Monday, September 10, 2012


Not only was this past weekend the Chicago half marathon (which basically everyone ran) but even more importantly, it was my 1 year race-iversary!  The 2011 Chicago half marathon was my first real race.

I had initially planned on this being my goal race for the year.  But unfortunately, a few things got in the way of that.  For example, the two marathons i have next month.  And the pressures of coordinating a charity team for this event.  And be surrounded by sick people all week!

Needless to say, the race didn't go as planned.  At all.  Actually, who are we kidding - there was never a plan, other than go fast, but not so fast that you throw up or die, whatever pace that is.  The morning was a disaster - trying to wake up everyone and get them going so we could be there by 6am to set up.  Traffic was a nightmare, and the whole journey was just stressful.  We were able to lug all of our stuff to the charity village, but by the time we set up, i was exhausted.  We had a brief blogger meet up, but i was busy acting like a crazy person that i barely got a chance to talk to anyone!  I swear, i am not normally that rude.

You will also notice i decided to bring waffles to the race.  I just couldn't bear to have her in her crate for 7 hours, and since Rachel would be at the tent, and agreed to watch her provided she did not poop, i brought her along.  I regretted the second we got their, because she was being a complete spaz because of all of the excitement, and she only added to my stress levels.  Between Matt yelling at me about not being able to find his stuff, trying to coordinate team members who were lost, didn't know where to go, didn't know where to park, and didn't know what time the race started, and shoving a granola bar in my mouth 10 minutes before the race started, i was nearly in tears by the time i got the start area.  Amanda walked over with us, and had some very calming words, which i was super grateful for.

Matt and i snuck into a corral that was in between us and just decided to start from there, which was also about the time i realized i forgot my water bottle...(i lose so much time at water stops!!).  Within the first mile of the race, i ran into my Winter marathon training pace leader David!  I was so excited to see him!  That was kind of when the flood gates opened - David is a super calm and relaxed runner, and i just started to vent about what a stressful week it was leading up to the race.  My whining took us all the way to mile 3!  We were steadily running an 8:55-9:00 pace, and it felt good.  I really didn't have any problems until mile 7, when i began to have trouble breathing.  I assure you, it was not an asthma attack (i would have quit running immediately) It seemed more like congestion (in retrospect, it would appear i caught the cold Rachel and Matt both had, as i have been congested ever since)  After the turn around, i walked through the water station so i could take my gel, but i wasn't able to catch back up to David (it turns out i was 30 seconds behind him at the finish line, so my eyes must have really been failing me...)  

I am angry because the last three miles i should have really kicked it up a notch, and i didn't.  I actually slowed down a little.  I seriously need someone to jump in the last three miles of any race and just yell at me to go faster, because there is really no reason for me to slow down!  I ended up finishing with a 2:00:16, which is straight up annoying.  like i really couldn't run 16 seconds faster?  Come on, Sara.

I really was trying, i swear!  Matt made a crack about half marathons being a joke to me, but they are still a huge and exhausting challenge.  This race was a far cry from my 1:55 goal, but in comparison to my time last year, i shaved 14 minutes off!  So in short, progress is slow, and subtle, but it IS there.  But i should still try to run just a teeeeny bit faster.

Unfortunately, because it took me two hours to finish this race, i basically missed all of our other charity runners, because i am the slowest.  I left my camera at the tent in hopes that someone would take pictures of everyone in their awesome t-shirts, but unfortunately, the only picture that was taken was of a giant bug that was apparently hanging out in the tent.
Seriously - WTF is that thing??  Who took this picture??  Really guys?

But despite the lack of pictures, Rachel said that everyone came by and was super nice and had a great time, so that makes me happy!

And, as a bonus, by the time i packed everything up, dropped off Rachel, and unloaded everything, Matt and Waffles were so exhausted that they both fell asleep for about three hours, so that i could enjoy some star trek and a martini in peace and quiet.  
And all was well.


  1. Gahhh I know from swimming how frustrating that few hundredths can make! But it's still an amazing race nonetheless!! Great work :)

  2. That is an AMAZING time and a huge chunk off of last year's time!

    You know, I cannot imagine doing all the work you did for HD. Cannot even imagine. Add that to a half marathon morning? Craziness! You should be proud of how much you did and on such a hectic morning.

    I know Waffles was being cray cray but it was so nice to meet her. :)

    I hope you don't get a full blown out cold! :(

  3. Happy Race-iversary! Sounds like you had a hectic morning. It's a wonder you were able to do all of the charity stuff plus run a half marathon. It was great seeing you guys (and Waffles) at the tent. Thanks for the refreshments for me and my neighbors! If I get motivated someday, I will post the video of you and Matt finishing the race.

  4. You did it...more than I can say. ;-)

  5. You are awesome. And my hero. I can't even fathom doing everything you did that morning (after a crazy week of stuff as well!) and busting out a 2 hour half.

    Shit, who am I kidding - I can't even fathom busting out the 2 hour half!

    Well done!

  6. WOW, you are AMAZING. And waffles, well, is adorable! <3

  7. That 16 seconds would bug the shit out of me....

    Wait....You did amazing! Seriously, 14 minutes off of the same race 1 year ago is pretty damn good. I don't expect to lose 14 minutes off my first half marathon next year. You're way better than me.

  8. You are AMAZING!! I think when we were walking to get the WCC medals I mentioned when I used to chair an ACS event, and I also was captain for a team at the same event ... terrible idea. The point of the event was to have someone from your team walking laps around a track at all times (not enforced AT ALL, but still), and I don't think I walked one complete lap that night. (I walked ON the track ... to get from one task to the next.) And since it was a walk, it didn't require any training ... which is good because I wouldn't have had much time for that on top of planning. So I can't imagine doing what you did. YOU'RE AWESOME.

  9. Congrats on your Raciversary! :)

    Just think, 14 minutes shaved off means more than 1 minute per mile faster! And just 16 seconds? That should be easy to do for the next half marathon (we know there will be more). Well done!

    Also, I hate the stress of taking my dog places also, but I love how tired she is afterwards. I'm sad you all didn't get to meet her at the marathon party. She is quite the handful!

  10. Happy race-iversary! It was great to meet you in person yesterday, even amidst the total chaos surrounding all of us. Congratulations on EVERYTHING that you did - that is insanity how many balls you were trying to juggle.

    I wish you much immunity from others' colds!!!

    Waffles is even more adorable in person than in her pictures!

  11. Great job on the race. I always do the same thing mentally with a very short amount of time to go in a race. Sounds like a crazy busy day that went well.

  12. I still say Waffles being a spaz in the tent is better than Waffles in a crate. I pay dearly when I crate my dogs that long. It ain't pretty. Gosh you guys had a gorgeous day for that race this year!

  13. You did great! I don't think you are that far off of your goal time!

  14. Happy race-iversary!!!!! Great finishing time too!!! You definitely earned that martini. :-)

  15. I love that we share a race-iversary. You should be proud of yourself for how much you've accomplished in a year.

    Maybe someday I can join your charity team. Then you definitely won't be the slowest. :)

    Congrats on ALL your accomplishments!