Lake Michigan at Sunrise

Lake Michigan at Sunrise

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Rock and Roll Chicago Half Marathon Recap!

I can finally stop saying I never did a race. I think this race sets the bar high (as it should with its cost!). Bottom line up front.

Pros: Course, music, pre and post race food and drink, organization, volunteers, course extras like cold sponges, and a lot of fun people!
This is not me
Cons: Only con of the race was the Humanity Vitality Cheer Squad screen at mile 10. When I crossed there, they weren't showing the messages yet which sucked. Thankfully I heard that they were working for +Maggie Wolff and Xaarlin at Pain is nothing and they got my messages! yay!

Lessons Learned: Double tape nipples. Put bib on shorts next time so I can shed my shirt. Don't eat so much random ish after the race, stomach still trying to digest it. Get my race fuel strategy on track, and don't sip gatorade too often, I started getting a drinking cramp.


Do it again? Yes, although heat was getting to me a bit.

Now to my journey!

Woke up at 3am, I was still full from eating so much pizza for dinner. I started with my coffee, but added some sugar and milk to try to top off my energy stores. I watched part of Equilibrium and talked to my friend in NY who hadn't gone to bed yet.

4am: More coffee, gotta make sure no junk is left in the trunk.

5am: Get moving out to the El.
My attempt at the foot selfie
Most of the people getting on the train were going to the race, which was pretty fun.

5:45am - Get to the race area. I knew the +Chicago Running Bloggers  meetup was starting, but I needed to use the facilities and get my bib and stuff on. Sad I missed meeting some people that comment on my blog for the first time (Running with the Sunrise and This Hobbit Runs).

6:10am: Get to my corral.
I recalled Annabelle @ Fluency's Folly's would be a pace leader for 1:45 time and would be at Corral 4. So I did what all good stalkers do and just went up and talked to her.


After a brief chat and no luck in finding Xaarlin or  Sarah who would be in that group, I went to my corral.



I lined up at the end of the corral with the intention of going with the 1:30 group. Social observation, I think I was the only guy there that was near 180lbs.

The first mile was a bit tight, people kept getting in front of me and I couldn't get my normal stride going without stepping on someone. I started losing the pace group until the path widened and I went way out to the side. My first 5k I was hitting sub 7s pretty easy. I passed the pace group (which I won't do next time), and went on my way.

I saw Erin @ Loop Looks around that point with a sign by the  route and got a cheerful wave!

I didn't know it was her until after I waved, and immediately waved again.

As mentioned in prior posts, I intended on going 5-7 miles then decide to go faster, slower, or maintain. Well, I was sipping on my handheld bottle a little too often and felt I was on the verge of a rough cramp, and was feeling a bit hot (and to be honest, my legs were Hanson Marathon tired), so I decided to just enjoy the rest of the run at an easier pace.  You'll see below where I made the decision, and had fun for the rest of the race. It was hard to accept people passing me that I had a good leg on, but in the end, I got the corral time I needed:

Slowing down let me get lots of high fives from bystanders and enjoy the views. The pace group caught up again, I hung with them a little bit, but checked my ego at the curb and just let them go on their way.

The music was cool on the run, although I caught a few of them chilling, um jam people!

Miles 7 to 9 the heat was getting to me a bit and I took a few more steps off. I was a tiny bit worried I would go too slow, but reminded myself I had a strong first half and just stay healthy. I saw a few people in corral 1 have to step off the race and recover on the sidewalk here.

Looping near Chinatown to go east was when the course got really fun. The drummers in Chinatown got some life back into me, and then we went through some people hosing us down and misters. The station with the ice cold sponges was a god send and I screamed out - SWEET ICEY NECTAR OF THE GODS!

The coolest part of the race was going through the tunnel about 2 miles away from the finish line. The inside was all cool flashing lights with DJs and high fives. I would do a half marathon in this, plus it was cooler. It reminded me of this:


 People started going hard here, but at this point I had no reason to other than saying I finished what, 30-60 seconds faster? As long as I was under 1:37, I was good.

Not so fun part of the race for me, I didn't apply my nipple tape good on my right side, and man did that chafe. I was holding down my shirt for half my run and would only take it off my chest for the photographers.

I jogged to the finish line, got my drink, medal, and cold wet towel, then went back to the finish line to try to see some bloggers finish. I capture Anabelle, Sarah, and Xaarlin, but then the medical tent told us to go way back so they have easier access. I went on my way and caught up to Annabelle again.

Annabelle

Guy in white blocked Xaarlin for most of the shots(See behind him)

Sara Crossing with a smile

Post race stuff: They had TONS of food and drinks, I couldn't handle it all (TWSS). I was a bit of a glutton and my stomach paid the price. I only found Annabelle and Maggie and we got these pics:





Good times!
Back to training!

