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Unpublished Opinion

Sunday, August 07, 2005

The Recap.

I don't think that it has hit me yet that I finished. I have been proudly wearing my medal all day. It is heavy! And it has a cute penguin on it, which makes me happy, since I love penguins. See the photo of my medal in my previous post.

Here is the 13.1 miles, in annoyingly long detail:

Pre-race: It was great temperature-wise at this point. I wished they would have started the race at 6am, instead of 7am. I used the porta-potty my typical three times and was ready to go. I started optimistically behind the women holding the Nike pace sign for 2hr 30 min finish time. For those that don't know, the pace team runs at a set pace throughout the race and if you stick with them you will finish at the time on their sign. I cannot imagine carrying a little sign on a wooden stick for 13.1 miles, so I definitely appreciated them. I think it was a great idea to start with a pace group, or I am sure that my adrenaline would have made me go too fast too soon. E took a couple photos of me pre-race, then headed to his car to meet me at the 10k point. I lined up and got ready.

The Start: Like most starts, it involved a lot of shuffling to the start. It annoyed me that the group actually started running BEFORE the start line. I would have been content to walk briskly to the start line. I mean we are running 13.1 miles, you think we wouldn't want to add too much more to that, but oh well.

Mile 1: I felt good at the start and was happy to get going. I kept up with the pacers with no problem. They were running/walking at an 8/1 interval, which was perfect because it was so similar to what I had done on the training.

Mile 2: We ran through the part of the McCormick place that is like a tunnel, which was a nice break from the already blazing sun. I drank my water in my belt pack during the walking breaks. It was still pretty crowded at this point, and it was difficult to run without elbowing someone.

Mile 3-4: nothing too memorable about these miles. Just plodding along. My bib number had my first name on it, so people that were along the path would occasionally say "Looking good Simba's mom" or "Keep it up Simba's mom," which made me feel pretty great. (Of course they said my real name, but you get the idea). There weren't a ton of people on the sides, mostly just people who were at the lakefront for something else or people there to support other runners. But it was a nice pick-me-up throughout the race.

Mile 5: I started to feel like I was pushing too hard. I think it was the heat. I decided to stop when I saw E and have my energy gel and rest a bit. I didn't quite make it to that point before I let the pace group go though. I feel like it was around here that we saw the leaders heading back north, but it may have been sooner or later. They were so fast, I couldn't believe it.

Mile 6: Sometime near the marker for the 5 mile point (I can't remember if it was before or after), the path narrowed completely. Runners were running in both directions on a two-lane path and the right shoulder, which normally would be grass or dirt for us to spread out on was a wall. I think there was some kind of construction going on. Being crowded like that in a hot group of people made me even hotter than I was. Once we passed the wall, I went to the shoulder and slowed it way down because I wanted to have my energy gel. I couldn't wait any longer. At that point I couldn't remember if E said he was going to be at mile 5 or 6, so I tried calling him. As I was leaving him a voicemail, I walked past a group of supporters. I think they thought I was hurt or calling someone to pick me up and take me home, because they all said things like "Simba's mom, you can do it!" and "Don't stop now!" And I was like, I'm just making a call.

10k line: I saw E from about 100 feet away. He was standing on a bench. I waved. I was so excited to see him. He gave me another energy gel to put in my pack and refilled my water bottle from the bottle was carrying. It was definitely what I needed at that point. (Thanks again E!!).

Mile 7-9: It was at this point that we began a long, long, straight stretch that would last over 4 miles. It was pretty rough. Eventually we wound around a little and ended up running right next to the lake, which was great. The view of the city from there was tremendous. It was at this point, though, that the pains in my feet were becoming difficult to ignore. I am used to getting blisters on my bunions, and in between my first and second toes, but this was extra painful. My left knee also started to hurt. I have now realized that I must have been changing my running mechanics to try to alleviate the pain in my feet.

Mile 10: I was increasing my walking a lot at this point. About this point, the 2 hr 45 minute pace crew caught up with me and I joined in with them until the 10 mile marker. They were doing a 5/1 combination (I think). We passed a station handing out energy gel and I picked one up. I had been training with the kind they were serving (because I knew ahead of time) and they had my flavor of choice: apple cinnamon.

