needed a little run ego boost… leave it to me to choose a 10 mile race to get that ego boost :-p

I managed to run a short mile on Sunday… I needed to get in my 4th day of running for the week and I wanted to meet up with some friends playing Sand Volleyball so I threw on the Vibrams, grabbed a bottle of water and headed over there. I knew that a little run would help with some of the soreness and figured I could just walk home after Volleyball. After playing a couple of games and catching up with one of my closest friends I headed back home to get some cleaning done… Only managed to clean my bathroom and kitchen (both of which were really needed) but neglected to Vacuum and do some Laundry… Meh… I still have most of this week.

The weather yesterday was just awful… I spent a majority of the day vegging on the couch but went for a 3 mile run in the afternoon. My legs hated me for it but I wasn’t too concerned with pace… just wanted to get out there. It was very cool and damp out and with my sore and very tired legs, I was surprised at how well the run went. Which just goes to show that I really do run well in cooler weather.

Still having issues with the shower and the part that I ordered that was supposed to be here on Friday has yet to show up… Thus far trying to find out where it is has proven difficult… I need to call them… But at this point there is no longer a rush. My friend volunteered to house sit for me while I got a plumber in but he is only available today and tomorrow and I need that part before I can call a plumber… so at this point I might-as-well just wait for the building engineer to do it… Grrr. The shower is not awful… just not good if I want to wash my hair in the morning. But given that I am a runner and typically take two showers a day, I can deal with not washing my hair before work and throwing my hair in a ponytail… Too humid to actually do my hair anyway.

Dad gets into town on Friday for our annual baseball game. I am annoyed that he has to partake in my shower issues as well… But nothing I can really do about it. We will have fun at the game. He will also watch me run my all time favorite 10K on Sunday – The United Run for the Zoo. I love this race! I would like to run for time… I doubt I will PR because it is supposed to be on the warm side and sunny but we shall see. I am DEFINITELY running with water though… I actually care about this race so I will be even more angry and disappointed if something that I have control ruins my race. Plus I really do want to impress my dad :-p

Weather is not looking too good for pretty much the entire week… Since it is supposed to be warmer I am actually ok with running in the rain… I may disagree after the fact but for now I am good with this plan. We shall see…

I totally bagged the strength training last week… Dealing with the shower and needing to be an adult ruined my work out plans for the week… I was able to keep to the running but something had to go. I intend to get back to it this week but my legs are still paying for my under-trained race on Saturday so I might stick to upper body only this week and let my legs recover before the race on Sunday… I need to put some sort of plan together…

Clearly I am ready for this week to begin :-p

 

Soldier Field 10 Mile Race Re-Cap

I signed up for this race at the last minute. My longest legit run to date had been a 6 mile run. Not only had I not trained for this race but I was coming off a race that I was angry about. I did this race in 2011 so I had a general idea of what to expect. The race has been on my radar for several months. I know the race is a lot of fun and ending on the 50 yard is really awesome. I hadn’t been training for the race so in my mind I was bowing out. But this week I just could not shake the desire. Thursday a quick check of the weather informed me that race day weather would be perfect race conditions…. Minimal (if any) wind, cool and overcast. So I signed up…

I figured I would use the race to replace my long run… I would run 6.50 miles (my originally planned long run for the week) solid and then run/walk the remaining 3.50 miles. If I happened to be feeling great then I would keep running. I knew I could finish the race no matter what and I was mentally prepared for the pain I was about to inflict on my under-trained body.

Packet pickup was easy (as all packet pickups at Fleet Feet are) and I was very excited about the race. Love the race shirt too!

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Eric and I did our usual pizza the evening before and agreed to meet at my place at 5:15 the following morning… Yes it’s an early start but considering I get up at 4:30 Monday through Friday for work… My body is used to it. We hopped on the train and headed to the race.

