My first postpartum half mary of 2014 is complete!
A little backstory on this race:
In April 2012, I planned on running my second marathon. Long story short, I injured myself and pulled out of all my spring races, the marathon and the ChiTown Half included. I debated on whether or not to run a shorter distance in Chicago, but instead decided to play cheerleader for my Dadyo, who ended up setting a PR. Ever since, Dad and I have talked about running it again, together this time. So a few months ago, after some brief emailing/heckling back and forth, he registered the both of us for 13.1! I was extremely skeptical since I hadn’t truly gotten back in the saddle since Emery was born. I even begged him to change our race to the 10K! But since having a race on the calendar always keeps me on track, I decided to take it on.
When discussing logistics, Dad realized that him and my mom had actually planned a trip to Mexico the week before the race, with flights that would bring them back into the USA literally the night before. Though it had the potential to be an absolute disaster, we decided to go on for it and see what happened!
Leading up to race day, my training was pretty darn erratic. I’d blame the weather again, but this time it was my own fault and my continued lack of postpartum motivation. The weather was behaving as best it could for spring in the midwest. I logged a few solid distance runs in the preceding weeks, an 8.25, 9.99, and 6 miler. I also sprinkled in a few shorter stroller runs during the week, but nothing consistent. And the week before the race I ran only once, a short 3.5 miler on Tuesday. I definitely didn’t feel prepared going into the weekend, but figured at the very least, this race would be a reality check. Letting me know just how capable my body was to run this sort of distance after such a long hiatus.
Since the hubs was on call all weekend, Emery and I made the trip to Chicago solo on Saturday morning. I timed it so we’d be on the road during his morning nap, which worked out perfectly. He slept for a solid 2 hours early on and during the final leg he played happily in the backseat. Such a good travel buddy! After hitting some tedious downtown traffic, we arrived to my brother’s condo around 130p.
We chilled inside for a bit after arriving, so this guy could catch a few more z’s 😉
We had a pretty low key day, taking a nice walk around his new neighborhood and getting take out chicken dinner while immersed in WWE. I hopped into bed around 10p CST in attempts to rest up for the big day ahead!
Even though I should know better by now, I set my alarm for 545a just to ensure that I’d be up and situated on time. But likely because of the time difference, Emery was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed by 5a. I guess it could’ve been worse. At least we were both dressed, fed, and ready to rock by 7a (race start was 815a). Oh, and remember how I said Mom and Dad would be flying in from Mexico the night before? Well turns out, their plane was an hour late, getting them to Detroit by midnight, at which time they jumped in the car and spent the next 4 hours driving to Chicago, getting in just after 4a. Holy smokes. Such dedication. Thank goodness for 5 Hour Energy and a wee bit of adrenaline!
I handed E off to Gigi, then Dad and I took an Uber cab down to the race start at Diversey Harbor where we picked up our custom bibs 🙂
It was an absolutely gorgeous morning, blue sky and sunny, though chilly in the high 30’s. Temps would be in the low 40’s by time we’d finish. We snapped a few pre-race pics while hopping around trying to stay warm.
We chatted briefly about our pacing plans, and casually agreed to hang around the 10 min/mile pacers, knowing good and well we were capable of running faster if we wanted. Or vice versa. We shoved our Gu and Sport Beans into our pockets (junk in the trunk!), Dad turned on his Pandora, and before we knew it, we were off!
From what I can remember, the course was slightly different than a couple years ago. We started our run heading north around the harbor but quickly turned south onto Lakeshore Drive less than a mile in. I took a quick vid!
After Lakeshore, we looped back north at the edge of the Lincoln Park Zoo around mile 3. This took us back around Diversey Harbor and then up to Belmont Harbor by mile 6. There was quite a bit of bobbing and weaving due to some mud puddles leftover from the previous days of rain. But overall the course was on paved road, which was nice on the legs. Dad and I felt good to start. Breathing was controlled, legs felt loose. No issues early on! We cozied up to the 9:55 min/mi pacers and stayed put, checking in with each other regularly.
Somewhere around the halfway point, we were definitely starting to feel the burn. My right hip and leg were tight and Dad’s kneecaps were on fire (“Ignite my kneecaps!”). We would frequently pull ahead of the pacers, but each time we’d walk through a water station for a quick break, they’d pass us again. This back and forth kept happening for most of the second half, which didn’t bother me too much, knowing that we still had it in us to pull ahead when we were ready.
Every race, miles 10-13 are the longest and most painful. Both mentally and physically. This race was no different. During these miles I still had hip tightness that I was trying to ignore. Dad was feeling his sleep deprivation. And it felt like we would never turn back towards that darn finish line. Maybe we should’ve prepared a little better? Nahh. We ran by a couple hospitals towards the end and wondered if they had an express lane for runners. And when an ambulance flew down Lakeshore, we’d tried to flag it over to pick us up 😉 At least we kept each other entertained with our ‘Poor Me’ attitudes.
I texted Ricky around mile 10 letting him know where we were. And around mile 12.5, we saw them heading towards the finish area. Mom and Ricky were walking, and Emery was cozied up in the stroller, pushed lovingly by his uncle.
I decided to record a follow-up video at the tail end of our adventure.
As you can see, not feeling so hot. But determined to finish strong. Ps,, a PW = personal worst. For some reason, our 9:55 pacer went flying past us during the final stretch, to which I said to Dad, “I’m sure as heck not sprinting this one in.” His response: “This IS sprinting!”
Per usual, we grabbed each other’s hands and crossed that finish line together with them held high in the sky. Our final time was 2:07:53,, not our best yet definitely not our worst. And in all honestly, I am extremely proud of how we did. Sure we struggled at times. Things didn’t always feel great. But we kept moving, even finishing ahead of our projected pace time (average 9:45 min/mi). The race itself was also very well run, with well-organized water/ gatorade stops and lots of volunteers pushing us runners along. And the hoodie is awesome too!
Though our 7 P’s weren’t in order for this race, thankfully we have another attempt at the Bayshore Half in about 6 weeks. And we’ve already determined that that race will be our best. Daddy got his sub-2 hour finish in this race 2 years ago. Now it’s time for us to get one together!
Oh,, we had a great rest of the weekend too 🙂
Til next time, Chi!
Next stop:: FLORIDA!!!! 😎