Sunday, October 16, 2016

Chicago Marathon Recap (WW # 63)

Welcome to the Weekly Wrap!
https://hohoruns.blogspot.com/p/weekly-wrap.html
This link was created to support active women!
*** JOIN US ***
Click  > HERE <  to see complete rules.


Before I get to my race recap, I've got to show you what delightful surprise arrived in the mail Friday.  Sarah Marie Design Studio has outdone herself!  Look at this ingenious letter man's jacket.  And the best part?  You add patches for your achievements!  PR?  Distance?  Specific Races?  The possibilities are endless.  Use VARSITYTEAM at checkout to receive 15% off. 

Coolest idea ever!


On to the recap...

Wow -- Chicago!  The one I worked so hard for last year, but didn't make it to the starting line.  My redemption race.  By now, you may know I fell.  I don't want that to overshadow my experience.  Yet, I'm having a hard time remembering details after that occurred.  I remember a lot of pavement and a lot of people.  Let me start at the beginning...


My only expo picture!
I arrived early Friday afternoon and sat in that awful traffic mayhem like everyone else.  I finally made it to the expo dragging my luggage behind.  I had just enough time to quickly find a headband and meet up with Marcia to attend the Generation UCAN live webinar event with Meb Keflezighi and Sarah Crouch.  I'm so grateful to Marcia for including me.  Fellow bloggers Sherry, Wendy and Sharon were also there.  Meb and Sarah were down to earth, very inspirational and so generous with their time.  I'm also excited to try the UCAN family of products we were given.


Meb, Me, Sherry, Marcia, Sarah, Wendy and Sharon

Wendy was very gracious to have a late dinner with me.  It truly felt like we were lifelong friends simply catching up.  I think we could have relaxed and chatted all night but it was getting late and I still hadn't even checked into my hotel.  She was kind enough to drop me at the door.  I look forward to spending more time with both her and Marcia later this year.  (Hey Wendy, I owe you that sticker!)



Saturday was purposefully low key.  I did some sightseeing and ran into Pam while walking along Michigan Avenue.  We were so surprised to meet that way that it slipped our minds to take a picture [#bloggerfail].  Sherry, Sharon and I took the Wendella architectural boat tour that afternoon.  It was crowded and we were somewhat disappointed there were no seats on the top deck.  




I enjoyed seeing the different buildings and learning about their history.  I can certainly report that Chicago is beautiful from the water!  I got drowsy sitting in the warm sunshine. {Ladies, I'm usually perkier!}  After more sightseeing, I went back to the hotel and fell asleep.  And I never nap!  After a spaghetti dinner and a little college football, I called it a day.


Upon waking race morning, I ate a banana and Clif Bar and drank half a bottle of water.  I stuffed my skirt pockets with 4 peanut butter GU and 6 Saltstick capsules and was ready to go.  My hotel was a half mile from the start and I was soon in back-of-the-pack Corral J (read about that HERE).  It didn't occur to me to stop at a porta-potty nor check the weather one last time.  [And I call myself a runner!]  

My view from Corral J

Soon enough, we were off.  All 40,000 plus.  Immediately, there were piles of discarded clothing to avoid getting tangled in.  I was amazed at the number of men and women that stopped right away under the first overpass to umm ... urinate.  Sans.Porta.Potty.  No thanks.  I intentionally started slow.  Oddly, and a little concerning, my heart rate was high.  I didn't feel nervous, but I kept at my slower pace hoping to settle it down.

Usually in a race, a mental picture gets seared into my brain.  This imprint occurred early on.  We must have been running slightly downhill because I could see way ahead in the distance and watched as an el train crossed between the tall skyscrapers lining the street -- all against a beautiful, clear blue sky. *Snap*  The crowd support was unbelievable and at times the noise almost deafening.