We went to gear check and then I walked Eric to his corral since I had LOTS of time to kill before my corral even closed. We took a quick picture, I wished him luck and then was off to find my GF who was also running the race

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I found her (surprisingly) quickly over at the port-a-potty line where she introduced me to a couple of her friends that were running as well. The race decided to do corrals this year… Which I couldn’t remember having in 2011… I was informed it was new for this year. My GF wanted me to sneak into her corral with her and her friends. That proved impossible as the corrals were heavily monitored. So her friends and I went to out corral and chatted while we waited. And boy did we wait… It was nearly an hour before we started.

I knew Eric was going to wait for me and we both knew this was not going to be a quick race for me. A band he likes was playing at the after party so we had decided to meet there. But considering he started to run nearly an hour before me I wanted to keep him in the loop so sent him a quick text before I started. In fact… We waited so long that the winner of the race went flying (and yes I do mean flying… He finished in 49:57) by before we started. Yea… That’s a bit discouraging… Oh well. We were off shortly after

I planned to go slow since I knew I was not trained for the race. Also planned to walk through all the water stations like I normally did. I did a quick check on Friday to see what my time in 2011 had been and I was hoping to beat that time (even if only by a few seconds) and thought that I should be ale to since I walked a good portion of that race (thank you stomach cramping)

Mile 1 came quickly and I in my mind I thought “ok, just 5.50 more to go”. The first water station around 1.50ish miles. I choose not to run with water because it was cool and over cast. So I took my water and was off again.

Mile 2 also came quickly and I was still feeling good. I figured I was moving at an even pace but I never did check my watch for the pace.

Mile 3 did not come quite as quickly but I told myself that I only had 3 more miles to go and that helped a lot.

Mile 4… I am surprised that I am still feeling good. I am not going fast but I am steady and so far the water stations have been all I needed. The turn around about half a mile before mile 5 and I was thrilled when I saw it.

Mile 5 came and went. I sent a quick text to Eric and my GF letting them know I was half way. I figured both had already finished (and I was right) and I thought it was only fair to let Eric know where I was on course since be was waiting.

Mile 6 – I am pretty much at my own little goal already. I am still feeling good but need another water station… There wasn’t one so I took a quick sip at a water fountain. I am still feeling good so I just keep running through the mile

Mile 7 – I am still running and I am surprised by this. Then there is a big hill… Yea… Screw that… I am walking. No one passed me on the way up and once I reach the top I start to run again.

Mile 8 – I am starting to hurt now but I knew it was going to happen at some point. I walk about half a mile and then continue on.

Mile 9 – alright last mile… I can see the stadium again. I keep telling myself it is just one more mile. I distract myself by listening to the conversations around me (yea… I am nosy). I decided to walk for about 2/10s a mile because I know I am sprinting to the finish line. At this point I start to get emotional which is new for me. I have just run a solid race while under-trained and was doing far better than I had expected. We get back to the finish line and I slowly speed up

We enter the stadium and a guy next to me says “I am following you into the stadium… Don’t stop now” – I said “don’t worry I won’t”

We get to the turn to run onto the field and I feel like I am about to burst into tears (still a new sensation) but I hold back and just take off… I don’t know where that surge came from because my legs hurt… But I pick off everyone as I sprint past. I looked at my watch right before I stopped it and it said a 6:00 min pace…. No freaking clue where that came from

I turn around to look at the finish line and am about to burst into tears again. I just completed a race I did not train for and I ran 90% of it.

I take a pic of my Garmin and immediately text it to my mom and email it to my dad (my dad does not text and I knew he would be on the golf course anyway). I am beyond thrilled with my time. I know I actually earned the medal I was about to receive.

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This is a PR for me! I beat my 2011 time by about 6ish minutes. I am so beyond thrilled. I get my medal and text my GF and Eric to see where they are. I go get my bag from gear check (super speedy) and then get my finisher goody bag (love the permanent green bag we got with the race logo and year on it). I tell Eric if he wants my beer (I don’t drink beer) he has to meet me at the beer stand area. My legs hurt just too much to go to the stage to then have to walk back.

