Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Oh, friends. After all of my lamenting that I wasn't prepared, I went in and did it. I came. I saw. I conquered. I finished the Rock N' Roll Half Marathon in 2:26.

Now, I know that this is not the fastest time, or even the time I was hoping for when I started training. But is it a time I'm proud of? Yes, undoubtably. Would I run this race again, even though it meant training during one of the hottest summers in recent Chicago history? Yes. Was it worth attending a bar crawl for four hours the night before and not touching any alcohol in preparation? Also yes.

Overall, I was really pleased with the course itself. I thought running through the loop was fun, and ending with glimpses of the lakefront was also great. I thought the course itself was extremely well organized, with lots of water stations, drizzle stations, bands,and mile markers staggered about. Somehow the locations of all of these things seemed to break up the miles for me, so that it went by a lot faster than I thought it would. I also ran my first race with a pace group, whom I stumbled upon at around mile 6. The group was running with a pacer from Fleet Feet Sports, a great running store in Chicago. The girl had us running 5 minutes and walking one with a goal time of 2:30. I think the run-walk strategy also helped to distract me, and I got to hear a lot of random conversations about people's daughters' periods and such. Strange, but interesting.

My one beef about this race as a whole was the incredibly long gear check wait at the finish. I had to wait nearly 15 minute in the line- way too long when I still had my hot boyfriend (yes, I try to get away with calling Kev that still) to find. Special thanks to him for showing up at the finish line at 9:00 am after staying out until almost one the night before at previously mentioned bar crawl.

Finishing this race (my first formal one in two years, since my pre-RA days) was big for me. Last year, I had a terrible year professionally at work, with lots of drama. I let myself get bogged down, and I wasn't always the best that I could have been for the students. I know, also, that my biggest problem is follow-through. I say I will do something, but often I wait until it is convenient for me, or until I have to at the very last minute (hello, training). When I was diagnosed with RA, I thought my running days were over. And yet, I put my mind to something, and even though I wasn't perfectly in shape, I went for it. Despite my 10 pill a day RA regiment, I did it. Despite my self-doubts, I did it. And through it all, I learned that the only one standing in my way is myself.

I'm hoping to take this mentality into the back-to-school portion of August. I want to have a kickass year. More on that tomorrow.

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