It was difficult getting to and keeping my desired pace.  Part of the problem were the water stops.  It seemed they were in every mile.  Let me say, the sheer number of volunteers at each one was amazing!  But, these stops were long, crowded, covered in cups and slick with liquid. First we'd run through the Gatorade section, long enough in itself, but then we'd run through the water section.  It killed my pace every time.  I've got to work on this.  I did wonder if it was better in the earlier corrals??




Back in mile three, I had stumbled hard and thought "Whew!  It would have been horrible to fall in this race!" {Cue ominous music}  I've always taken pride for not falling in over 150 races now and being an eyes-on-the-payment runner.  I vowed to pay extra attention, although it was difficult at times with so many people.  I rocked along trying to keep a decent pace until somewhere late 12 or early 13 ... Splat.  Suddenly, I'm on the ground and I see the rounded hump of pavement that grabbed my shoe.  I landed hard on my hands, knees and one elbow.  The nice people around me stopped but I got up quickly and continued.  I was very relieved nothing was broken but can see the blood running down my shins.  The medical aid station was just ahead. 

I won't go into detail (read about that HERE) but after an eternity in first aid, I'm free to go.  I'm badly shaken.  I'm trying not to cry from pure old lady frustration.  I'm holding it together because I know Marcia and Wendy are spectating just ahead.  I originally planned to give them a shout and slow long enough for a picture, but I stopped completely.  Truth be known, I needed to gather myself momentarily.  I've never been so happy to see two familiar smiling faces!

... Just put on a happy face ...

They are few memories after this.  I hit the half marathon mark at 2:18 and thought that wasn't too shabby because it included my lengthy stop.  Maybe I could negative split the race {I didn't}.  I smelled something horrid and noticed the man in front of me.  A massive amount of baby-golden diarrhea was clinging to the back of his black shorts.  I chuckled to myself thinking "things could be worse".  I had a brief WHY ME pity party in mile 15.  But once I got down to 10 miles left, I decided "I can do THIS $#*+".  I continued running...gingerly.

I caught up to the young fellow carrying the American flag and was immediately covered in goose bumps.  The cheering from the crowds as he passed with Old Glory was truly magnificent.  I briefly contemplated staying near the flag, but decided to pass by and keep running my own race. 

The sun was relentless later in the race and I got warm.  I remember nothing more until miles 23-24 when I came close to panicking because I.could.not.breathe.  An acute pain had developed under my rib cage, right at the bra line.  I was forced to walk off and on in those two miles to get air and control the rising panic.  My knee wraps had also come loose so I'm carrying bloody bandages and gasping.  I'm sure I was a sight.  Whatever spasm I had finally released and I continued on.  I thought the throngs of spectators in the last mile or two were the most enthusiastic and I was touched by their support.



As someone who runs in a hilly 'hood, I appreciated every little hill in this super flat race, especially that last one!  I also loved seeing the final blue 1 mile and subsequent meter signs.  I wanted to scream -- I can do 800 meters!!  The 100 meters sign was a beautiful sight.  I crossed the finish line in 4:44:30. Although I expected better, all things considered -- I'm OK with that time.  In fact, I battled pretty hard for it.  It is also technically a PR.  [The first post-fractured-foot marathon was 23 minutes slower as I was unable to run much prior to that race.] 

My left knee was bleeding so I stopped at the medical tent for more bandages.  The nicest young woman helped me.  She went the extra mile to get me the post race food bag (that I somehow missed) and a Gatorade.  I almost passed out when she touched my bruised knees to clean them.  As I sat there light headed, a man crawled in vomiting profusely.  Every.Where.  Oh yeah, things could be so much worse. But I believe the most pleasing thing of all was when I awoke Monday morning (and other than my busted knees) could not tell I had run a marathon.  YES!


It was a gorgeous day and a gorgeous city to run my 2nd marathon!


Chicago was exciting.     Chicago was humbling.

Chicago was challenging.      Chicago was rewarding.

Chicago was everything I expected it to be.





And that's a wrap!


95 comments:

  1. You know, as I was running today, my own tough little 13.1, I thought: uh-uh -- no way, no how, this chick is never going all the way.

