I typed this up for my running group right after the race on 10/12/08. I've been really lazy lately when it comes to this website, but thought I would post my race report.
My first marathon - Chicago October 12, 2008 My husband and I flew in Thursday night. I got a great night's sleep Friday and Saturday nights (8+ hours each) and woke up at 4:45 cst on Sunday to start getting ready. I felt totally prepared and ready. We left the hotel at 6:45 to meet Anna across the street from the Art Institute. So much for wearing throw away sweats - it was already in the upper 60's. I'm glad I wore my fuel belt and brought some water with me. While waiting for Anna, I saw Dick in the orange group and yelled "Hey.. you're with Get Fit!" and introduced myself. I've seen him on the trail, but had never actually met him. He was headed to meet Julie and Rockie in front of the museum. I was a bit confused b/c I thought Dick was Rockie and well.. that's another story. Anna and her friend Crystal arrived and we walked over to the museum to see if we could find everyone. We ended up running into Bill. I think running into everyone really made me more excited than nervous. The others weren't around so we headed to the start and made a last pit stop at the port-a-potties. We found our way into the open corral and found our pace groups and went our separate ways. Mike (my husband) walked along the other side of the fence with me as I walked toward the 4:15 group. My plan was to start off with the 4:15 group and end up somewhere between them and the 4:30s. While waiting to start I started talking to Angela from Indiana. This was her 2nd marathon and her goal was to run the whole thing. We started walking towards the start and "Baby I was born to run" was playing. Angela and I stuck together for a good bit of the race. The beginning was a blur and we kinda just went with the crowd, but the pace was right and wasn't too fast. I knew the route a little bit in the beginning and recognized how close we were to my hotel and knew when we turned on LaSalle that we would be on there for a while. Around mile 5, I saw Bill and we ran together for a minute or two and then he left me in his dust. Around mile 6, we were near the Lincoln Park zoo and it was starting to get hot. I ate my first pack of sports beans over the next few miles and decided to hold out on my Luna moons until the halfway point. I did try running and drinking at the same time out of the paper cups and although I didn't drown, I ended up with more water all over me than in my mouth. Around mile 7, I heard a woman say "Go... Alison??" Why did she say my name with a question mark? I don't know why but that really bothered me and I took my name off my shirt. I think around mile 8 is where I saw the boys of boystown twirling rifles on a stage. I can't remember what music was playing and I found out later that I missed the guys dressed up like cheerleaders.. damn! Around mile 9 or 10, my left foot was really starting to hurt, but come on.. it was too early in the race for that! I got to mile 13 and heard Mike yelling my name. He got a good picture of me running and smiling. I looked way too happy for mile 13. I got my luna moons out and they were a good distraction b/c they get stuck to my teeth and last a long time . At mile 16 I saw Mike again! I was doing fine until just after this point. Both calves cramped at the same time. This has never happened to me.. why now? I took the 3 endurolytes that I had on me (I had 4 that morning) thinking that would help. I thought of Jack and wished I had a whole bottle of them on me! I got over to the side and streched my calves out and then tried running again. I was kinda sad that I lost my new running partner Angela. Oh well.. I hope she met her goal. I lasted about 3 minutes of running and then they would cramp again. I kept pulling off to the side to stretch and then run. When I would cramp I tried walking. I started drinking gatorade and water at all of the stops, but nothing worked. I took my powerbar gel and snacked on another pack of sports beans. I felt desparate and was trying not to panic. I figured something would work and stop the cramping. It was hot and I felt miserable. I don't know at what point the alert level changed from yellow to red b/c I was dealing with my calves. It must have been around mile 19. It was so hot that the ground at the gatorade stations were sticky but weren't wet. All of the liquid had evaporated just leaving the sticky mess. My shoes were sticking to the pavement. I passed a bank at one point that said 83 degrees, then another that said 90 something. I think that one may have been wrong. Around mile 20 they were handing out bananas so I tried one of those, but I was still cramping. At mile 22 I found a free