Sunday, January 21, 2018

My last race at this age -- F^3 Lake Half Marathon 2018

Hiiiiiiii!  How are you doing today?

Newsflash:  It's my birthday.  My wish is for you to have an absolutely wonderful day!

Yesterday, Harry and I got out to the F^3 Half Marathon for a couple of hours of *running-along-the-Lakefront-in-what-is-most-likely-F'ING-FREEZING-FROZEN* funsies.  That last part (the F^3 part) wasn't the case this year; however, you're more than welcome to read my recap from the first time I ran this race in 2014, where the polar vortex moved in as we were running it!

With a 10:00am start, I could hang out most of the morning and watch some quality Netflix -- sometimes I get the hankerin' to binge a particular show.  It varies between "Friends", "30 Rock", and "Scrubs".<3  ANYWAY, I got caffeinated, hydrated, and started getting ready to take off.  I checked the weather and was slightly pleased to see that the temps weren't in the range of "Freeze your face off".

I took Windy for a nice, long walk before we left.  She loves to get all of the smells of our neighborhood.

While I was out walking the pup, Harry was getting ready to run -- all Chicago'd out.  This kid is proud of his city, and loves the design of the flag.  Maybe a little too much?  Nah.

Not seen -- a wristband of the flag.

I opted for nostalgia for my apparel.

Right off the bat, here are a few things that I noticed, comparing this year's event to that of 2014:

  • There were pace groups (which I don't typically take advantage of, but it's nice to know that they're there)
  • There was a list of mile-marked aid stations (there was much more support now, too!)
  • OBVIOUSLY, a pretty major course change from Montrose Harbor to further south down the Lakefront Trail, starting at Soldier Field
  • A nice, cozy place to warm up before and after the race and gear check, in the United Club of Soldier Field
  • A nice bonus:  Some nifty discounts were made available for other local races and wellness venues as part of the swag.
  • Post-race party at a local spot, Kroll's
  • Post-race activities and perks in the United Club -- i.e. vendors and massages
  • The race directors and staff were VERY, VERY supportive in helping everyone navigate around The Women's March.  This event was ENORMOUS last year, and F^3 wanted every racer to feel comfy with regular updates.
Now, my mindset going into this race wasn't that of a race mindset at all.  Much like the St. Jude Half Marathon we did last month, I was treating this like a glorified long run.  I had been sick nearly every weekend leading up to this event, and thusly haven't properly trained for it.  I did a 10-miler last weekend to see if I could hit up this race at all, and felt relatively *okay* after it.  I did get a weird pain in my hip, which I foam rolled to death; it still worried me for most of the week.  Friday, I made the decision to go forward with the 13.1.  The hip felt fine, the foot (post-injury) felt fine.  

Getting from the north parking lot to the start line was a cinch.  Harry and I are the worst at getting to races early (we have been the last two across the start line at two different race events), so we didn't get to enjoy all of the pre-race fun.  

The race started on time (YAY!) and in waves, which is always a nice thing.  Everyone heading out onto the course at one time is often nerve-racking and overcrowded.

I took in the gorgeous scenery over the first few miles.  Though it had warmed up just a tiny bit, there were huge ice blocks on the lake.

Around mile four, I spotted something strange...hilarious...brave...and I decided to pass it...

MY FAVORITE THING TO HAPPEN in any race where Harry and I are both running, and has an out-and-back course, is getting a high-five from Harry.  I knew I couldn't miss him, wearing all that awesomeness.:)


The aid stations had Krā available in small cups, and water in paper cups the size you usually find at most races.  The first time I took the Krā, I found that it was VERY salty and concentrated.  After that, I *Irish car bomb'd* it with the cup of water.  I had completely forgotten to bring any Gu with me out onto the course.  This water + Krā strategy got me through the 13.1 just fine.

There were a couple of moments where the course had to go off-road for a moment; but other than that, it felt very supported.  There were so many volunteers out on the course, and so many people out there cheering for runners and walkers.  It was a pretty great race day!

13.1 in 2:07:22.  A lovely long run.:)

Finish line nutrition was right on!  I *needed* that banana, and I sipped on the huge bottles of Krā and water they provided.

Harry and I found fellow /R/iver /R/unners, James and Jeff, whom had also rocked out their races, and we head over to Kroll's for some post-race food and beer.  Michael, who had volunteered at this race, joined us shortly after we were seated.

I got the Chicago burger, which was fine.

Honestly, it has nothing to do with the race event itself, but this spot didn't seem prepared for the mass of hungry and thirsty runners.  We had what seemed to have been two different servers, both seemed to be confused about their role for our table, and we ended up spending more time there than we had wanted.  Don't get me wrong:  We understood that people were probably overworked.  Knowing that this was the post-race spot endorsed by F^3, we figured things would've been more organized.  *le shrug*  We got our beer, we got our decent food. 

We all took off, and heading home, I figured a nap was in order.  I took an awesomely warm shower, and Harry and I hung out with Windy for the rest of the day.

As for today?!   I'm going for a run with Windy, relaxing a bit, enjoying everyone's smiles, and being taken out for my birthday dinner by Harry.

Also?  I'll leave this here.:)

What's your favorite TV show to binge-watch?

Do you wear fun things in which to race?  Tutus?  Outfits?  Themed?

I'm one year older:  Give me life advice.  Anything will do.


  1. hahaha, I was wondering what those F's stood for!! I'm glad it wasn't frozen this year! :]

    Also, happy happy birthday! I hope it's an awesome one--yay for relaxations and delicious food later! <3

    I don't have that much wisdom to impart, but learning to roll with the punches (I'm super type A in that I love having a plan/making lists for everything) was something that has definitely been helping me out throughout life!

    1. THANK YOU!

      I'm with you on the *type A*, and that is definitely a great life lesson to bestow! <3

  2. I saw the T-Rex but I don't know how I missed Mr Chicago Pride! I did notice a lot of other runners with Chicago flag gear though.

    One of these times we will meet!

    1. WE MUST, MAGGIE. I've had enough of us missing each other!

  3. Congrats on another great half! The weather couldn't have been better, really, considering what it's been like around here. Sounds like fun and I'm glad you had a great time. Happy Birthday!

  4. Happy birthday! Life advice? Smile more - it tends to either confuse people or make them smile too. ��

    Sounds like you had a great time! I don't think I've ever run past a T-Rex before. Lol

    1. Thank you! "Smile more" was one of my new years resolutions a few years ago. That's the best advice anyone could give!:)

  5. Happy Birthday!! And I love the T-Rex video lol. Looks like you had a fun run!

    Unrelated, but has Harry checked out With his love of Chicago gear, it might be something he would like!

    Fav shows - Too many to name, but Buffy tops the list! Criminal Minds, Black Sails and Agents of Shield all are on there too, with a bunch of others lol.

    1. Thank you so much!

      That unrelated tidbit just made my husband go over the edge! Lol Thanks for the link!



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