2015 Chicago Rock ‘N’ Roll

We interrupt this travel series recap for a race recap!  Given my uncertain future (where I would be working or living) I haven’t signed up for too many races this year.  Well, too many for me that is.  However, when I found out Nilufer had signed up for Chicago, I decided to sign up as well.  Chicago isn’t that far from St Louis and most likely I’d still be in St Louis.  And then we convinced Jessica to sign up for the 10K – it was going to be an Australia reunion!

Jessica and I arrived Friday morning, but by the time we made it into the city and dropped off our luggage, it was lunchtime!  We found a burger place close to our hotel which hit the spot.

Expo

We then caught a bus over to the expo.  We picked up our bibs (5K, Half for me and 10K for Jessica).  I do have to say there was some confusion with the 10K.  The big course picture showed the race starting with the half, but there was a handout showing the new start line for the 10K.

Heading into the expo, I was excited to see Brooks Run Happy Island.  Several expos ago, I participated in the Run Happy Island activities to get my tote bag.  The tote bag came with me to Australia but was toast by the end of my trip.  I was sad to see the end of the bag but here was my chance to get another one!

First up was the wild bucking shoe!!  I asked for the easiest speed but I think he sped it up because I flew off the shoe fairly quickly.

Hold on!!

Hold on!!

The gait analysis was next (I’m still neutral, neutral).  The third leg was slightly different – instead of racing up Mt Crackatoa you had to try on a pair of Brooks shoes.  Very smart Brooks!  I tried on the new Ghosts and Glycerins and got my new bag!  Now I can finally throw away the old one.

We had a bit more fun at the expo before catching the bus back to the hotel.

Expo fun

Expo fun

We met up with Nilufer for dinner at Lou Malnati’s to try some Chicago style pizza!  It was pretty delicious!

Mmm, pizza!!

Mmm, pizza!!

5K

Due to some slight confusion I ended up being the only one signed up for the 5K.  I headed over to the start line.  Stepping outside I was greeted by heat and humidity.

The Bean!

The Bean!

I lined up with the expectation of just taking it easy.  And we were off!  The 5K took place mainly on the lake front trails.  The last mile was brutal, but with beautiful views.  It was right next to the lake, with no shade and the sun reflecting off the water.

Along the lake front

Along the lake front

My one sort of complaint was there was one water stop.  Normally for a 5K, that would be perfect or even more than expected.  However, with the heat it would have been nice to have another water stop.  But other than that, it was a lot of fun, and I got a medal!

And then this happened!!

2015-07-18 09.11.32

MEB!!

Half Marathon

It was supposed to cooler for the half.  I don’t know if it was necessarily cooler.  Or maybe that was due to the fact I was out there forever!  Prior to the race starting, the announcer even said don’t expect a PR due to the weather.  Oh boy!  I met up with Nilufer and we got ready to run.

Here we go!

Here we go!

I have been toying with the idea of shortening my intervals and decided to try it – 1 min run / 30 sec walk.  Nilufer hadn’t trained as much as she had wanted but was game to try the intervals.  However, if the run interval came while we were on a grated bridge, it would become a walk because I really didn’t want to trip!

Go go go!

Go go go!

I loved running through downtown Chicago – we zigged and zagged.  The one thing that was missing was bands.  There were no bands in the downtown section, but there were a lot of people on stilts.

Chicago!!

Chicago!!

Remember the 1 /:30 intervals?  Well, with the heat, humidity, and lack of training, we decided to switch it to :30 run / 1 min walk.  That seemed to help and we continued on our way.

The miles continued to click on by as did the water stops.  Every time I thought I needed a water stop, it seemed as if one was around the corner.  They weren’t always manned completely and I found myself having to grab my own water/Gatorade or wait for it to be poured.  But all in all the volunteers were fantastic.

My favorite stop was the sponge station!!  It was much needed at that point.

So close!

So close!

We turned onto Lake Shore Drive and downtown came into view.

So close!

So close!

It kept getting closer and closer and soon the finish line was in view!

Almost there!

Almost there!

And done!

Done and done

Done and done

We found Jessica and basked in our finished races!!  Hooray!!

Winnahs!!

Winnahs!!

 

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