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Chicago Marathon. #momrunner #finish2018withabang

It's been a while since I updated my blog so I decided to make a brand new one and start with a bang! I finally have some time to focus on this while my goal here is to write to inspire and help others. I will start with my 2018 Chicago Marathon experience.

I did the Chicago marathon 12 days ago. You may have came across my social media posts leading up to the run and post run. I had a big goal. I wanted to run a 3:05. I felt ready, I had a really good training segment (thanks to my running coach, Josh Moen) and I was feeling good about it. Marathon morning was pretty low key. I woke up at 4:45am, grabbed coffee and tried to eat some oatmeal and a banana before a 7:30am start. I'm never a good eater the day of a long run and a race. I got dressed for the race and headed to the start line at 6:50am. Thankfully my hotel was right across the street! We made it to the start line in Corral A with a few minutes to spare. Corral A in wave 1 was amazing! We had a ton of room to move around, do some drills and enjoy the moment. The race started and was so much fun. My watch GPS was not really working with the tall buildings - I knew this would happen so I just lapped my watch at the first few miles. I was trying to get in a good rhythm around the 7minute pace. It felt ok, but it was 92% humid and my body felt it by mile 3. I was drenched and ditched my tank top. Steve was at mile 3 so I handed off my tank (he had a plan to be on my left side, so I knew where to look for him).

*Mile 3-10 I felt decent until mile 10 when my body was not cooperating.

*Mile 10-13 were tough and I knew it would not be my day. I just felt sick and off my running game. I was so dissapointed but I knew I had to finish what I started so I dug deep and just ran. No watch checking after mile 13.

*Mile 13-21 At mile 15 my right quad cramped up and caused a ton of knee pain near my LCL on my right knee. I had to stop and stretch. This just made my race even worse. I had to find a medical tent and thankfully they had bio-freeze. I threw some bio freeze on my quad and knee and hobbled on. I think I was running 7:45-8:00 minute pace. Maybe even 8:30 towards the end. I tried my hardest to stay positive and enjoy the moment. So much of marathons is a mental battle. There is no room for negative thoughts, but my gosh it's hard to stay positive when you're struggling so much after a solid 5 months of dedicated training. I was also FREEZING. It poured rain about 5 times and the temps were dropping; I think the humidity was dropping which did me no good as I was already done. If I had still been running on pace, these temps would be great! I was nervous at how cold I was getting. My hands were numb. This took away from the other pain factors.

*Mile 21-23 I saw Steve again at mile 21 and thank goodness because I was freezing! With the slowing of my pace, the pouring rain and a cooler breeze, I was shivering. Steve gave me my tank. My tank helped me get warm and finish the last 5 miles.

*Mile 23-26.2 I thought a lot about my girls XC team that I coach. I'm constantly telling them it's just a 5k. You're only racing for 20-25 minutes. You can do it! This mantra ran through my head the entire way and helped me get to that finish line. My girls are very inspiring, I truly am blessed to coach cross country - they are an amazing group of girls.

*Mile 26.2 I crossed the finish line - (I didn't even look at my time and I still haven't), got my medal and walked to find my bag of clothes. I was so sad. When I found Kelli and Steve I literally sobbed for 10 minutes. When you're exhausted and mad, you sob. It's an emotional rollercoaster. I finished in around 3:36 - 30 minutes off my goal. 12 days later, I'm over it, but searching for answers as to what's next? I'll keep you posted.

Thes pictures sum up the marathon. Expo, pre-marathon morning, in the corral, post finish line walk, pic with Kelli (thank goodness for my hat and clothes in my drop bag), ran into Galen Rupp and Alexi Pappas in the hotel and the Chicago, New York and Berlin marathon directors at the bar the night of the marathon! Fun was definitely had.


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