    Holly, you are so tough & I am so happy Marcia & Wendy could be there for you. And you rocked that PR! One of these days everything will come together for you for the perfect marathon (just like they will for me for the perfect half -- but I'm pretty sure that won't be FL -- except meeting you in RL!).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Judy, I used to have the same thoughts in half marathons. No way. But honestly, it's a whole different mindset. I certainly could never approach it as two half marathons -- I'd never cross the finish line that way. I appreciate your kind words and can't wait to meet you in a few weeks!

      Delete
  2. What a great recap. Yep, those gatorade stops are slick. I almost wiped out a few times when I've run Chicago. I never thought to mention it but now I will when i talk to people about the race. Glad you recovered after your fall. You are a trooper!

    I'm so so so glad we got to meet! I wish I could have spent more time with you. Glad I get a chance. And now I have to come to Florida to collect my sticker... :P

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can't believe I forgot to give you that sticker after all. I left my race poster somewhere too. The restaurant maybe? I was very surprised at how many water stops there were. I wonder what their mileage was if you lined them up?

      Delete
  3. I can't express how much I love that letter jacket. What an awesome idea and I love that you can add patches!!

    You are such a trooper! I was so sorry to hear about your fall during the race :( I give you all the credit in the world for being able to bounce back and finish the race. You are a rockstar!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think the jacket is an ingenious idea! Just imagine the possibilities with the patches and everyone's jacket will be uniquely their own. I so appreciate your kind words!

      Delete
  4. Great recap Holly! I'm so sorry about your fall, and so glad you didn't let it get the better of you. Congrats!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Michelle. It made for a touch race both mentally and physically but I'm glad I was able to finish the race. I realize it could have been much worse.

      Delete
  5. SO much to take in! I am so proud of you for pushing on and having a strong finish. It is awesome you got to have so many fun meet ups! You look beautiful in your expo pic.
    I love the view from the water too, and I love flying over the city at night , it glows gold from the air.
    I know that breathing pain. Ugh...so many things can happen during a long race and you overcame them all :) Congratulations!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha! You are so right. So many things can happen. I'm lucky it was just these two minor things. Seriously. It could have been worse. I was an emotional wreck after I finished and I appreciate your support more than I can ever express! I can't wait to see you reap the rewards of your hard work.

      Delete
  6. LOVED this recap!!! I don't even know where to begin. So cool that you got to meet and hang out with so many of our fellow bloggers, awesome that you got to spend time with Meb and Sarah. Yay for the architectural boat cruise! And wow - way to push through the miles after taking that tumble. You are one tough lady!!! I am so, so, so happy for you and only wish I could have been there in person to help you celebrate in my hometown!!! BIG HUGS and HUGE CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Emily. I enjoyed your hometown immensely but was super bummed you were out of town! I was lucky enough to have the ability to finish. So I just did. In fact, it never occurred to me to stop.

      Delete
  7. I have been so looking forward to reading your recap! Congrats on a great race despite falling, which I think that makes you earn double congrats!

    We did the architectural boat tour when we were in Chicago for the Spring Half and we did the kayak tour on the Chicago River last fall. Both were a blast!

    Thanks for the linkup!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You know Deb, I didn't think I'd ever write about falling. I certainly never wanted to have to do that. But, it is what it is. I certainly can't change anything -- but I do feel blessed I was able to get up and keep running.

      Delete
  8. Wow, what a race! I am so sorry about the fall but glad you were able to stay positive and keep going! It sounds like quite an experience. I am glad you got to spend time with so many blogging friends!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Lisa. There were others I didn't get the opportunity to meet. It's actually kind of difficult at a race of this magnitude. That's why I was so surprised to run into Pam while walking along the sidewalk Saturday.

      Delete
  9. I'm so sorry to hear about your fall. You are a warrior for getting back up! Chicago is on my bucket list. So beautiful, and looks like a great day for the race. Congrats!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It really did turn out to be a beautiful day. I was thankful for that.

