Last year I ran the Chicago marathon and I did not run the 5k. The biggest reason was because they did not give out medals to my knowledge, and I was all busy with being stressed about the marathon. This year, I decided that was stupid. I was going to be running a 5k for a shakeout ANYWAY, so why not do it along the lake front and get out of my head. When I saw they were offering medals and scarfs for the finishers, I was all about it haha!
Then my dad said he’d be interested in doing it with me! That was VERY exciting! So we signed up. Friday night, I got this photo from him and it was the actual best thing EVER. He may kill me for putting it on the internet, but it will be worth it. He has been paying attention to my blogging all this time!
Also check out those cool grey Brooks! What do you do when your dad has better run style than you? Nothing, except be proud! His recap of the race is below.
We walked from our hotel to the start line, which wasn’t too far. There were quite a lot of people running! I believe they said 4500 people participated. It was my dad’s first official race, so although he is a runner, the start line chaos was new for him.
We got in the 9 minute per mile pace group and then we were off not too long after that! You could tell right away that it was a hot and muggy morning.
The route took us along the lake and back up through the park. It was really pretty, although a bit cramped. The route along the lake was a bike path, which was pretty congested with other runners. One guy kept popping out of the race to stop, turn around and take a photo, then he’d hot foot it back into the race before doing it all over again. I made me tired just watching him, but I bet he got some beautiful photos lol!
I LOVED doing my shake out this way. Normally when I do a shake out run, I spend approx 100% of the time freaking out that I feel terrible, heavy, tired and surely some part of my body is broken. This way, I was more focused on having fun with my dad and I didn’t even remember to get stressed out about running a marathon the next day.
We finished in 30:10 which was a 9:43 pace and that was PERFECT!!
I interviewed my Dad about his experience:
1. What was the start area like? I enjoyed the start. Fun to walk to the starting line and I enjoyed being part of the crowd and the activity as we were getting ready to run.
2. What did you think about running with a big crowd of people? The start was tricky with the compression of people moving out and then the different pacing of people around me as I ran made me realize that I needed to be very aware of what was going on and try to anticipate what is coming up. Training for a race is one thing, but being in a race with other people is not something that you deal with in training, clearly the more experienced runners have a big advantage in this area. Fortunately I was with you and you kept me on my plan and helped me avoid problems.
3. What was the weather like? The weather was pretty good, cool and breezy. Another aspect of running in a crowd that I had not expected was the fact that the being in the crowd made it warmer than I would have thought. I can see where this could be problem if it was a warm day and a bit of a help on a cold day. Certainly having the bodies around you might help with wind as well.
4. What was your favorite part of the race? My favorite part was running with you! With that being said I liked running through the streets of Chicago and all the buildings, very cool. As you know I don’t run out doors a lot and it was great to have a course that wound around the streets.
5. What was your least favorite part of the race? Thinking back now the race is a bit of a blur. It was hard because I ran a little faster than I normally do and the people taking pictures was disruptive but I really can’t think of anything that I can complain about.
6. Would you do it again? I would definitely do it again. Being a part of the race as a participant was fun. I like the whole pre-race activity and things that are going on and it is a great way to experience a new place. I don’t think I am a marathoner, but I can see going to different places to do a race as part of my trip. I like doing races with you anytime and we have an excellent race team supporting us so it would be fun.
After the shake out, we headed over to the bean for a meet up with some friends from Instagram! It was so much fun to get to meet everyone in person, and hear their voices, and chat about – running, of course.
After showers and some food (another bagel for me, bagel & egg sandwiches for dad & John, muffin for my mom), we headed to the McKirdy Trained meet up. I am normally not so social haha, but it was sooooo much fun. I loved getting to meet all the McKirdy Trained team. My coach, Sarah, wasn’t there as she was racing in the Chicago marathon the next day, but I did get to meet her, husband, Michael! He is crazy fast.
James, in the middle, saw us getting out of the Uber and seemed to recognize me right away and greeted my whole family with the biggest smile and hugs. It was awesome. I love feeling like part of the group and I love my coach! If you are looking for a coach, I definitely recommend calling James.
Later in the day, we attempted to go to the Willis Tower. After hearing it would be a 3 hour wait to get to the top (John has done it once, and I have done it twice), we decided that it wasn’t worth it. Instead, we walked around the block to look up at the sky deck from below. My mom didn’t think she would have LOVED being up that high on a plate of glass anyway haha!!
My favorite pre-race lunch is a big yummy sandwich. I had done some researching before we got to Chicago and picked Pastoral, so we headed there next. The only downside was that they sold beers in the store, but you could not consume them there at the tables outside. My dad and boyfriend weren’t huge fans of that. Just good to know if you are traveling with family/friends who want to enjoy an adult beverage with their lunch.
That said, the sandwich was great and exactly what I needed.
From the lunch spot, it was a 25 minute walk back to the hotel. I hopped in an Uber and my parents and boyfriend opted for a walk.
When we got to the hotel, John went to their gym – which had a track in it! It would take 18 laps around to make a mile, but still pretty cool for a city where it snows a lot. It is certainly the nicest hotel gym I had ever seen (I had to go take a peek for myself after he told me about the track).
While he worked out, I ate another Peanut Butter Clif Bar (seriously you guys, I live for them during carb loading), and took an hour long nap.
Can you tell how pleased I am with myself? Only this past training cycle have I become a person who can nap. I think running 60-70 miles a week helped. Anyway, hour nap the day before a marathon and getting some good rest in my legs = HAPPY!
We met my folks for a pre-dinner drink in the hotel bar. That is the only really not fun part about running a marathon, but its worth it. I just use it as an opportunity to keep sucking down more water.
It was raining pretty hard when we made our way to dinner at Harry Caray’s Italian Steakhouse. I was quite happy about this. It had been very muggy and hot the last couple of days, so this was encouraging. I figured the wind and rain could blow the heat and humidity out for the night and hopefully some of the next morning too.
After dinner, I got my stuff together (I know, not as good as my dad’s flat lay), and then got in bed where John and I proceeded to play with all the Snapchat filters. I had him send me the funny videos and saved them to watch the next morning before the race.
Race recap coming tomorrow!