13.1-11 (the big race)

Well, only one week after the big event that I’m finally sitting down to write about it.  I don’t really know what to say about it, except that it was pretty brutal.  There were a lot of unanticipated variables, and I can only learn from this first one.

The amazing thing though…  I did it!  I finished that facker, and it only took me…
2011 Chicago Half Marathon results
    Yes, friends, an amazing 12:36 pace my first race out of the gate!  I’m a little shame-faced about this.  I was a damn hot mess, and am so, so thankful to have run this one with Michaela, the most loving and supportive of friends.There were several teachable elements (ie challenges to be learned from) in the race:
    1. The way I run is not the same as an organized race: I run on trails, in the woods; I typically run alone; I run silently with a mantra in my mind, attempting to be as present in the moment as possible.  Basically the exact opposite of an urban half.
    2. Maintaining one’s customary diet and habits are essential to a successful and comfortable run: I hardily violated this principle by gorging/stress eating on the drive down to Chicago and the day before the race;  by running only once the week before; by drinking Gatorade during the race, by not doing what I normally do.  I was physically and emotionally compromised on race day, with a litany of negative and stressed thoughts running through my brain (completely understandable, I think, for my first half).  I was nervous and unprepared.  I reacted negatively to the Gatorade (my body doesn’t respond well to dyes in foods/bevs), I neglected the nuts and berries I usually eat to fuel myself during the race.  Additionally, the race spanned several miles of Lake Shore Drive, where there is very little shade, and the day was somewhat warm.
    3. After years of practice, I’m still a terrible Debbie Downer when it comes to pushing my limits: As I mentioned, I am so thankful that it was Mic I ran with, because with anyone else I would have been so embarrassed by the stream of disempowering thoughts I emitted the entire 13.1 miles.  This is a good indication of the mind chatter to work on.  Funny though, because I don’t do this on normal runs.

    So, again, all good stuff to know going forward.  I am thinking of doing one other race before winter rolls around, just to keep myself moving.  I notice a considerable difference in my overall mood and demeanor when I’m running regularly versus when I’m not, I feel so much better when I’m active several days a week.


    2011 Chicago Half Marathon Course Map


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