      Delete
  10. Congrats on what sounded like a tough race, but you powered through and finished strong. I would take a fall over diarrhea shorts any day....lol. I didn't think the water stations were too crowded in the beginning corral. I don't remember having any problems getting one. Enjoy your accomplishment!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You had an amazing race! I had no problem getting Gatorade or water, the stops were just very crowded. There was so much weaving and walking going on and they were so loonnnggg.

      Delete
  11. Holly, you inspire me! Yes, it sucks that you fell during your race ...but when looking at the race experience as a whole, you are one tough lady ...a force to be reckoned with! I love, love, love that you don't focus on that one point in your race...but rather the entire experience from start to finish. And finish, you did! Little did you know that your little "I can do hard things" mantra was merely preparing you for something you didn't expect and you prevailed! I'm in awe and look forward to following along on your next marathon journey! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw, shucks. Thanks. It never even occurred to me to stop. I was simply frustrated (at myself only) for the time that was eaten off of my own clock.

      Delete
  12. Wow, congrats! I would love to run in Chicago, but training for a fall marathon living in Florida means training through the summer- and that's totally a no go. I've fallen before in a race- it killed my goal 10k finish, but I still managed to make a small PR. I'm definitely doing a redemption 10k early next year!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. I live in the deep south. I can completely understand not wanting to train in the FL summer heat. My last two summers were spent training for Chicago and it almost broke me both times. LOL.

      Delete
  13. Woot!!!! Yay for you!!!!You have probably heard me say it once (or millions of times), but anyone can run a great race on an "easy" course with near-perfect weather...but it's the tough ones (such as this) that truly prove to us what we can do. Congrats!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I appreciate that, Kim. So many things were "right" about this race so it's unfortunate that this happened. But, it is what it is and all part of the marathon experience. I'm lucky I was not more seriously injured.

      Delete
  14. Okay, so first that jacket is awesome. More importantly, thank you for the recap. Sounds like an incredibly memorable experience and I stand by my previous statement that you are a serious badass. Well done representing the South. And you are so photogenic - all of my race pictures turn out horrible. I usually look like I'm in serious pain ... or worse. Congrats again!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Lindsay! My official race photos look horrible. Trust me. I'm glad Marcia captured a decent one so I won't have to buy any of those. #southernrunner

      Delete
  15. congrats on a tough race and powering through-that's the hard part of running. And that jacket is super cute too

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. I think the jacket is an excellent idea. No two runners will ever have the same jacket as they'll add their own patches. You could even put your name on the back if you wanted!

      Delete
  16. What a recap! and what a adventure! You are one tough cookie! Friends make all the difference! Marcia text me your pic after you passed mile 13 so I knew you were running it out after your fall. You never quit smiling! Inspirational!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It didn't occur to me to stop as I wasn't in much pain. I was just mad I had caused myself so much "down" time. I didn't know who knew what. But, t as soon as I crossed the line my phone went NUTS with text messages.

      Delete
  17. Congratulations on Chicago and I love the medal! Glad you finished safely even though your knees were bleeding and all of those people were peeing just off the course. The pics of you in Chicago are great too. It sounds like you had a really wonderful time even if the race itself was hard. Love that they had a 100m to go sign too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! Those meter signs were one of my favorite parts. I've never seen women stop openly and pee. And this was the START of the race.

      Delete
  18. what a wonderful recap. Way to keep moving forward and not letting the injury stop you!!! Woohoo!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. It was truly my only option.

      Delete
  19. Nice jacket! I still can't believe I got to go the Meb/Sarah event and it was such small group! So cool to meet everyone there too! I felt bad my sister and I were late to the boat tour. Love your recap! You did awesome! Congrats again!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You weren't late! I had just gotten there myself and the boat didn't leave without us! LOL. Yeah, it was so surprising to realize it was just going to be the few of us at that event. How cool was that? Congrats on your race and awesome PR!