curb and walked over. I looked down at my cramped calves and there were big indentations on the inside of both of them. I've never seen this before. A woman on the side looked at my calves and asked me if I wanted a banana and I said "no thanks.. I've been like this for 6 miles already.. I'll make it." I really wanted this race to be over. Around mile 22.5 I pulled off to the right to stretch again and didn't realize I stopped right in front of a video camera. I'm probably on that dvd you can order stretching and looking like I'm in agony. About a half mile later I pulled over to the left to stretch again. I was stretching for about 20 seconds or so.. way off to the side out of everyone's way and this woman body slams me. Was she really not looking where she was going!?!?! She almost knocked me over! So here I am, in pain, getting run over. It was hotter than hell.. worse than any training run I had ever done. Even worse than the one I did in Destin by myself. The sun was beating down on me and I just had to get body slammed. Around mile 23, I looked around and noticed EVERYONE was walking! I wasn't the only one struggling. People way skinnier than me were walking too . At mile 24 I was walking next to this girl named Rachel (her name was on the back of her shirt and on the front). I turned to her and said.. "let's get this shit over with". She said "You're right.. just 2 more miles". I told her I kept cramping and she told me she didn't have an excuse. Then.. I cramped again. Hey.. at least I motivated Rachel to speed up. I tried running really slow until I would cramp and have to walk. I was determined to run up the hill for mile 26 to the finish. At the 26 marker I heard Mike yelling "Go Alison! Go!" At this point.. I didn't want anyone yelling at me. I turned to him and yelled "I can't! I'm cramping!" Of course the spectators were about 7 people deep and everyone heard me. I felt like a big wimp after that. Mike said a woman next to him asked me if I was going to be ok and he said "Oh.. she always does that at mile 26". I made it to the end.. I raised up my arms for a picture.. I don't think I smiled though. I was so glad it was over. 10 miles of calf cramps.. it was finally over. I was given a wet towel that I wiped myself down with, then water, a medal was put around me, my picture taken, grabbed a banana and a bagel and then walked another half mile or so to go find Mike. I made it over to the runner reunite area and Mike was just behind me. We had someone take our picture together and then we went back to the hotel. All I wanted was to be clean and have ice on me. I wobbled my way back to the hotel which was another half mile from the park. I took one look at the bathtub and thought "there's no way I'm going to be able to get in the tub and get back out". I took a cool shower and then sat in a chair with ice on my quads. I then laid on the bed on my stomach and put the bag of ice on my calves, then the back of my knees, then my hamstrings. I knew I had to get up and start moving, so I got dressed and hobbled out of the hotel to the closest pub. I walked around like a little old granny to the sears tower then back to the hotel. Y'all should have seen me at the Art Institute on Monday with all those stairs (ouch!). Tuesday I moved around a little better but my quads were killing me. I still don't think it's hit me that I ran a marathon. Now I need to do another so I can beat 4:49:52. I think I'm crazy for wanting to do another. I feel like I could have done so much better if I hadn't cramped up. Why did this happen?? Why on the most important run?? I'm hoping lightening doesn't strike twice and it won't happen on my next marathon.. but I guess that's what they said about the heat in Chicago too and look what happened. It may not have been AS bad as last year.. but it was hot!
I have not blogged in forever!! I was just reading Wakintosh's blog (http://shiny-hair.blogspot.com/) and was thinking.. wow.. it's been forever. So...
I'm really enjoying my running group!! Saturday mornings we do our long run, Tuesdays we run hills in Buckhead, Thursdays we do a Tempo run, and all the other days but Monday I've been doing the elliptical for an hour. I feel like time is flying since I've been so busy. I go to work.. I run. I run.. I go to work. Oh.. and I go shopping a little to much.
My long runs are feeling pretty good. We're up to about 11 miles and I've started using gu's and gel's. I really like the chocolate and that's the only way I can validate spending 2 WW points on a gu. If it tastes like chocolate icing, then it's worth it! I really enjoy talking to all the different people in my group. We're split up based on pace (I'm in the 8:30-10 min group) and I'm finding that I can really hang with all the skinnies!