I found out that my GF also PR’d! Congrats to her! And Eric met his goal (automatic PR since it was his first 10 mile race) and ran an awesome race. Congrats Eric! He had fun waiting for me (luckily because he had to wait like an hour). I tell him that I am thrilled and that we are going to have to take off soon. My legs hurt and I know that if I sit down I am not likely to get back up. He is ok to leave so we head back to the train.

Downhills hurt like hell and don’t even get me started on stairs. I take a shower as soon as I get home and the eat some leftover pizza. I then get onto my couch and sleep for a couple of hours. When I wake up I have a horrendous headache… Combination of dehydration and sinus’s I am sure but I am unable to get rid of it all day. My legs didn’t hurt nearly as much as I thought which was a pleasant surprise… Don’t get me wrong… I hurt but not as bad as I had expected.

I am so beyond thrilled that I did this race and that I ran better than I thought I would. I definitely earned the medal this time!

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My Official Time is 1:56:43

But my bib is not assigned to my name (reported it already)… I figure (hope) it’s because I registered on Thursday. But even with that snafu I am beyond thrilled with this race!

Some Updates and Happy Friday

The past couple of days have a been a bit rough for me personally… Mostly, I am very frazzled so let me start from the beginning and then I will get to the run-related stuff

Last year I bought my condo and moved in the beginning of October… less than a week later, I had an issue with my shower. I only had scalding hot water… I had no cold water in my shower even if I turned the handle to cold. I reported the issue to my building and it was discovered that there was a part that was old and rusted and causing this problem. I was informed that I could either replace this part or the whole faucet/handle/shower head system. I was unable to get the part at my local Home Depot and since I do not have a car I opted to buy a new faucet/handle/shower  head thingy. Well, the building engineer did not want to replace the faucet/handle/shower head so he went and got the part and replaced it and the problem was solved. Fast forward to this Tuesday evening. I had finished my run and went to take a shower but had no shower pressure. The shower was fine that morning so I thought (and definitely hoped) that the construction work in the commercial space of the building (a few floors down) caused the issue. Nope… the building engineer tried to replace a part but it didn’t work. I know HAVE to replace the faucet/handle/shower head. This will also require some tile work so I need to get replacement tile. After speaking with the building manager to be sure I knew everything I needed to get and the specs (yea… condo association… very specific requirements…). The building engineer said he could do the work if I got what was needed… IE new faucet/handle/shower head and tile. So off to Home Depot I go. The guy that helped me when I was there was very helpful and after a special order and a next day delivery my faucet/handle/shower head is on its way. I get some tile too… It doesn’t match what I currently have but time and cost (mostly cost) is the issue and lack of car means I am not able to go running to every single tile store in the city looking for a match. I don’t hate what I currently have but I am not particularly attached to it either. I had already been toying with the idea of re-tiling my bathroom down the line… Plus I can close the shower curtain and the only people that will know are the ones who use the shower. Horrible I know… but I care more about a working shower.

Anywho – Yesterday I try to find out when the engineer can do the work. I know it is a three day holiday weekend so I am hopeful (but do not expect) that the work can be done this weekend. But I hope that it can be done by Friday at the latest of next week. I find out that the engineer now (Suddenly) has all these projects to do and it will be three weeks AT LEAST until the work can get done. I am more or less told to hire a contractor. This is NOT an option… I cannot afford nor can I take the time off work to have one come and do the job. Not only that… but the building manager got a new job and there is a temp there until they get a permanent replacement.

I am beyond livid… I wanted to replace the faucet/handle/shower head when I moved in back in OCTOBER… Its now like 7 months later and I have a problem again! And why on earth would you say you could do the work?!?!?! I cannot imagine that three weeks worth of stuff got dumped on you in the 12 hour time frame between my conversation with you and your needing to do all these other projects.

