May 20, 2014

Training Tuesday: Race Recap--Chicagoland Half Marathon

Half marathon #8 is on the books!  Now for my 6 word race recap:

Sunshine and running buddies, beautiful race.
And now for the real recap.  While I was hesitant to commit to a half three weeks before a triathlon after how under tri-trained I ended up last year after doing same thing, I am so happy I did!  My running buddies Christy, Donna, and I decided to run the Chicagoland Half Marathon together.  While the three of us ran together all last summer for marathon training and all winter too, Christy and I had only raced together once--during the Chicago Marathon--and Donna had never run a race with us.  We were pumped to finally race all together!  The race prep started Saturday night.  I live just 10 minutes from the start line for this race, so I invited Christy over for a pasta/running movie pre-race sleepover to save her from making the drive on race morning.  We watched Spirit of the Marathon II (awesome) and Hood to Coast (also awesome).  The perfect pre-race ritual!
Sunday morning we met up with Donna at the race site, and it wasn't long before we were off and running!  Thank goodness too--it was chilly out!!  I was super thankful I'd grabbed an old long sleeve race shirt for a throwaway.  The three of us decided to run 3/1 intervals, to have fun, and take it easy.  The race was in a big local forest preserve, and it was just gorgeous between the shining sun, the green grass, and trees that are finally full of leaves after a brutal winter.  After setting my PR at the Chi Town Half, I was more than happy to take it easy during this race!  Not worrying about pace at all, the three of us chatted up a storm for about 11 miles nonstop.  
Towards the end, I was struck by a crazy feeling--this race felt easy.  I have never felt that way about the half marathon distance before, but there I was in the last two miles chatting, dancing, and encouraging my running buddies.  I was even getting antsy to run faster!  I had this surreal experience during those last few miles, thinking about how just a few years ago this distance had seemed impossible, then just super super challenging...and here I was, just having FUN!  Wow.  

Christy fell back a little at the end, but Donna and I crossed the finish holding hands, then cheered for Christy as she finished minutes later.  Afterwards, other than being ridiculously tired, I felt...awesome.  A little sore, but nothing like I have after half marathons in the past!  I couldn't stop thinking about how much fun we had.
Donna and I, just across the finish line!  Right ahead of us in blue is a runner we met at the very start of the race.  She asked us what pace we were running, and we encouraged her to tag along with out little group.  She had hopes of a new PR, and after finishing, she thanked us for helping her not only reach it but crush her old PR!   
And in that very thought lies the reason I run:  I run to break down barriers, to make things that once seemed impossible not just possible but everyday experiences.  I run to make new friends, cherish old friends, celebrate beautiful spring days, and dance across finish lines.  Some days I run to push myself to the breaking point...and other days I run to celebrate the runner I have become.

Did you race this weekend?
Tell me why you run!


  1. I run because it feels so free, and because running encourages me to treat my body kindly and to be in tune with what it needs and what I need. And I run because you inspire me to!

    How can you afford to do all these races? I wish I could do more. I did 6km in the ravine by my house (the only place I run) the other day, and it was glorious.

    One day, if we're ever in the same city at the same time, I'd love to go running with you.

  2. I run because I thrive on goals and love having races to hold me accountable!!!


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