      Delete
  20. LOVED this ! such a huge accomplishment and huge PR, no matter how you look at it. And major mental toughness to continue as well as you did after that fall. I would have cried too. I was so emotional at my first marathon, and I am not an overly emotional person at all. But goosebumps ? Yeah, completely normal !

    The vomitting and diarrhea, yeah I saw that too in Paris. As well as people bleeding from chafing....

    So great you got to connect with so many bloggers. I am jealous !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Karen. I hope you meet all of your marathon goals. I never cry in my everyday life. Never. But running seems to bring it out! Vomit, diarrhea, blood, and urine. Yes, I saw it all!

      Delete
  21. Congratulations on Chicago! I know it was not the race you wanted but wow such an accomplishment. As always you are such an inspiration!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. After running many races, I've figured out there is no perfect race. Something happens. It's how you react and deal with the something that gets you to the finish line!

      Delete
  22. It's fun to relive the Chicago Marathon through the eyes of someone experiencing it for the first time! Yes, it really is pretty overwhelming. Ugh yes, those crazy water stops. The first year I ran when it was a billion degrees they ran out of water so now there's so much, that'll never happen again. Gah it's amazing what happens out on that course and yikes on the med tent scenes. Congrats again for making the most of what that day gave you! It was so so great to see you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think I got a little bit of the behind the scenes tour during the race! I saw all the bodily fluids. LOL. I can't wait to spend more time with you in a few weeks. Thanks for being my photographer too.

      Delete
  23. I think your Chicago race experience was unbelievable from the fall to all the gruesome things you saw. You did remarkable Holly after your fall and especially being at the back. The water stops were awful for me too in Corral G and I was worried about falling at every single one. It almost seemed like Gatorade was thrown from far too many cups it was so slick. And I kept thinking, these are relatively new (less than 70 miles) running shoes, why do I feel so unsteady in these wet patches. That was a first for me, since I ran Boston in mostly rainy conditions. In any case, Chicago was a gorgeous city and I loved every bit of the weekend. I'm so glad you were able to complete the race successfully after all you endured last year. Next time we meet in person we are at least going to get coffee and chat a bit too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I appreciate it Pam! Those waxy cups certainly didn't help. There was never a break in the crowd for anyone to rake them up. I was so surprised to just see you walking the streets. I really did recognize your scarf first -- you must have posted a picture in it. We'll definitely have coffee next time. What's next for you?

      Delete
  24. Congrats. You are a rock star. You are right, I would have rather fallen than experience some other awful things. And you have a PR. When's your next one? NYC?

    Chicago looks like a great place to run. I was there before I was a runner.

    Looking forward to December!! And we will not fall!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd have to think really long and hard about running in a race with that many people again, although NYC would be an incredible experience. No, we will NOT fall in December!

      Delete
  25. Great job! I'm sorry that road monster got you and caused you to fall, but way to finish!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. I hope that road monster won't ever rear his ugly head again.

      Delete
  26. Congratulations on your race! I'm so sorry things didn't go the way you hoped, darn that pavement! That's one thing about big city races...potholes can really mess you up!

    Despite falling you did a great job and really battled through it! Yay for a PR!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! The fall definitely added to the typical challenges of the day. I was just so frustrated with myself, more than anything.

      Delete
  27. Thank you for the great recap. I've fallen in a few races and it sucks, BUT I've never had to run 14 miles after. I think that qualifies you as a badass (if you weren't already). 4:44 with a stop! Amazing. I enjoyed your irritable post, too. I know what you mean: the race was good, but you can still be annoyed by parts of it. I'm sure someone's said this above, but just remember this race as the one where you got up and got it done!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Elizabeth. Since I had never fallen -- ever -- it came as quite a shock to me. I am very thankful that I was not seriously hurt yet also very challenged to overcome it mentally.

      Delete
  28. Oh geeze. I think I would have been seriously shaken up after that fall. But, I do think, just like you, I would have carried on, albeit gingerly. I'm amazed by your time - 'cause it's about my PR, except you stopped for medical! Congrats!