Its not the end of the world because the building does actually have a shower on the second floor that I can use but given my work hours it is beyond a royal pain in the butt. Also, as a runner… I generally take two showers a day… so yea… trucking between floors… not fun. And my Dad is visiting in a week so… not having a shower is a bigger deal to me because my dad will be here. I really have no idea what to do and I also fear that there is nothing I can do. I simply cannot afford to hire someone… so short of begging friends to drop their plans to help me… I think I am stuck…

So given the shower situation which I have been dealing with the past two days there has been zero running and strength training. I have done quite a bit of walking though… But yea… I am going to call this week a wash with the strength training.

As for running… I am still on track to get in my 4 days this week…

Yesterday I decided to sign up for the Soldier Field 10 Miler which is tomorrow… Nothing like the brilliant idea to sign up for a 10 mile race at the last minute :-p Now, I know damn well that I am not trained for a 10 mile race but this race has been on my mind for several months and I really have not been able to shake the desire to do it. So my plan is to run 6.50 miles solid and then run/walk the rest… If I happen to be feeling great and can run all of it then thats great but I am not going into this race with that expectation. Essentially this is just an amazingly fun race that I want to do. I am aware I will hurt after and I am aware that I am trained for it. I am just going to enjoy the race… it will be pretty cool tomorrow morning as well so that will DEFINITELY help. There are lots of water stations on the course too which is a bonus. I am looking forward to the race

Also plan to get in some beach Volleyball this weekend… The weather is going to be just so so but it shouldn’t be too bad. I also still really need to get around that whole cleaning my place thing…

Anyone have any exciting plans for the weekend?

Riddle Me This…

Lately, while running, I have noticed several things that have made me go HUH?!?!?! This list has been ongoing in my head for several weeks now and I just keep adding to it so thought I would share – Surely I am not the only one who has these questions…

Why do women put on Full makeup before a race?

Seriously – I have lined up for so many races and seen so many women with full on makeup… and whats more… it is rather caked on too. I am talking eyeliner, eye shadow, mascara, foundation, powder, lipstick… Etc. Now, I am guilty of having run in makeup before but it was always when I was running at the end of the day and just hadn’t taken my makeup off before the run. But when I started to notice that some of that makeup would make my eyes burn if I sweat so much that it got into my eyes I just started to always take my makeup before a run. I was NEVER one of those chicks who put makeup on in the morning before a race…

Why on earth would you run with your hair down?

Yep – Sorry ladies but another one for you. Recently I have seen several chicks running with their hair down… I am not talking about girls with hair to short to put in a ponytail either… Their hair is LONG and cascading down their backs. Further, I have noticed all of them constantly pushing their hair out of their eyes. There was even one girl that I saw holding her hair in a sort of mock side ponytail while running… I guess this could make sense if while running the ponytail holder broke (which I am guessing is the case with the ponytail holding chick) but for the others… I just don’t know… That has got to be several degrees warmer and annoying as all hell. Even when I did have VERY short hair I made sure it was off my face and had rather short ponytails for quite a while.

How do I already have a running watch tan line and it is not even June?

Haha – Yep – I do… Its faint but is definitely there. I also know it will get more noticeable over the following weeks/months.  I am very aware that I tan easily but I am still surprised by this. I also noticed some tan lines from my running tops already… Give me another month and I am sure to have some very wacky tan lines going on

Why is it illegal to talk on your cell phone while driving but it is legal to smoke while driving?

I know this one is not about running but I saw someone driving and smoking while waiting for the signal to change at a cross-walk the other day. I get why talking while driving was made illegal but why is smoking still ok? I would consider it just as much of a distraction… trying to light the cigarette and what about if ash falls into ones lap… or even the cigarette itself. Not only will that burn you but I am sure that it will distract you from driving significantly…

Why do some people wear long sleeves when it is sunny and 85 degrees?

And no – this was not a cooler lakefront day. I actually saw a girl and a guy (not together) running in long sleeves on Monday. I just don’t get this at all… It was HOT out there on Monday and I cannot imagine why anyone would do anything to make it MORE hot while they run…

Why do Chicks fuss over their hair before working out?

