Friday, October 19, 2007

Jodie's CHI Summary

My Chicago Marathon…I've wanted to run this race for 5 years. In my mind I think of the Chicago Marathon as a premiere event when it comes to running. The morning got off to a smooth start, warm but all was going well. The drive down turned out to be a good choice, bathroom stops were addressed, found it easy to park, etc. As we walked to the starting area it didn't seem too crowded. I thought Marine Corps was much, much worse. We headed to the starting line and our group split up. Bill & Mike headed further back into the pack while Kristin and I slipped in as close to the preferred start group as we could. (Thanks for the tip Melissa) It was only minutes after Jodee Mesinna finished the National Anthem, the gun went off and we were crossing the starting line. Here we go! I had Kristin at my side and all was well. We were like freed criminals, covering the first few miles at an average of 7 ½ minute miles. Oops, way too fast. It was a beautiful morning, the shade of the buildings and the light breeze off the lake kept my mind off the potential for the day to turn hot & muggy. I felt great. The miles seemed to be clicking away as I enjoyed the lively crowd. The various things going on with the spectators was amusing…I even got to high five Elvis. I think running by the Sears Tower just before mile 13 was the best part. The spectators were going nuts and I was stunned by the energy. I hit mile 13, saw Steph & Melissa cheering from the sea of people on the sidewalk. That got me pumped all over again. I covered the first 13.1 miles in 2 hours! Could this be a PR Marathon???? That was answered just a few miles later with a big "NO"! Around mile 18 I became anxious about my ability to finish this one. When did it get so hot? Why is this suddenly so hard? Why did I leave Kristin? I thought of conversations with Judd regarding the 2nd ½ of a marathon. "There is still a lot of race left". That 2nd ½ can really make or break you. This one came close. I felt confused, didn't know if I was hot or cold, my shoes seemed more like wooden blocks and I had to focus hard to keep my body moving forward in a productive fashion. The noise and actions of the crowd was now very irritating and made me feel dizzy and delirious. I was walking all the water stops, taking in one Gatorade & two cups water per stop. These breaks gave me a goal to get through the next stretch. I later felt bad about the amount of liquid I was sucking down. It turns out not all runners had the luxury of hydrating on the course as the supply was low. Sorry!!! Fellow runners were dropping out due to cramps, puking and or passing out more than I've ever seen in any event. That mentally sent me into a panic. Are my symptoms bad enough to get me to that point before I finish? My suffering seemed to peek and valley as I trotted closer to the finish. The last 3 miles took forever. What was that I heard? Something about the race being over but everyone was still running & cheering. I thought I was not thinking straight. I don't remember what mile I was but I was almost done and the course was being filed down to a single file line. A man was shouting that the race was over and to walk to the finish. No way!?!?! I continued to run to the finish line as all seemed to still be on the up & up. I crossed the finish line and had to do everything I could to keep it together. It was so hot and the pack of exhausted runners was sucking up all my oxygen. I wandered out of the finish area and crashed in the shade under a row of trees. I did it! This was the hardest run I've ever done. The finish was odd and disappointing due to the impact of the race closure. It's hard to be happy with finishing when you know so many others were pulled from the course. It's been a week and three days; I have not run since. I don't know if I'm protesting or still in shock. The rut is scheduled to end first thing in the morning. Thanks & congratulations to Mike, Bill & Kristin. It was an ugly one and we all earned our medals. A special thanks to Steph & Melissa for taking such good care of us. Look out Disney…here we come!

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