My alarm went off at the ungodly hour of 4am, after a sleepless night.
We rode the L down to the shuttles, and then took shuttles to the race start. We arrived at the start around 6:00am, with plenty of time to check gear, get stretched out by a PT and use the porties.
Katie and I eagerly followed the 2 hour pacers to our corral, and waited for the gun. I felt like s fish out of water. I have ran my fair share of races, but never anything this large and this thick.
I expected the first few miles to be thick with people, but eventually would thin out like all other races. In retrospect, I think the sheer volume of entrants gave me anxiety. There were people literally everywhere.
Around mile 4, I got really nauseated and goose bumpy. I urged Katie to enjoy her first half, while I fought stomach issues. I got my stuff together, and tried to make up for time lost. Katie and I were clocking 8:40s and 9s, and I was hoping to finish in under 2 hours.
The next few miles are kinda blurry. It is a VERY fast course. I will take this time to mention that I have secretly been ignoring some pain in my ACL. Spare my the lecture, I know.
It was around mile 8, where the pain in my right knee became nearly unbearable. It'd amazing what you can push through, because I hadn't really noticed that I wasnt really weight bearing and relying on my left leg. My hip flexors started barking in my left leg from the added weight.
At mile 8, is also where I realized that if I was struggling this much in a half that a full in a month is probably not the best idea ever. So my eyes swelled with tears, as I tossed back shot block after shot block trying to get enough energy to finish.
The volunteers, aid stations, spectators and organization were all absolutely amazing. It was a glorious race course along the lake coast, a beautiful day and just awesome. It just wasn't my day.
At the end of the day, I finished the Chicago Half Marathon but I can't help but be disappointed. How often do I get opportunities like that? Like never, and I was underperformed. I feel like I choked, or my body let me down. Then I was like hum WAIT...YOU FINISHED THE CHICAGO HALF MARATHON!!
Sooo yeah it might not be the best ides to:
1. Run a half marathon while still on antibiotics
2. Ignore ACL pain
3. Mentally defeat yourself
But running is a learning experience, and I had an amazing trip and spent good times with amazing people who I love, so how can I be sad about that?