It was a pretty fair day for a half marathon, especially for the middle of summer.
It's a step-back week, and it just-so happened to be the ZOOMA Chicago race weekend! This has been my very first ambassadorship for a race, and I have absolutely enjoyed every moment. I have met some really amazing ladies who run like the wind, and was given the opportunity to try out products I wouldn't have tested on my own.
Onto the race:
Harry was sweet enough to accompany me this morning. This meant leaving the house at 5:30am, which he isn't the biggest fan of. He promptly hopped into the passenger seat, leaned the seat back, and shut his eyes until we got downtown. Bless his heart.:) He was running this morning, as well, and with us starting at 7:00am, I didn't blame him for wanting a few more minutes of shut-eye.
I went into the 13.1 with the mentality of it being a *quick* long run, and had goal marathon pace (~9:09) in mind. I knew that it would be along the Lakefront Trail, and that it would be (for what it could be) partially closed. Sophs, Harry and I putting out those signs last Friday was supposed to help with deterring people from meandering onto the trail during the race, and I like to think that we were successful for the most part.
This race was pretty well organized. It wasn't a huge turnout, but that's okay. I found Anne, another ambassador, and we buddied up before the race started. I said my goodbyes and got my RACE-OS (race besos) from Harry and took off.
One thing that Anne and I noticed was the HUGE LINE to the port-a-potties...all ~TEN of them. *le sigh* This is a women's race. WE NEED MORE POTTIES! Anne and I griped a little while waiting in line. She had a (goofy) theory that we could skip going to the bathroom and our bodies would just "re-absorb" the fluids while running. I reckon it doesn't work that way. I saw Harry starting his run, going down the trail in the opposite direction from the race start.
The National Anthem began playing, so I stood in line, hand over my heart, looking in the general direction of where I figured an American flag was located. I wondered how disrespectful it was to go relieve myself while it was playing, but it was my turn right in the middle of the song. I hopped out of there and Anne and I head over to the starting line just in the nick of time.
Anne was telling me her goal pace, and while I would've loved to run with her, she was aiming for a pace that was just a wee bit too quick for me today. We got to the start line and after weaving around several people, she took off. I turned on my iPod and just cruised.
Miles 1-3: Water at mile 1! I don't take water this early, since I didn't want to be a sloshy mess. People were still weaving and dodging around each other for a while, but the clumps were thinning out quickly. I spotted several aggravated cyclists. As a triathlete and cyclist, I can understand. On the other hand, it's a public path; we're all here, no matter what. I saw Anne around 2.8 and hollered at her, "SLOW DOWN!". :P
Miles 3-6: The turnaround was at 3.1 (hooray! I'm heading back!). I did start taking water around mile 4; it was maybe 65-68*F around this time, but I knew there was a ton of space on the trail without shade. I spotted Harry heading toward me on the other side around mile 5.7 and got a slap-five from him. That made my heart smile. We split from the 10K runners at mile 6, and at 6.2 I hit up the last water table for a while.
Miles 6-9.6: This would be an out-and-back, as well, which I kind of liked. The sun wasn't bothering me as much as it usually does; in other words, I wasn't overheating. My pace was still on cruise, but my leggies started to feel it a little bit around mile 8.5, where I finally got more refreshments from a water table. I told myself to hold it together until the next water table, where I could take a jogging break. Saw Anne again at mile 9, and was happy to see the turnaround at 9.6.
Miles 9.6-13.1: My tummy lurched around mile 10. "Uh oh..." I haven't had tummy issues out on the run in a long, long time. I knew one thing: I hadn't seen any bathrooms on this side of the out-and-back. Yikes. I saw the same water table from mile 8.5 (this was something else I didn't care for, lack of fluids) at mile 11, and made myself walk for one minute and enjoy some water and Cytosport. I started back up, and after a few minutes of running, felt my tummy go again. I had no earthly idea what to do, other than take it back down to a walk. "You have less than fifteen minutes left, Tiffany. Just finish it." After one more minute of walking, I got the courage to start back up again. I didn't have anymore tummy problems after that, and finished strong.
Officially, I finished in 2:00:02 (MY FIRST PALINDROME FINISH TIME!), leaving me with roughly a 9:09 pace. DING! The pace was comfy, though I did feel slightly taxed from some good speedwork and more cross-training this week. No matter. I made a goal, and I clobbered it.
I found Karen and Anne at the finish line and stopped to chat about the run. They kicked some major ass!
Harry's plan was to have coffee by this point, but that didn't happen. With all of the drama of Lollapalooza going on, and considering I was driving my standard transmission Jeep, I wanted to get outta there. I wished that we could've stayed, since it looks like everyone had such a splendid time! We stopped for some Starbucks near the house, and have just chilled out ever since.
One more photo from Harry:
He's kind of good at taking awesome pictures.