I had butterflies all week before the race. I didn't think I was stressed about it... but I guess that I was subconsciously aware of the pain from my 2012 marathon. I had forgotten about it at the time I signed up.
So, I'll start with the expo. We got there Friday night at 6:40 pm. It was the perfect time!! A lot of people were heading out, so it wasn't too busy. Well, I guess you could say it wasn't busy:
|Chicago Marathon Expo.|
|Loot from the Expo.|
On Saturday we did some touristy things. I just wanted to walk a bit to get the legs warmed up. We went to Nike Town where I bought two more Chicago Marathon shirts (those Nike people are pretty smart, making us spend more money), and went to the Bean. It was a beautiful day!
|Bean at Millennium Park.|
|Outside of the entry gates.|
|Race Start. Can you even see the start line??|
The race start was so exciting. I didn't have in my headphones. I really wanted to take it all in. We went through a tunnel and people were screaming with excitement. I saw one guy peeing in the tunnel and that made me mad. For one, I'm not able to do that (and I really had to go), and secondly, gross! My GPS was off, so I really had no clue about my pace. I knew I was going slow. I wanted to pick up the pace a bit, but it was so hard to pass people (esp. those running with friends), but then I thought that maybe this slower pace would help in the end (nope).
I found Josh around mile two and gave him a kiss and my long sleeve shirt.
|There I am!|
I was having so much fun after that. We headed up towards Lincoln Park and I was feeling really strong. I was kind of amazed. I kept thinking to myself, that I would feel like this for the entire race (nope). Not really much else to say before I hit the wall, just that I was passing people right and left and that was kind of annoying, but I was really enjoying myself. I put in my headphones somewhere around the Lincoln Park area. I was in the zone.
We hit the half marathon mark in downtown Chicago. Then we headed out west towards the West Side and I was walking through every water break and running everything else. Then I thought to myself, maybe this is what I'll do until the finish. It was working for me.
Then mile 19 came and I hit the wall. I tried to run as much as I could, but I was so darn tired. My legs didn't want to move!! Then I would walk, and walking hurt more than running (if you can imagine that)!!! I was in a bad, bad place, but I was there with several other people. I saw many other people fighting their own demons. I kept thinking, we're all in this together!!!
I was in so much pain. I really wanted to sit, but that just wasn't an option. I kept moving and did a lot of walking, but I think I ran more. At least I was still passing people. I knew at that point I wasn't going to have a PR and I was a little pissed about that. Why did I train for this marathon and not even get a PR? Why did I do better two years ago when I had an injury?? What should I have done differently? This is what went through my mind those last 6 miles. We made the last turn back to downtown and I took out my headphones because I really needed to hear the spectators to get me to the finish. I heard lots of encouraging words, and I just wanted to cry. What's the point of doing a marathon when it's just shitty?? You hear about people dying at marathons (two were taken to the hospital yesterday. One is in critical condition.). Is it really worth it? I think my mind is still in a bad, bad place. As I lay here with ice on my legs...
I *finally* got to the finish line and I didn't want to stop running because I knew walking would be much much worse. One guy even commented, "she doesn't want to stop!". Truth is, I wanted to cry and get the hell out of there. They have everything so spread out so the finish line doesn't get congested (which is smart), so I ran up to the people giving away the medals and accepted my medal, almost in tears. But looking at this picture, I looked so happy!! Hello, you just finished a marathon. What an amazing accomplishment!!