But I ended up with about an hour to kill since my corrals didn't even close til 7:15 and since I was in K (I totally qualified for an earlier wave but was lazy about submitting race results to actually get in...yeah, note to self if I ever do this again) I knew I probably wouldn't be running til at least 7:30. I took some pictures, hydrated as much as possible, and talked to a nuun rep. Can you tell what an exciting morning it was? It was already over 70 and humid; I just could not get myself excited.
Harder than it looked to get the sign into the pic, hence the funny expression. All enthusiasm pictured is fake.
The first five miles are on the street and were pretty much uneventful and boring other than a high school band around mile 2. The only thing worth noting is that I had never had nuun before and it has a weird almost carbonated bite to it, and the race never thinned out - the first five miles were full of dodging and weaving. The turn around point had us cross grass to get on the lakefront trail, and I got to see a dog retrieving a ball from the water. I decided that was more noteworthy than anything else I was doing so I took a picture.
Swimming retriever. I bet he was cooler than me.
In the second half of the race we were heading back towards Soldier Field on the Lakefront path now. The weather status was raised to red and we were told to stay hydrated and smart. I took a quick portopotty break at the next aid station and watched someone taken away on a stretcher. Each med tent I passed was full of bad news, racers dropping out or being told they had to. The sun was coming out intermittantly in the second half and it sucked, but the wind was a fairly constant companion at least.
All hands, red alert!
It stayed crowded and there was lots of dodging and weaving; a lot of people were walk/running at this point. I drank a cup of water and a cup of nuun at each aid station and dumped a cup of water on my head, but by mile 8 I was still not doing great staying cool enough so I walked .05 at mile 8, 8.5, 9, and 9.5. It helped a little but honestly I don't know how much, just that I didn't want to not finish so close to the end.
Crowded race. I think I prefer smaller ones.
The tail end of mile 9 brought us into the stadium; we ran through the corridors of the stadium for a while. When we finally escaped the indoor part of the run, it spit us out onto the field - which we ran on for about 20 seconds before crossing the finish line. I didn't even see the jumbo tron until I was heading towards the soldiers to get medalled. (Very nice to see all the soldiers and get to thank them for their service, but felt a little weird to. They had them handing out medals and stationed at exits...didn't feel like the nicest way to thank our troops.)
All in all...part of me feels like I should have stayed home. The medal and shirt are okay and seeing the ladies from MRTT was nice, but the weather sucked, the course was meh at best (I think I am spoiled by too many pretty travel races lately) and I want to be mad my performance was so poor. In the end I can't because between two marathons this month that I am still recovering from and the awful weather, it was what it was, but eh. Probably will not repeat this race again. I knew I wasn't going to hit my time goal with the way my training season went anyway and I added a lot to that with the marathons, but the weather killed any chance of a decent performance. Oh well. Bad races happen. The only saving grace was despite fearing the worst, I tried anyway and didn't talk myself into a bad race - I am very confident that attitude had nothing to do with how hard today was. So - on to the next adventure.