Ok – This also relates to all the chicks I see at the gym making sure every hair is in place before they go workout… Some of the chicks at the gym I KNOW are not actually working out… I see them on the treadmill with a friend next to them and they are barely keeping a 15:00/mile pace. So I chuck those up to “I am only hear to look at the cute boys” people. But when I was running one day and stopped at a water fountain, a chick turned to her friend and actually asked how her hair looked… I was gobsmacked and had to try VERY hard to not burst out laughing on the spot. You are working out – Who the hell cares how you look? I don’t care how my hair looks – I only care that it is out of my face and off my neck (and a swinging ponytail bugs me so its usually in a mock bun type thingy).

Why do some people constantly play with their cell phones while running?

I understand that people may want to change the song they are listening to. I also get talking to someone on the phone while running. I can ever wrap my head around responding to a text while running (though I imagine this is not very safe…). But I have actually seen people surfing the net or playing games while running. I saw this ALL the time when I was on the indoor track at my gym… lapping the person several times and constantly seeing them with their head down looking at their phone made me want to glance at their screen. Hey – I am nosy sometimes! I have also seen this on the path (again – nosy)… Its rather annoying when I am trying to pass someone and they keep moving side to side just enough to make it difficult for me to pass them because they are too busy on their phone

Why do you flail your arms when you run?

Think Phoebe from Friends – I have seen this FAR too many times. Hell – I was elbowed because of it at the Race to Wrigley 5K. This just baffles me… It is highly inefficient and whats more… It can easily cause injury. Its also annoying in close confined areas when I want to pass to you but I am worried about getting smacked in the nose…

Why do you run with a backpack?

This one is more out of curiosity – I have seen it a LOT. And its not one of those camelpack water ones either. I did once see a guy in Military gear on the path so I understood why he was… but as for the others… Not sure why.

Anyone else have anything to add to this list?

Throwback Wednesday – My Goal Race – My Half Marathon

Chicago Rock & Roll Half-Marathon – THIS was the race I committed myself to. I spent 7 full months committed to running and training. Nothing got in the way of my run.

My mom always comes up to visit for the entire month of July. She decided to stay a few extra days so she could support me at the race. The race was on August 1, 2010 – a Sunday.

Friday after work my mom picked up me and my co-worker/friend to go pick-up our race packets at the expo. This was my first expo experience and I was overwhelmed. I was glad that my friend was there because she knew what to do. We both picked up our race packets and some Rock & Roll gear and then wandered around the booths. It was a lot of fun getting free samples and looking at all of the running gear. My friend knew a lot more about distance races than me and bought some body glide for us to share. She told me that we would need it… I trusted her. We agreed on a race morning plan. My mom and I would catch a cab and go to her place to pick her up and then head to the race.

Race Morning… I was sort of freaking out. Correction… I was REALLY Freaking out. Got up early and got dressed and started to sip water. My mom and I left my apt and went outside to grab a cab… Ummm where are all of the cabs? We walked to Fullerton and saw cabs but they were all full. Its very early on a Sunday Morning – Why are all of the cabs full? I am starting to panic now. I see lots of other runners on sidewalks all trying to get cabs. No Luck for any of us.  There was one nice runner who pulled over and offered to give my mom and me a ride but I turned it down because we had to pick up my friend (let’s call her HMB for Half Marathon Buddy). I text HMB that we cannot get a cab and I haven’t even seen any buses and that I am freaking out. She text back that it might be difficult and asked what we should do. We agreed to meet at the race. Then I saw it – a BUS and it was going south! I yelled at my mom that we need to get on it.