56 comments:

  1. Glad you had a good first race!! It was good to see you again.

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  2. Thanks! Always fun running into you and potential WRCE members! I hope the bacon was good.

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  3. Great race! Haha I actually know the guy in the mohawk...

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  4. Sorry I missed you out there. My stomach has been unhappy since Friday night and I don't think its from running. The race didn't help the situation at all so I left shortly after finishing.

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  5. Awesome job! You totally rocked it! :)

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  6. Angeline ConollyJuly 21, 2013 at 8:56 PM

    Congrats! You're time is amazing. Glad you had fun.

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  7. This was your first race?! No way! Well, you obviously killed it, especially in million-degree heat. I would totally rather Rainbow Road than run any day.


    The very best part of the marathon I did last month was a lady spraying me with a hose. It was heavenly.

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  8. Really good writeup - speaking of nipples, I almost took my shirt off today in the heat, and then remembered the weird rectangles of tape I had over my nips. I thought people might not know why they are there and think it was something creepy, so opted to keep the shirt on. That liquid skin+tape on while its still a bit wet = tape is fused to my body FOREVER

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  9. I still can't believe that, with as much as you run, this was your first race! How did that happen?! Congrats on finally being an "official" half marathoner! And I'm glad you were all there representing WRCE while I was home avoiding summer running :)


    Looks like you ran a good, smart race! Nice overall pace, even if you did slow down a touch. Now that you've got a race under your belt, do you plan to do any more other than the Marathon?

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  10. Sounds like you really did have a great race. Congrats!
    It's too bad you didn't make it to the pre-race meet up.

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  11. Thanks! he was nice! didn't hesitate for the photo!

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  12. hope its just a bug! Glad you managed to finish and not in the first aid tent! Get better dude.

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  13. would you even say.. rock and rolled it?

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  14. Thanks! was very fun! A shade hot on the 2nd half, but glad i did what I did! You and Adam will be out there chasing me soon!

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  15. I'm not big on paying to do what I like! But it did let me go to some new parts of Chicago and meet some cool and fast people!
    Love that you know Mario Kart!

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  16. Talked to a lady post race whose friend's husband shed a shirt mid race and all his photos had him with his nipple tape on. Still better than having raw nipples.
    Glad you got the tape to stick! good trick for hairy guys!

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  17. Congrats on the Race!

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  18. haha I love to run, just not big into paying to do it that often. But it has led me to meet some cool people!


    After the marathon, I gotta see what life throws at me. I"ll keep up high mileage, but I want to learn how to swim better too. I have some dream goals for the next 4 years I need to work on.

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  19. thanks! THought I would get downtown quicker. blah!

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  20. Congrats on your first race!?! Really!?! I think you made a good call to enjoy the 2ns half and not over do it. The heat was pretty brutal that 2nd half. So nice to see you at the end and thanks for taking photos! Sara, Pete and I started in the back of corral 3- a little ahead of Annabel-so that's why we missed you. And I've learned this weekend that nipple chaffing is the real deal... L was howling in the shower post race. Must be painful... :)

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  21. A little bit of subtle hair trimming around the nip so no hair covers it while taping has done wonders for me as well.

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  22. Yeah I think its just a bug. My stomach is still a little uneasy today even, but I got down a bagel for breakfast. Starting to be able to stomach simple foods. I need to get my strength back up since I have another half on Saturday. Luckily this one will be indoors - and chilled to a nice 55 degrees.

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  23. Debbie @ healthy running momJuly 22, 2013 at 10:05 AM

    Sounds like you did great! Nice job! I love when you run a race & enjoy it the entire way through.
    I had no idea this was your 1st. YOu seem like a seasoned pro! Way to go! Enjoy the high :). Hope your tummy is ok.

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  24. Great race! I think you were smart to hang back and do enough to have a fun race and get into your desired corral (is that the B corral cut off time??).



    I need to do this race one day. Everyone always enjoys it but I'm usually training for something and don't want to pay up. Womp Womp.

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  25. Yes! no longer a race virgin. I'm enjoy just running more than paying to get my fix.
    Darn! I should have stalked ya'll better on my way to my start point!


    Glad I caught you for a moment there at the end! Thanks for commenting!

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  26. Thanks :)


    Haha I run and read a lot of running forums. I probably won't be out on a lot of races. We'll see how time goes. But I'll always be running!

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  27. Corral be was actually sub 1:38, but I kept it at 1:37 to be safe.