    And running in sight of a runner with a flag always gives me the chills.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It never occurred to me to quit, perhaps it would had I been more seriously injured. I was annoyed (at myself) for having to stop for bandages. Part of me wanted to stay with the flag and soak up all that "goosebumpyness".

      Delete
  29. Way to push through after your fall. I would have been so tempted to give up, but I also understand wanting to push towards the finish line after putting in all the time and miles for training. Way to go!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, since this was my second summer of training in awful heat & humidity for Chicago -- I had to make it count this time. I'm very grateful I could continue on.

      Delete
  30. Oh, no! I'm so sorry you fell! :( That would have absolutely wrecked me.

    However, in spite of it all, you pushed through and did an amazing job! Congratulations!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I admit, I felt a bit wrecked for a while. I was so frustrated with the time it cost me and had nobody to blame but me. I eventually figured I had choice but to suck it up and go on.

      Delete
  31. I've wanted to run Chicago ever since I saw Spirit of the Marathon. And then I realized that it was a full marathon, which for me, I'm saying pretty confidently I'll never do. So I live vicariously through my runner peeps who do Chicago, and I have to say, your experience was one for the ages! So impressed that you kept running after that fall, and I'm so impressed with your finish time - you are awesome!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are very sweet Shelley. Part of me wants to run a marathon where I can write a plain vanilla, no drama, race recap. I did NOT want to have to say I fell! LOL. But it is what it is. Hey -- never say never.

      Delete
  32. Beautiful Chicago photos :) But man, there seemed to be a lot of bodily fluids during your marathon experience! That's crazy that you saw all that and that you had to deal with the fall. But way to power through and finish!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Chaitali! Too many bodily fluids. Ha ha. I could have done without all of them.

      Delete
  33. Just wow at all the yucky things you had to deal with in this race! It just drive home the fact that with all you endured, you finished and not only that you finished strong! I'm so glad to read you are happy with the race. You are my hero! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm still answering the question "How was it?" with "I fell". I have mixed emotions about that. Dang, I didn't want to fall and have that overshadow everything. But, I fell. That's the reality of it. But overall it still was a great experience.

      Delete
  34. Awesome medal! It is so great that you were able to overcome all of those things that didn't go quite right and still rock a 20+ minute PR! Great work!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The medal is definitely unique. The statue it was designed after is HUGE. I didn't realize that until recently (and didn't go to see it while I was there!). Thanks for the kinds words.

      Delete
  35. That was amazing and very touching! Congratulations on another Marathon!! You earned that medal with literal blood!! I hope your knees are healing up good!

    I love your positive outlook on how things could be worse for you! You did amazing!

    You are an inspiration!! congratulations on the PR!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Ana. I'm glad the only blood I saw during the race was my own. LOL. I haven't tried to cycling yet, but thankfully my knees did not affect my ability to run.

      Delete
  36. Wow. I'm am so proud of you for finishing the race despite the bloody knees! That speaks volumes about kind of grit you have ( and need) to complete the 26.2. I still can't wrap my head around that distance, and in my opinion anyone who has the courage to try is a complete and total bad a$$! You are awesome!
    I am so glad your main issue during the race was only a fall (and a few scrapes and bruises!)you are right, things could have been so much worse- ( it's seems there are always those runners who keep going despite diareaha and vomitibg,ugh!)but still, You were shaken up a bit and you got back up and kept running! And even got a PR!!! Again, proud of you and can't wait to see what's next for you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Melissa It is amazing what you will see people struggle through at a race. It is such a huge commitment of time and effort. I absolutely understand why everyone just keeps going. It's a lot of work to flush down the toilet (like last year!).