The bus is 95% full of runners. I am still sipping my water and looking at the time… It’s getting VERY close to the start time. I am still freaking out. We get over the river and suddenly we are being re-routed and the bus driver has no idea what is going on. That is when I realized that all of the roads are shut down for the race already. The bus driver gets us as close as possible to the normal route and we all get off the bus. I am really freaking out now – The first wave is going to start running in about 15 minutes and I am still pretty far away from the race. I am walking as fast as I can but my mom is struggling to keep up with me and I didn’t want to just ditch her. I spot a Starbucks and I know that it is approximately the 5 mile mark on the course. “Mom – Starbucks – Stay! It’s the 5 Mile Mark.” is what I shout at her as I toss her the stuff I am not running with and start to run/sprint to the start line. I am pretty sure everything I tossed to her ended up on the ground which she then had to pick up… Ooops! I am not a pleasant daughter when freaking out…

I get to the race area… OH MY GOSH… It is a sea of runners and spectators. I text HMB that I am there and find her quickly near the port-a-potties where she gives me the body glide and tells me to throw it out once I am done with it. I tell her I have got to pee (sorry if that is TMI) because I had two bottles of water already… There is no way I can start the race like this. I get in line and I see the waves moving up… The race has started. I am freaking out (notice a theme here?) and I notice that everyone in line in front of me is a spectator. In my mind I am livid. Don’t they see there are runners trying to use the restrooms before the race? I keep my mouth shut and wait my turn though.

HMB and I are texting – She is at the very front of our corral. I somehow get into the corral but I still can’t even see the beginning of the corral. I start to weave my way forward and then I spot her! I am so relieved – Talk about cutting it close! We are the next corral to start running and right as we are crossing the start line, I turn to her and say “why the hell did I sign up for this?” But we are running now – Too late to turn back.

Knowing how easily I get dehydrated, I decided to run with a water bottle in case I need water between the water stations. I am the one to set the pace for us and I am feeling good. We take water at the first and second water stations. I love the route going through downtown (Similar to Shamrock). We approach the Starbucks where I ditched my mother (yes – that is the appropriate term). I hear her before I see her… she is jumping up and down, waving her arms, camera in hand and screaming for both of us. I love my mom!

We get to the big hill on the course… Those who have ever run the Shamrock shuffle or the Chicago marathon know the hill I am talking about. We choose to walk up it. Not only is it a horrendous hill but there is also a water station along the hill making it very slippery with all the liquid and cups on it. We get near McCormick place and HMB’s knee is bothering her. She stops and I stop with her. She tells me to keep going but I tell her that we agreed to do the race together and that is what we are going to do – You stop and I stop. We start running again but she has to stop about 3/4 a mile later. Her knee is really bothering her. She turns to me and says “I would be so pissed if I was you” – I told her that we are in this together. My goal for the race was to finish not get a time. We continue on in run/walk intervals.

Finally we are at the turn around point for the last leg of the race. From here we are just inching closer to the finish line. This is approximately the 9.50ish mile point. I start to notice that is it now VERY hot. We are completely exposed to sun on our backs. I am sipping from my water more often now. The path is more narrow and we are forced to be closer together. I finish my bottle of water and take water at the last water station which is around the 11 mile mark. About a half mile later I start to notice the first signs of dehydration. This is not good… I ask HMB if there are any more water stations and she says no. I see a water fountain up ahead and stop for water. I am not ok.

I start walking and HMB tells me that it’s only about a mile left… Just 10 more minutes of running. I tell her no. I am seeing spots and I know that I am in trouble. But this is my race – This is what I spent 7 months of my life focusing on. I am going to finish this race DAMNIT! And it will not be on a stretcher.

She keeps pushing me to run. I keep telling her no and that I am not ok. I know my only choice right now is to walk and finish the race or run and risk being carted off the course on a stretcher. I do not tell her how severe the problem is, partially because I do not want to freak out and I don’t want her to freak out either.  I am seeing spots and I am light-headed. I desperately need and want water.

We get to within a block of the finish line and I stop dead in my tracks and bend over. I felt like I was about to blackout. HMB is yelling at me “Are you F*cking kidding me! The Finish line is right there!” Yea… Still didn’t tell her how bad things were.

