Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Inaugural Chicago Women's Half Marathon & 5K recap

Well, I finished. I completed the inaugural Chicago Women’s Half Marathon.

This was a fun race to be a part of. I think all the participants were excited because it was the first, and it’s an all women’s race. A ton of ladies from my Black Girls RUN! Chicago group participated. This was for many their first 5K or half marathon. Fleet Feet Sports Chicago provided our group with our own tent to congregate and encourage each other before and after the race, which was very nice! Their team has been super supportive of our movement. The course was out and back on the path along Lake Michigan. The volunteers were awesome. Some of the male volunteers were calling us beautiful (yeah right)! I was glad I got there early to listen to the very cool female DJ spin some tunes during the warm-up, chit-chat and take pics because by the time I got to the finish line, most runners had finished and gone home and they were starting to tear down the race site.

My time was sub 3:33. Not great, but I didn’t have time goal. I just wanted to finish before the course closed, and I cut it pretty damn close. It took me over half an hour longer than my first half marathon in 2010. A bunch of ladies from the run group stayed until the very end cheering on finishers. This was very sweet, because I was out there a LONG time.

It was very hot Sunday. Clouds rolled in a couple of times during the race, but it did not rain like I hoped. I felt o.k. up until about mile 6. My pace was about a minute faster than it had been during in my training runs. At mile 7 my friend and co-worker April showed up on the course to cheer me on with baby in tow!

Between there and mile 8, I pretty much wanted to quit. Things really started to move in slow motion after mile 9. And at mile 10 I think the mental block kicked in because my pace went to hell. I was walking a lot and my foot was pretty sore. At mile 12 my co-ambassador for the run group joined me on the course to finish the race.

The day after the race I had normal soreness. I iced my foot before leaving the race, and took and ice bath when I got home. I continued to ice it off and on the rest of the day Sunday.

Monday I attended swim class. It felt great being semi-weightless in the pool for an hour. I was able to stretch out my muscles really well after swimming too. Swimming is the best recovery workout! I feel pretty good today. I feel such a sense of relief having finished the race (new) injury free! I’m extremely happy I didn’t have a major tendinitis flare up either. I think focusing on staying slow and walking when I needed really helped to keep me from over doing it. Next is focusing on improving my swimming skills and strength building for the Chicago Supersprint Triathlon in August. I’m planning on tackling some open water swim practice at the lake this weekend. I’ve been learning a lot during swim lessons these past few weeks, and I can’t wait to share in an upcoming post!


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