Race day! After a good night's rest, in which i hit the snooze button a few times, I was up and ready for some coffee and a good bath room visit. For some reason, sleep is not a problem for me in Chicago. I had a nice long walk to the gate to just get to my corral and knew I had to wait in various lines, so fueling/bathroom breaks were going to be tricky. I decided not to risk loosing my pack and just taking my belt for my fuel. I can't remember if I talked about this issue before but a few days prior to us leaving, I saw that "packs" would not be allowed, and some people were saying hydration packs counted. I had a bit of a panic because I train with my pack, and was planning on using it. I did email the proper authorities to ask questions and sent pics, and while they okayed it, I was told that security still could deem it un safe and confiscate it. I decided the night before that it just wasn't worth risking loosing my favorite pack ever or even worrying about it.
Tony went with me to the security check point to cross the bridge to get to my corral and bag check. Since I had nothing to check, I got there, headed through security in the blink of an eye, and quickly found a place to sit. I didn't want to have to get into my corral 2 hours before we started, due to the fact that the porta potties are not in the corral. The volunteers will let you leave, but they kind of get cranky with you going back and forth. I happened to sit next to a wonderful lady Irene. This was her 18th time running Chicago and her 185 marathon! She gave me a little plastic poncho to keep the wind off of me, and we sat and talked till time to get a last minute porta potty stop in and walk to our corral.
We hung out in our corral and even started together. She reminded me SO much of my good agility friend Joc Baker:). I hope I can track her down via Facebook, as we had to take a selfie since everyone else was! She really made a long wait go so much quicker, and I can't thank her enough for keeping my nerves at bay!
We slowly made our way to the start line and we both crossed at 8:35 am on the dot. Since i had run this race before and I had had trouble with my Garmin from the start thanks to the buildings, I knew it would pretty much be off the whole time. At one time it was almost a MILE OFF! Last Chicago race, it adjusted itself back magically, but not this time. I had to tell myself to ignore it and just watch for the mile marker signs. I was gunning for a 5 hour marathon, but at the start was on track for a 4:40 and was with that pace group until the heat and my hip got me. About 3 miles in, my hip started a hurting, not a sharp pain, but a dull ache both on the front of my hip and the on my upper back. While I think it is fixable, I am worried about my pacing duties in two weeks AND my 2 dog themed races I have signed up for. Also, even though it was nice and cool with a breeze at the start, it quickly became very hot and humid. The Chicago marathon is really good about taking care of its runners, so there were several stops that had water spraying (hello chaffing) and of course there were aid stations i think every 2 miles with lots of water. There were two sponge stations, and I just kept my sponge so I could re wet it and put water on my head and back. I started out getting a cup of water and taking three big sips, but by the end I was drinking the entire cup, getting a second and drinking most of it, then taking what was left and putting it on my head. Let's just say I have very creative chaffing. The places I applied my trail toes balm were barely chaffed, but i had several other spots that are raw that I didn't even think of as chaffing spots. I do think that while the heat made it hard to run my race that I had planned, my hydration was on point. I was using my Honey stingers as I usually do, one waffle every hour at a time, but around the 4th hour my tummy said hell to the no. I saw people handing out bananas and also fruit snacks, and while I have never really used those two items mid course, that was all my tummy thought sounded attractive and I wanted to get calories in anyway I could.
|Boystown. I think they were Abba this year|
Off my soap box. So my right hip that has been hurting on and off during my training, but usually never really during my runs. It reared it's ugly head for one big last show down at mile 3 and continued the entire race. I have never felt such a pain like that during a race, but I managed to gut it out and finish. I was contemplating stopping at an aid tent just to see if I could get some sort of pain killer like advil, and I usually don't take anything during or before a race. I will be seeing Dr. Needles Monday the 16th. I kind of had a break down when I saw Tony at the finish, because I don't want this to be the "END" that the ortho doctor years ago predicted. As I said, it has hurt on and off during this whole training cycle, but MYRTL and strength training seemed to always fix it. Lesson learned the hard way, don't ignore a niggle, because it will turn into a full ROAR.
|the best sign ever. 1 mile to go!|
All in all, I really had so much fun this race, even if I was in the pain cave for the majority of it. I was able to fully enjoy the sights and sounds of the neighborhoods this year and even take pictures. I still think Pilsen is my favorite. They really, really bring it! Most places all along the route had people cheering with cowbells, noise makers, and other various instruments. While I did have a time goal and did not succeed in meeting it (5 hours) this still is one of my favorite races. Just wish it were a wee bit cooler, as they last two times now I have run it, heat was a problem.
|My splits. Sorry I cut off what split is what but you can see how the heat eventually kicked my ass|
I liked the finish area this year so much better, and Tony and I were able to find each other very easily. We didn't partake in the festivities post race, as I just wanted to get back to the hotel and lay down. My tummy at that point had had enough and I was doing some dry heaving and feeling very faint. The finisher's chute is super long, and I think all of that walking post race just was too much in the heat. Luckily, they gave us bags of ice, which helped, but my body was just done. My wonderful hubby got me a coke from a nearby food truck, helped me find a place to sit, and then got me back to the hotel and in bed. Post shower, we pretty much laid in the bed the rest of day and he even went and got Chipotle for me when my tummy finally decided it was happy enough for food. My tummy has been in and out of feeling good, even two days post marathon, which I attribute to the heat messing with my body. I am two days out now and sore but not any more sore than I have been for any other marathon.
|The only thing I could eat post race. A brownie from Magnolia Bakery|
I am still riding a small cloud of I did it! Marathon number 3 in the books and Chicago Marathon number 2! While I am slightly disappointed in my time, I am VERY excited that I managed to finish period with my hip and the heat trying to keep me down. I am really excited that my fueling worked well (no wall) and my hydration seemed to be right on. I can't wait to come back in a few years and run again. While I didn't plan or think about the fact that we were both 40, it was a nice surprise that we got to celebrate together. I am thinking that we need to celebrate our 50th together for sure!