I let my friend talk me into running a half marathon in Chicago in March……..What was I thinking? Every time I think of March, I think of spring and that couldn’t be further from the truth! I can honestly say that I have never had my eyes begin to freeze like they did the morning of this race. BBRRRR!!!
However, I was excited to spend some quality time with my BFF. It is always great to catch up!
We even did a little sightseeing. I have been to Chicago tons of times but I have never been to the “Bean”.
My attempt at being artistic.
It didn’t take me any time to collect my packet and sweatshirt. It was a very small expo.
We carb loaded at the Italian Village and I must admit that it was an early night for us. A day of work and travel just wore us out!
We paid for shuttle tickets at the expo so in the morning, we hopped on a school bus to take us to the start. The temperature at this time was below freezing. And to think I almost didn’t pack my gloves!!
Once at the start, we had about 30 minutes to wait. I was surprised that the race didn’t play the national anthem before we took off. That is the first race I have attended that didn’t do that. Weird!
The course took us along Lake Michigan. It was so cold that we had to dance around patches of black ice on the path. My running has been slacking this year so I knew I would struggle but Michel wouldn’t leave me. I felt bad holding her back since she has been running so well.
I was ready to throw in the towel and walk at mile 7. I was convinced I couldn’t do it anymore but that little annoying voice in my head reminded me that if I walked, it would take me longer to finish and I would be in the cold longer! Running from the cold will always win with me. It might not be a fast run but it is faster than a walk.
Every step from mile 7 until the finish was a mental game. About mile 11, my eyes and my sweat started to freeze. Such a strange feeling!!! The last mile, I just tucked in behind Michel and put my head down and ran. Even that close to the finish I questioned if I could do it. Once we crossed the finish line, we grabbed some snacks and headed for the beer.
I am a huge fan of beer but not so much of standing outside in the freezing cold drinking it. I chugged my beer and half of hers so we could find our way back to the shuttle bus and get out of the cold.
My official finish time was 2:41:12. That was with a short bathroom break at mile 6. My Nike app had my time at 2:38:02. Considering that my training has been non-existent, I didn’t think that was too terribly bad. I have definitely learned that cold weather races aren’t for me, no matter how good they sound at the time!