Sunday, September 09, 2007

Chicago Half-Marathon from a spectator view

It's the day after my 5K and now I am have switched roles as the spectator today. It's great that both Josh and I are running races the same weekend. We can both share our aches and pains along with fixing each other up afterwards. I am still a little bit sore from yesterday, but I have been dealing with this very well. But today was Josh's day and intended to do so.
The day started out very, very early - well, not early for me if this was a WORK DAY - at 5 am. Josh, Shea, and I along with Shea's wife, Kathleen all hopped into their car at 5:30 am to head to the Half-Marathon and picked up Justyna on the way before Lake Shore Drive closed up for the half-marathon. It was a very beautiful morning.

After we parked the car, we headed out toward the starting line. As Josh was about to head to port-a-potties, I look to my right to see the Roadrunner booth and very quickly recognize Lora and Haight. I ran up to the booth and say Hi. After some quick hugs and hellos, Josh and I talked to both of them for a while before taking our pictures. It was so awesome to meet both of them since I moved to Chicago. Then it was off so Josh could get ready to start. I wish Lora good luck and headed on our way.

After Josh took care of business, it was time to say our goodbyes and allow the men to head to starting line. I wished Josh lots of luck and told him how proud I was of him followed by a quick kiss goodbye. Then Kathleen and I headed to our post on Lake Shore Drive near 57th Street. It was a great spot because we could see Josh, Justyna, and Shea twice without running to the next street. Then we waited....and waited for the first runner to come by us. And they eventually did. The men run by first and then finally first woman runner raced by after I swear 12 guys.

Then we waited to see our men to run right by. With my great cowbell, I became the best spectator ever. Thank goodness it did not come with a lost voice. I still have a semi-long day ahead of me and needed it badly. I totally missed Josh, Shea, and even Lora's pace group since I was focused on looking all of them. In fact, when I saw the 2:40 pace group come by, Josh sent me a text message at 8:30 that he was at the 5.25 mile marker according to his Garmin.

Oh crap!
I quickly moved to the barrier where I propped myself up to watch the returning spectators heading back towards the finish line. We eventually found our friend, Justya and her friend, Tasha finally walk right by us showing signs of struggling early. We encouraged them to keep moving before they closed off the course and started to sweep people off at mile 7.

Then we continued to cheer. I focused on those who were really struggling and encouraged them to keep running.

Shea was the first one to run past by us muttering something about needing salt. I encouraged Kathleen to leave me at our spot so she could meet Shea at the finish line. 10 minutes later, I saw Josh who greeted me with a big sweaty kiss. I gave him a salt packet (after thinking about what Shea said and remembering my two years of the pre-race lecture by the Rock Doc at Phoenix. Ooops!) He took the salt packet and then washed it down with the water I had for him. I told him that I was so proud of the effort he put into the race even though he has been struggling with an ankle injury (look at the irony there - hmmm!)

After he left, I hurried to the finish line to catch him before he finished. I attempted to get a pre-finish picture which did not happen. Josh ended up trying to reach me after he finished. He asked me not post his finish time right now, but I can tell you that it's the same close time I had this past January in Phoenix. That's all I am going to say and sticking to it.

I then met him at the finish corral. After I found him, we walked to get the free food for him (The post-race food was NOT in the same area as the finish chute - BAD IDEA!) Since there was a long line, I told him that I would meet him at the end of the line. As I was making my way to the end of the line, I ran into Haight and asked him he's seen Lora. He told me that she was back at the Roadrunners tent. I won't say how she did, but I will leave it up her in her blog to disclose that - if she choose to do so!) I also saw a gal who passed out a few minutes prior to my arrival. I overheard that she had sushi the night prior to the race. That's another BAD IDEA to have before a race and have stuck it in the back of my head. After Josh got his food, we went over to talk to Lora for a few minutes before leaving to meet Shea and Kathleen at their car.

After we made it to the car, Josh, Shea, Kathleen and I drove to Medoci - or at least took a long time to get there with all of the road closures near the half-marathon. Justyna and Tasha met us there since she finished an hour after Josh did and was only 4 blocks away from the finish line.

After a great well deserve brunch (and running into Lora and Haight again outside while waiting for a table for 7 people), we received a ride to the Marshall Fields store on State Street where we were meeting Josh's mom for the protest that we made plans to join in for a hour (which we did). We did make it on at least one of the newscast - the NBC affiliate.

On the way home, I was so tired and exhausted from the LONG day along with still recovering from the 5k yesterday. I ended up taking a long nap once I got home while Josh took it easy. Tomorrow's going to be a very relaxing day. Both of us took the day off from work - THANK GOD! I have a much needed chiropractor appointment in the morning following by doing what I want afterward and depending on how Josh is feeling in the morning. Tommorow also is the start of the 10K training program for the Treat or Treat Trot 10K on 10/28. I plan to challenge myself at this event since I know that I can do it!


Jess said...

Congrats to both you and Josh on well run races! Enjoy your day off! It's well deserved!

Jess said...

Express my congrats to Josh on his race!

Neese said...

oh that is so cool to see you and Lora in the same photo! love it!

Dori said...

Great race report, Firefly! Congratulations to Josh.