      Delete
  37. Very cool jacket!! Again it was great meeting you and I still can't believe that we got to meet Meb & Sarah the way we did. I too felt bad that we were late to the boat tour, but it still turned out ok. You did awesome in the marathon despite the fall! Love that you pushed through. Can't believe you saw diarrhea and vomitting, so yeah things could be worse. So thankful that they weren't. Congrats on your PR!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Isn't the jacket cool? I wore it yesterday. If I had known how crowded the boat was going to be, I would have gone earlier and gotten us good seats. I only beat you and Sherry there by a few minutes. I'm so happy you had a great first marathon experience. I bet you are itching to do another.

      Delete
  38. Congrats on your race! And oh my goodness so sorry about your fall. Way to go even after falling down. But overall I am glad you had a great experience in Chicago (running and sightseeing).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wish I had stayed another day in your beautiful city. I also wished I had made arrangements to meet a more people (like you!) while I was there. As it was, it was a quick trip in and out for me. Congrats on your PR!

      Delete
    2. Thanks! Next time we must meet!!

      Delete
  39. Holly, I am so inspired by you! It would have been so easy to let that fall take you down mentally, but you didn't let it. Not only did you get up, but you totally conquered the tough mental game and ended up running a great time and PR. I think that photo of you in the race says it all. You're so strong and such a fighter. No tears--only smiles! Congratulations!!! I'm glad Chicago was everything you'd hoped it would be!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh Jennifer, but it did take me down mentally for a short while. I was so mad at myself. But I realized that negative talk wasn't going to help me cross the finish line. I found my big girl panties and changed into them. I hope your first marathon is everything you want it to be!

      Delete
  40. Congrats on the PR! Especially considering the fall, you ran such a strong race!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Laura. I admit it's left me slightly unfulfilled and wanting to try again though.

      Delete
  41. Congrats! You did it! It may not have been easy, but most things that are worthwhile never are. So awesome that you kept going despite that fall. And I love your new jacket!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! One of my mantras is "I can do hard things." But, it doesn't mean I WANT to always have do hard things. LOL It'd be nice to have some easy things thrown in the mix too.

      Delete
  42. Congrats on your second marathon! While not everything can go according to plan, it's more about what we learn from these experiences. I can't believe you saw someone with diarrhea dripping from their shorts... gross! And with 10+ miles to go! Hopefully you did not have to stick around him for too long! Congratulations again!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! Yes, all races are learning experiences. Ugghhh...yes and I smelled him first! I passed by as quickly as possible. Holding my breath.

      Delete
  43. congrats on the marathon! the weather was beautiful that weekend and even though it didnt go according to plan, you still did it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. I was very appreciative of the weather that day. Although it got warm by the time I finished, it was still very tolerable.

      Delete
  44. Oh no - I saw a few people fall. I'm so sorry you fell but way to pull it together. I have a Chicago marathon link up on my recap - go link up your post! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's still hard to believe I fell. I tried to make the most of the day anyway. I linked!

      Delete
  45. Congrats! So many great memories of your race day you'll have forever!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. Yes, definitely a lot of memories.

      Delete
  46. Congrats on the marathon! you guys lucked out with the weather! The spectators are almost overwhelming in chicago! there are people everywhere! Yes the water stops are super long. I actually volunteered at one of the water stops one year and that was probably more when it hit me how many people run the chicago marathon compared to when I ran it myself. Congrats on the PR!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. I was amazed by the length of those stops and by the sheer number of people working them! The spectators were incredible. I doubt I'll ever run a race with that much energy again.

      Delete
  47. Way to go, Holly!!!! Wow you pushed through a lot and this is a recap of pure perseverance. I think you're hardcore to finish the race despite bleeding down your shins! Now the guy with golden diarrhea... That's note quite a badge of honor. What I sight! I have never seen someone poo themselves or puke all over in a marathon, mostly just passing out people in my past experiences.

    What a race! Congratulations on your PR, especially considering your aid tent stop!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have seen puke in a race before (my very first half marathon), but never have I witnessed the diarrhea. He was definitely not an elite -- so why would you put up with that "crap" in the back of the back? There were lots of porta potties.

      Delete

I enjoy reading your comments and will make every attempt to reply. Thanks for taking the time to leave one!