Tempo runs are a different story for me. I am not good at them... yet! They are way too difficult. We go for about 10 minutes at a 10:30 pace as a warm up. Stop and stretch. Then go 7:30 min at a tempo pace, then turn around and do the same back. Walk around and hydrate. Then do 10 minutes back at about 10:30 pace. So the first time I did one I went out way too fast and too hard. I ended up too far out and had to walk some of it back (the return trip is up hill). I got there last and my ego was a little wounded, but wow.. it was hard. This past Thursday I went again and tried it. I did way better.. no walking up that hill! I didn't go out as fast so I was able to turn around and come back. I think my tempo pace was around 8 min. I felt good after the run and a little more confident.
It's getting more difficult to run after work. The temps are in the 90's so it's hot as hell. And to run 6.5 miles in 90 degrees.. ugh. I wear my fuel belt which bounces a little too much in the front b/c I still have more weight to lose. I've been putting the bottles in the back b/c it's not as bad, but after today's run I know I'm going to have to start carrying all 4. I ran out of water around mile 9 and really needed some more.
I went to the podiatrist last week and got some custom orthotics. They were $350 which is crazy. They are also way too rigid. I can knock on them and it sounds like I'm knocking on wood. I've been wearing them during the day at work to get used to them, and last night I ran 1.25 miles in them for the first time. I could hear my feet slapping against them. I talked to a podiatrist today about them and he said they're a bit hard for what I need them for. I have something called Frieberg's Infraction which has basically turned into arthritis in my 2nd toe. It gets inflamed pretty bad. Anyway, he said cushioning can be added to it, so I'll talk to my podiatrist about that at my follow up appt in 2 weeks.
Anyway, happy running to all the other runners out there!!
I'm not good at remembering a lot of details about my runs. Here's a stab at a race report:
My friend Aimee ran the Country Music Half Marathon with me. The morning of the race, we left the hotel at 5am (6am EST). My friend Kristen met us at our hotel and walked with us in the rain about half a mile to the Finish Line where they had buses taking us to the starting line. It rained up until about 7:20. So we were soaked. Shoes were soaked, head was soaked. My clothes werenít too bad b/c I brought a giant garbage bag to wear until the start of the race. It was cold!! I was shivering after taking off my garbage bag and my whole body was shaking. The race has a waterfall start where the faster pace groups go first and we were in corral 15 waiting our turn. We didn't get to the starting line of the race until about 7:30. Aimee and I were clearly in the wrong corral b/c we kept passing a lot of people. We stuck together for about the first mile or 2 and then she took off. The race had some hills and I felt like I was doing pretty well b/c I passed a bunch of people up on them and it looked like they were struggling. I think my runs during the week with hills really helped out. The bands along the way were ok.. hardly noticeable really. There were tons of spectators with lots of cowbells. This must have been a huge race for Team in Training b/c there were purple shirts everywhere and I really got tired of being next to some of them that were running with tambourines. Like I wanted to hear a tambourine with every step I took. That motivated me to speed up to get away from them. They had some awful sports drink for this race. When you ran through the drink stations it smelled like paint drying. Really awful. I donít know how anyone was drinking it. When I saw mile 11 I decided to try and step it up. I felt really good, no pain anywhere, no foot issues. I checked my watch and saw I would make it in under 2 hours. After crossing the finish line, I realized how big this race really was. It was hard to figure out where to go. I just kinda followed everyone. I was handed a medal, water, towel, got my picture taken, chip taken off my shoe w/out really realizing it all. I got to the food area and started looking for Aimee but there were way too many people. I had a banana and some small bagels, then made my way out of the food area. I kinda walked around half looking for Aimee and half looking to see what free stuff they had. After about 45 min of finishing the race, I was freezing and walked back to the hotel. Aimee was already there and had showered. She finished a few minutes before me, but headed straight to the hotel after.
We met up with Kristen and her friend around 3 and they wanted to do a pub crawl. So.. about 9 bars later and a Rum and OJ, 2 margaritas, 3 blue moons, a miller lite, and a harp later we were headed back to our hotel around 10:30. Oh.. and nachos, onion rings, fries, grilled cheese, and pizza. I was hurting bad on Sunday. And no.. I didnít count any points. J
Create a Free Website