    Too bad the race isn't in a slightly cooler month! But all things considered, it was fun. I think registration for next year's race is up and relatively cheap (less than 70 i want to say?)



    thanks for stopping by and commenting!

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  28. Ah well congrats! I'm in corral b too but I'm guessing it's from my previous Chicago Marathon time so I had no idea what the cutoffs are!

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  29. Yay! First race! Do you feel like you want to do another one now? :) And great finish time!

    Interesting that you noted your weight compared to other people's. Do you think you are heavier for the paces you run? It's interesting to me that my PRs are similar to people who weigh 50 lbs less than me.

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  30. Hopefully I'll see you there!

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  31. Too be honest, it hasn't really changed my feelings. It was a fun experience and happy to meet people, but I don't see myself medal chasing or anything. I still enjoy my terms running more i think!


    I'm sure I'm heavier! at 6'3, ~180lbs, I'm a little bigger for my pace. I've tried dropping to 170lbs, but it didn't look that well with that frame. I'm happy at where I'm at!
    thanks for commenting!

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  32. This was your first race?! You are speedy. Hope you sign up for more. The McCormick tunnel was awesome...probably my favorite part of the race too. Hope to see you again soon. :)

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  33. Congrats on breaking your half cherry in style with an awesome time! Ever think about doing a 5k to get in the A Corral (sub-20) or do you like long-distance running more? And I had the same Mario Go-Kart thoughts in the McCormick tunnel. Continued success as you run!

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  34. You totally rocked it on Sunday! Sad I missed meeting, you, too, but there will be other races, right? I loved the tunnel, too--that was so cool! I think I could run an entire race like that. I think I could have kissed every one of those cold sponge people, but I was sweaty enough that they probably wouldn't have liked that very much. Glad you had a great race, and hopefully we'll see you at more of them. :)

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  35. justploddingalongJuly 23, 2013 at 5:39 AM

    Whoooeeee great race!!!! Sounds like you ran a smart race and did an amazing job! With all my halfs I have never done a Rock 'n Roll event. Sounds like they are a good time.

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  36. yup! I'm a runner, but rarely a racer. Thanks :) I think all those rave 5ks need to do it up like the tunnel!

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  37. I didn't see that the Chicago Marathon let you use a 5k time for corrals. With that, I really don't like 5k speed. I like the distance!


    Thanks for commenting!

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  38. There will be at least one more race! lol If not, someone will work out. Those sponges were GLORIOUS.
    Take care!

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  39. thanks! Glad my ego stayed in its place. Was a fun first time! thanks for commenting!

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  40. Great job on your first race. You totally dusted me and you weren't even trying! Too bad we didn't meet up. Oh well...

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  41. Congrats on your first race! I usually let adrenaline get the best of me and race even when I'm just taking it easy so good for you to be able to hold yourself back.

    I really want to figure out a way that I can play mariokart in real life. I'm convinced it would be the best game ever.

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  42. ChristopolisTiberiusJuly 23, 2013 at 8:42 PM

    Congrats on the race! Fantastic time!

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  43. CONGRATULATIONS on an amazing race!!! Great job on keeping things under control and realizing the risk/rewards involved when it comes to other goals! Bummer that I didn't see you at all during any of the festivities but I definitely look forward to the next race and blogger meetup. =D

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  44. haha you just wanted to throw the twitter bet! Get my hopes up , i know your game

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  45. thanks!! there are some youtube videos if you look it up of people doing real life mario kart!

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  46. Thanks!! Sadly, I did not turn into the hulk

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  47. gracias! Sad I missed you there! were you the area where everyone was crowding around and taking photos of some celeb (you)?

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  48. I could totally tell you recognized me AFTER you waved the first time :-) So thanks for the double wave :-)

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  49. Yea! Thanks for making the sign and coming out, even with a sore throat!

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  50. The tunnel was my favorite part too! Although I was afraid tripping over someone or something. Great job on the race!

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  51. Seems it was either a love or hate experience for the tunnel. I loved it!
    Thanks for commenting!

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  52. Sharkie Runs Lucky 13'sJuly 24, 2013 at 9:20 PM

    Great job on your first race!!! Sounds like you got into proper half marathon spirit and enjoyed the race! I've been thinking of switching to the Hanson training method for a spring marathon. How has it been working for you? I'd be curious to hear your insight.

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  53. Way to go!!!
    That is an awesome time. I would be afraid to sign up for a long summer race in mid July : )

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  54. Thanks! I'll drop you a message on my thoughts so far! A few other bloggers are doing it to, http://runningthewindycity.com/, This Hobbit Runs, and Just Plodding Along was I think.

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  55. Yeah, better to just throw out the word race and say long summer jaunts!

    Thanks for commenting!

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