It's a good thing I enjoyed my first half marathon so much, because I had signed up for Run Rock'n'Roll Chicago BEFORE I had even raced a half marathon! Illinois was my second state completed. I decided upon Chicago because it's a quick train ride from Milwaukee (where we live), we have friends who live there, and I've never been! This trip became our first "race-cation" as well.
I remember visiting the expo and thinking it was huge! This was my first big city race. I had a lot of fun walking through the expo and seeing just how big the running community and everything it has to offer really is. After the expo we went back to our friend's condo to relax and get race ready. 13.1 here we come!
The race day sun rose HOT and HUMID in Chicago! Again, I went into this race with no real goals. I had been training and keeping my mileage up through the summer months but the humidity near Lake Michigan is rough! My co-workers and I all lined up together and started the race together. After a few miles Dan and I decided to pick up the pace a little bit and see what we could do. The first half of the race goes through the city. It was really neat to run between all the buildings, over bridges and under over passes. The second half of the race is an out and back with no cover from the sun.
The Rock'N'Roll races are also known for their course entertainment for the runners. This did not disappoint! There was a band about every two miles which was great. With the temperatures being so warm, the race director made sure there were cold sprinklers to run through. There were also plenty of aid stations with water, gatorade and fresh fruit. I remember around mile 10 feeling a bit dizzy, and the icy sponges were a lifesaver at mile 11. It was around this point that Dan asked what I would need to run to PR (by this point I had purchased a gps watch!). I knew we were on pace to be very close to my pr. Once mile 12 hit he told me to go for it, to get that pr! Once we could see the finish line he grabbed my hand and we took off!
Dan pushing me at the finish line really helped me out. Had I been alone, who knows if I'd have had the strength to push myself. With his help, I now have a shiny new pr! My official finish time was 1:54:30, with an overall pace of 8:43. That means I knocked off 65 seconds from my previous race time! State two, and half marathon two are officially in the books... yet I still didn't know I'd have a goal of 50 states and 50 half marathons.
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