More than anything I want to RUN across that finish line. After a few more seconds I am ok. And we both take off running to the finish line. As soon as we cross I spot my mom and tell her to just walk in the same direction as us. I grab water and HMB and I take our finisher picture again (Surprisingly, I do not look as $hitty as I feel). I spot my mom near the side and yell out to her. A friend of HMBs is there too. I get to the side of the gate and immediately get sick. My mom asks me if I am ok. But I am getting sick again… and again… HMB tells her that I am not. A race official/volunteer… I am 99% sure it was a guy noticed me getting sick. He asks if I am ok and I shake my head no and get sick again. He assists me to the medical tent. I know I am severely dehydrated.

Then a very scary thing happened. I start to feel sort of paralyzed. I am trying to answer questions that the medical person attending me is asking but it is becoming more and more difficult to talk. All of the muscles in my arms are contracting and I feel like I cannot move. I cannot talk because all of the muscles in my face are also contracting as well. I am really freaking out now because I have no idea what is happening. I cannot talk and I cannot make a fist with either of my hands.  I start to take deep breaths trying to calm myself down. I know my mom is watching me and I don’t want her to freak out more than necessary (she is freaking out anyway). The medical person tells me that what I am experiencing is normal because I have severe dehydration and that my muscles are contracting because I have no liquid in them. This calms me down significantly. He hands me a sports drink and tells me to sip it and if I am not starting to rehydrate in 15 minutes they are sending me to the ER to get an IV. I struggle to sit up as my muscles are so starved for water they are not cooperating. I cannot even unscrew the lid to the bottle and the only way I can hold it is with two hands.

Luckily I start to feel better quickly. I can talk again and my hands loosen up and I can hold the bottle like a normal person. I give up the stretcher I am laying on for a chair. There is probably someone else who needs it more and I am still struggling to hold myself up… I want something with a back to lean against.

After sitting in the chair sipping for several minutes, I turn to my mom and say “Still want to drive to St. Louis today?” She starts to laugh and says “ummm – no!”

Every year, when my mom visits for the month of July she drives up from DFW and then drives back down. I had agreed to drive down with her this time and spend a few days in TX. That Friday before the expo she had mentioned leaving Sunday after the race and breaking the drive to TX up into two days instead of one 15 hour straight drive. I argued with her that it wasn’t going to happen. I would be in too much pain, it would be painful, you don’t put someone who just ran a half-marathon in a car for 5 hours… so on. We agreed to disagree for the time being.

I asked her what changed her mind and she said “well… no one looked good at the 5 mile mark… I figured you all would like $hit after another 8 miles.” Haha – Yep – Thanks mom

I am given the ok to leave on my own – I do not need to go to the ER. We stick around a for a little while… I am in no hurry and I was still a bit freaked out. About an hour after I arrive in the medical tent, my mom and I leave with another bottle of sports drink. We slowly make our way to Michigan Ave and get into a cab. We get into my apt and I immediately go to take a shower. As soon as I am done with my shower I get sick again. Yea – Ok – I am done. I get into my bed and fall asleep for several hours.

When I wake up my mom asks how I am feeling. I tell her I feel better so she suggests we walk somewhere and get food. I look at her and say “I ran 13 miles, have had nothing to eat all day, have gotten sick about 5 times and have not had anything to drink in several hours. I am not going anywhere – You are ordering a pizza and it is being delivered.” She orders the pizza and gets me a can of coke. I feel MUCH better after eating and drinking something. HMB text me to see how I was doing and that she felt bad for pushing me. I never did care that she was pushing me because she was just trying to help me reach my goal. Plus… I never told her how bad things were during the race. My mom and I watch TV for the rest of the evening, We both know that we have a LONG Drive the next day. I remember telling my mom that I am never running a Half Marathon again…

The Next morning when I woke up my mom asked how I was feeling. My response… “Honestly… Hung over”

My Official Time – 2:46:45 at 12:45 Pace