Running pic

Running pic
Yup, that's me!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Chicago Marathon recap

Ok, so I’m a liar.  I said I’d post a marathon recap on Monday and here it is Tuesday and all, so sue me. Let me start by ruining the suspense: I finished.  Now I can start at the beginning. I woke up at 4:10am to the lovely sounds of my gang-banger neighbor coming home blaring his car stereo.  Thanks asshole for taking away the last 20 minutes of sleep. This on top of my asshole neighbors who thought it would be fun to get drunk and play bags in their front yard until 3am.  I stayed in bed until my alarm went off at 4:30 and quietly tiptoed downstairs.  I pushed the start button on the coffee maker and put my slice of multi-grain in the toaster and hit the head to pee.  I put on my shorts and glided up the spots where the seam is at the bottom of the compressions shorts and then I put on my sports bra and glided up the band that goes under my boobs.  Then I looked in the mirror and was dismayed by the fact that with my super-short haircut I look a bit like 90’s self-help guru Susan “Stop the Insanity” Powter. Oh well, nothing to be done about that now.  I put on my tank and sat down to glide up my toes, put on my socks and shoes and headed back to the kitchen to eat.  Then the waiting game begins – will I or won’t I?  I did.  I had the PRP (pre-race poop) that I consider so crucial.  At 5:40 I put on my .96 cent throw-away long sleeve from the Salvation Army (it was actually a nice shirt) and headed over to my running buddy’s house to share a cab down to Grant Park with a few other people.  We made it in plenty of time - she gear checked a bag, we used the port-o-potties, and got into the open corral somewhere between the 10 and 11 minute mile pace areas. 
We crossed the start line about 20 minutes after the gun and pretty much immediately pulled over in lower Wacker Drive to pee behind a concrete embankment.  Despite being illegal this was a good move because there were no lines and it was the last time I needed to think about any bodily function for the rest of the race.  I was running with two of my training buddies and we managed to stick together for the first 17 miles.  If you were running and you heard three annoying women yelling, “Wolfpack,” that was us.  Anytime we got a little strung out the lead runner would yell Wolfpack! and then the other two would yell the same so we’d know where we all were.  I’m sure the runners around us were thrilled.
Like I mentioned in the last post I’m not great at remembering things mile by mile.  I remember being disappointed by Boystown – I didn’t see a single cheerleader in drag. Seeing three running friends volunteering at the Fleet Feet aid station was a huge boost. I saw my friend/support crew at mile 13 where she handed me delightful frozen water, I remember I remember the looooong straight stretch heading west towards the United Center – that was where I started to be pretty sure that there was going to be some sort of foot/toe issue.  My husband joined us at mile 17 and this is where I told my friends to go ahead – I needed to slow down a bit and I didn’t want to hold them back.  At mile 20 I was still OK, but from 21 on it all kind of fell apart.  I never hit the proverbial wall, but I just kept getting slower and slower.  It was a combination of the heat, the direct sun, and the volcanic blister on my left pinkie toe.  I remember at mile 24 my husband said, “C’mon – only 2 more miles!” to which I moaned out, “but those 2 miles will take me 30 minutes.”  Yeah, it was ugly, but I finished.  My time was not great, not what I expected or hoped for, but it leaves plenty of room for improvement.  Right after the race I swore up and down that I would never do a marathon again but I’m already considering Marine Corps in DC next year.  Sucker.
The after effects aren’t nearly as bad as I thought they might be.  My hips are a little sore and the blister is tender, but I’m mobile and it’s nothing a little ibuprofen can’t handle.  I’m taking 2 days off and then it’s back in the saddle again – running at Chick’s Night on Wednesday.
Next up is a crazy gimmick race – a 5K held entirely inside a corn maze.  If I don’t trip on a corn root and kill myself I’ll be back to let you know how insane it was.

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