|Our hotel with free parking and ample potties lol|
The weather was absolutely perfect - mid 50s and full sun! It was slightly warm in the sun, and a little cold in the shade and early on I saw the best sign - "After 500+ training miles, this is your victory lap" I kept that in mind for the entire race.
After an hour or so, however, I needed a bathroom break!!! I'm not one to "go" while I go, but the bathroom lines were really long. At mile 12, there were a bank of potties with very few people waiting, so that had to become my stop which added 3-4 minutes to my time. I picked up the pace a little to compensate for that, and at the half, I was within 2 minutes of the time on my arm. Unfortunately I was also already 0.25 miles over the official distance.
|Finish chute - I took NO photos during the race -|
I had a PR to run!!!
I was still a few minutes over pace, then we hit Michigan Avenue, where I fell apart in 2013. Last year I gave in to the cramping and the exhaustion and did more walking than I should have. This year, however, I ran the entire stretch of Michigan Ave. with a huge smile on my face. It probably looked like an agonizing grimace, but I was smiling, knowing a PR was within reach and I was so close to the finish!
At mile 26, we turned right and went up "Mount Chicago," the ONLY uphill on the entire course. In 2013 it destroyed me and I kept breaking down into walks, but I had deliberately raised the incline at the end of every treadmill run as preparation, and this year, with Eminem's "Lose Yourself" blasting on repeat, I ran past people and crossed the finish line with a huge smile on my face. My last full mile was a 10:57 and the last 0.5 was a 9:36 :D
|#18 - not my best post-race photo :P|
My final time was 4:54:12, which wasn't the time I wanted, but still a PR of 3:57. Bill pointed out that in order to PR, I had to get back to the best race of my life then improve on that! Looking at it that way, I improved 17 minutes over my 2013 time on the same course, which also reflected a 17+ minute improvement over my spring time. I love you Chicago marathon :)
|A little food, a little water and I felt better|
|Still a plain ribbon, but the medal is better than last year|
|Pic Bill got of finishers in my approximate time. He missed me though :(|