Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The 2015 Chicago Marathon

Wonder where we have been?

Between working, 2 kiddos in soccer 4 week nights and at least one weekend day, and training for a marathon...we have been busy!! I never would have thought I would have gone an entire month without blogging...but look, it happened!

So, this last weekend, I ran the Chicago Marathon! The Marathon marks my 3rd marathon, but by no means was it my best marathon. My last marathon, the Omaha Marathon, I finished in 3:41. Chicago I finished in 3:46, 16 minutes under my planned finishing time! What happened?

Really, about mile 13, I was beginning to feel sick. This is typical of marathons for me and I am not sure why. This marathon was a little warm and sunny so I believe this may have been the problem. You see, I sweat VERY LITTLE. So I tend to overheat quickly. The only difference, other than my performance, from training runs to marathons is the time of day I am running. I run predawn in training. I do this because I can not run in the heat.  The problem is, marathons start later. I did not cross the start line until 7:36. Typically, I am finishing up my 22 mile run by this time. See? That's a problem. If only I could run a marathon at 4:30 am I would be set, right?

Jen and I arrived to Chicago Friday evening having drove there. We parked my car at my cousin Dave's and he took us to the Courtyard Marriott River North. The hotel was in a good spot for the marathon really and at a great price. Saturday we settled in, ate dinner at a cool little place and went back to the hotel.

We took the El to the expo Saturday morning. I found the expo a little overwhelming. There was so much I wanted! I did get something for myself, for Jen and for Chris (who could not take off work to come with me). It was a lot of walking. We walked back to the El. We relaxed in the afternoon a bit before doing a little more shopping than I probably should have done but we did it. We ate Chipotle rice bowls for dinner, and went back to the hotel. Although in bed early, I was awake all night it seemed. How many fires are in Chicago anyway? It was loud. And I may have done too good of a job hydrating. It didn't help race day anyway.

As I said, I ran across the start line at 7:36 and I felt great. Crowds cheering. Those I started with sprinted past me. I tried to stay on pace. I looked at my watch and it said nothing. What? The buildings and bridges blocked the GPS so I had no idea what my pace was. Seriously?!?!? That does not do a runner any good. The key is to not go out too fast but I had no idea how fast or slow I was going!! At the first very long bridge, many men and a few women lined up to PEE! No joke here. They were peeing everywhere!! We just started!! Come on. That bridge is going to smell awful for years.

The crowd support was amazing and loud. It kept me going. I met up with Jen who ran with me from mile 6 all the way to the end. She is prepping to run NYC November 1 so had a 20 mile run to get in. It was great to have her there, but I wonder how I would have talked myself into or out of running more in my element. I passed the bar my cousin and my aunt were at around the 10 mile mark. Jen saw them but I missed them. Disappointed but I kept moving. I tried to take in fuel but the nausea was setting in. What is going on. is getting warmer and I am not getting hot. Jen is sweating but I am not. This is a real problem because I can not cool my body temperature.  I struggled from really 16 on. On pace for a 3:29 finish at the half, I finished 3:46. See my struggle?

I ran this one for Chris' Grandma and for Amanda. When I was struggling, I thought of them. I ran Addison Street for my little Addison. It was a short block...but I thought of my Addison the entire time.

We were approaching the finish when we realized where Jen was going to turn off was all barricaded. She was barricaded onto the course. We were more than 800 meters away when we realized she was course trapped. Nothing to do but to finish now. We ran up the ramp, the only real incline on the course, turn the corner, and finished. I even had to walk up the ramp. I was just so sick. Once we finished, I just wanted to sit down. No, the many nice volunteers told us to keep walking. We got metals, then food, then beer, still no place to sit. I saw some runners collapsing. I knew I could not stop. I walked up and got my picture taken, then Jen asked if we could get out of the area and we did. We slowly made our way back to the hotel.

After a shower, I felt horrible. We checked out and Jen tried to catch an Uber car or a cab while I hit the bathroom as the nausea/vomiting and dizziness had completely taken over. I made it into the cab where I soon realized we were locked in. I could not open the door to get sick so go sick all over the cab. Seriously?!?! I was a mess.

We made it to Dave's (my cousins) where I cleaned up, got sick some more, before deciding to make our way home with Jen driving. By 5pm, I was feeling good enough to drive.

Why oh why do I do this to myself?

Now, I am hoping to complete the Boston Marathon this spring. I am hoping it will be cooler so I will not have these issues. One will only hope. If I get sick again and live to talk about it, I will go to only running half marathons. My body clearly rejects running full marathons!

But, once again, I am a marathoner. I am happy that I finished. I was emotional in that I ran such a big event. I would recommend the Chicago Marathon for its flat course, great crowd support, in a great supportive city. Even those at the hotel congratulated us when we returned.

I'm a wife and mother first, marathoner second. So, I may have to slow my training down a notch. We only live once, I know, but I want to live longer. I am not done yet. :)