Mile 11-12: I speedwalked the majority of these two miles. Walking didn't hurt at all. Aside from my knee (and my feet to a lesser extent), I felt great. My hydration level was perfect, I felt very warm, but not wanting-to-puke hot, and I was in a good mood. Oh, I forgot to mention that I had started pouring water down the back of my shirt at the water stops. Would have been better if the water was cold, but I can't be too picky after 2+ hours. Somewhere in this stretch I saw the official photographers, so I started running again and flashed them a big smile.

Mile 13: This was an interesting mile because it went by the Adler Planetarium and the Shedd Aquarium. When we reached the Shedd, I knew we were close to the finish. Betty and I have run that part of the path a few times. I ran walked this mile 2/1 for the first 3/4. Then we turned on to Columbus and I could see the finish line. So, of course I had to run.

Mile 13.1: I nearly started to cry as I approached the finish, mostly because I heard about 20 people saying my name. The clock read 2:58 and change, so I knew I would finish under 3 hrs. I scanned the right side for E, but couldn't remember if he was going to be before or after the finish line. It is difficult to remember things after running that long. I crossed the finish line, but then there was a second pad on the ground a little further ahead so I kept going, but then I realized that I was done. I heard E call my name and ran over to him for a post-race smooch. YAY!!! Finished.

Post-race: I was looking around for the people with the medals, because that was what got me through the last three miles. Thinking about how pretty my medal would be. I got some ice from a volunteer and put it down the back of my shirt. I would get confused a few minutes later when I felt something cold on my butt, because I forgot about the ice. Silly me. E came through the barricade and walked with me as I went over to the recovery area. There were volunteers handing out bags to put the shirts/food in. I asked them where the medals were. I was directed to keep moving. I got a banana. And a brownie bite. Then I saw the medal ladies. I was quite disappointed that they didn't put it on me, but it was such a great medal, that I really didn't care at that point. Then I got my shirt, which is very cute. It has "05" on the back, though, so it reminds me of a high school senior shirt.
Then we decided to leave. I wanted McDonald's: the food of champions.

I had trouble walking once we got to the parking structure. My knee was very painful. Once we got home, greasy food in tow, I took my shoes off and surveyed the damage. I have had blisters before, but these were enormous. I had used tape on all the typical blister spots, but it made no difference. I have to figure something out, because I can't go through that again. And advice would be appreciated.

Once I had my shoes off, my knee felt 1000 times better. It was still a little stiff, but I could walk without feeling pain in it. Thank goodness, because I was starting to worry. I felt very tired. I ate. I had a nap. I ate some more.

I still haven't taken the medal off. (except to shower of course).

Overall, it was a great experience. Everything that I worried about didn't happen. I didn't overheat, my body didn't get tired. If not for the blisters, I am sure I would have finished in 2:30, but I am happy with my finish. My next big race is three months away. Plenty of time to figure this out.

Thanks for reading the post all the way through! It took me forever to write : )

6 Comments:

  • I still can't believe you ran that far!
    thanks for doing all the typing..i enjoyed the play by play :-)
    I love your medal!

    By Anonymous YM, at 8:43 PM  

  • Thanks for the recap. It was like I was there..

    By Blogger ShoreTurtle, at 12:49 AM  

  • Great recap. I love it when people tell us about each mile (or groups of miles) Thanks for sharing. Regarding your blisters,would using the mole skin help?

    By Blogger Stephanie, at 8:29 AM  

  • Woo-hoo! Congratulations! And thank you so much for the detailed recap: it is so inspiring for those of us who have not yet completed the distance. Go!

    By Blogger Riona, at 3:16 PM  

  • Congrats!! Thanks for the detailed recap, it sounds like you had a blast. Enjoy the medal!

    By Blogger Rae, at 10:01 PM  

  • I just re-read your race recap. It made me happy reading it and thinking about what you accomplished. It's just what I was looking for inspiration wise. I'm starting to worry about the race--even then I said I wouldn't start until October.

    By Blogger ShoreTurtle, at 3:06 PM  

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