I survived the Chicago Marathon that was this past Sunday (Oct. 7th) – as you know, also my first Marathon. 45,000 people registered to run, not including extra’s for charities and such. 38,535 actually showed up, and out of those 37,455 people finished. It was pretty awesome! here’s my results:
I was 5,748 out of 37,455 – overall
I was 1,120 out of 16,709 – females
I was 281 out of 3,648 – in my age group (25-29)
My half time was 1:46.29
Finish time was 3:38.26 (average pace 8:19 min/miles)
Im happy with how I did. I took it easy for the first half, then started picking it up around mile 12. When I hit mile 20 the pain in my feet become hard to ignore. And around mile 22 I almost panicked… I wasn’t breathing hard at all, my body wasn’t tired, but my calves wanted to cramp every-time I tried to pick up the pace, and my feet/ankles/arch were about done. That’s when I decided I just CAN’T walk. I relaxed and just kept thinking, one foot in front of the other. I made it to the last 200 meters, and decided I was gonna go for it, had to make the attempt to “sprint” the finish. Of course 2 steps in, my calves go full fledge cramp. But I didn’t stop, I did a very straight legged hobbly (still trying to sprint) finish.
I accomplished many of my goals for this race. I finished. I was under 4 hours. Im even happier that I was under 3 hours 40 min. But my ultimate goal was 3 hours 30 min. I ran the whole thing, didn’t walk at all – not even through water stops. Plus got a cool medal. At least I have a reasonable time to beat for my next marathon! If there’s one thing I would say to someone training for there first marathon – it’s strengthen your feet, if that’s possible. The feet were the only thing that slowed me down and they are the most important part! I will be doing everything I can to prepare them for my next marathon in January.
ALMOST as hard as the Marathon …. was the freezing half mile (probably less, but felt forever) walk from the finish to the gear check location. Im normally freezing after races anyway, no matter what the temp is… but it was 40 degrees! and I was wearing a tank top and gloves… thank god for the foil blanket thing they gave us. My legs also hurt more than they ever have before… it was crazy. It took probably a good half hour for me to hobble to the gear check. But then… I waited about an HOUR in line… for my bag… that had my clothes… ugh. So cold… but I was so sore I didn’t really care. I finally got my bag, and right after was found by my parents. I couldn’t lift my legs to put my pants on… but refused any help. Then I set out on the long mile walk back to the hotel – also refused the taxi offers from my parents. Instead – I walked to this comic book store (graham cracker comics), still all salty and wearing that foil blanket, and bought Kyle some Star Wars figures. That should win me girlfriend of the year I think … well I also felt bad because I was in Chicago on his birthday without him 😦 . I did make him this cool Adventure Time cake though!
It’s pretty crazy what a shower can do though. I felt so cold, and so much pain in my legs before the shower. But after… everything was so much better. Still hobbly, but was able to walk another 6 miles and have some fun the rest of the day in Chicago! Also pretty crazy that 2 days later my muscles are completely fine. The day after the race I was convinced I had plantar fasciitis or a stress fracture, and today I went to the gym and registered for 2 more races coming up next month. I probably won’t run for a week or so though… just incase I have a hibernating foot injury.
I forgot to mention the Marathon expo! It was awesome. I unexpectedly met Dean Karnazes, talked to him for a second and had him sign a book. He asked me if I was ready to die… all I could think of saying was.. “I guess so…”
I’ll finish this annoying long post with a bunch of pictures. Oh, and if you go to Chicago – stay at Hotel 71 because 1. the 39th floor was Batmans bedroom in the dark knight, 2. They gave us a $50 visa gift card for shopping anywhere, as well as $60 to use in their restaurant, and 3. The river view rooms have an amazing view!