Chicago Get Lucky Half Marathon

Chicago Half Marathons

Hello there and happy Sunday! Sundays are my favorite day of the week because of all the relaxing they involve. That’s why the Get Lucky half fit so perfectly into my schedule this week! It’s been a pretty relaxing taper week, which ended with a bone-chillingly cold half marathon.

Monday of this week started off with a 30 minute Yoga for Abs session from one of the Runner’s World DVDs. I love RW yoga videos and always feel like I am getting stronger while doing them! Some yoga workouts that I find leave me feeling like I got a good solid stretch session in, but didn’t really work any of my muscles. Runner’s World yoga videos always make me feel like I got in a great strength workout combined with a great stretch session – I love it! You can find some of there videos online here: Runner’s World Yoga

Tuesday I ran a 3 mile run outside and BOY OH BOY it took me about twice as long as I would have been running to get motivated to just go out there and do it. Of course once I got out there I was glad I did, but these past few weeks have been significantly lacking on the motivation front for me. I realized that my shoes matched my leggings perfectly and couldn’t help but feel that that made the run worth it.

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On Wednesday, I met my mom at Planet Fitness and we ran three miles together on the treadmill. We ran nice at slow at a 5.8 pace, but this sure put me in my place and reminded me that time off from treadmill running really makes getting back into it much harder. Back when I lived in an apartment complex with a gym, I used to run on the treadmill about twice a week and was finally to a place where I didn’t absolutely despise it! I found myself very successful at increasing my speed on the treadmill and was almost to the point where I could run consistently at a 6.8 speed (not fast my any means, but for me this was quite an accomplishment!). But after about 6 months of this past week’s 3 mile run definitely felt like it was done on the dreadmill again 😉

Thursday and Friday were rest days for me because Saturday was the Get Lucky Half Marathon in Chicago! The weather in the midwest has been so unseasonably warm that I didn’t think twice about what the temperatures would be when I registered for it. Boy was I in for a surprise!! The race only had an expo on Friday during the day, so I had my packet and shirt mailed to me which was much easier.

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We arrived in Chicago around dinner time on Friday and were able to check into our hotel and walk down the street to Giordano’s for dinner! Their pizza was absolutely phenomenal and I couldn’t think of a better pre-race carb loading meal. Since it was Friday, we weren’t supposed to eat meat, so we had just a plain cheese pizza but it was perfect. We spent the night walking around town trying to find a place where we could get dessert that wasn’t ice cream (this was especially difficult because it seemed like we walked past an ice cream shop about every 2 feet). We finally gave up because it was SO cold and windy and ended up getting cookies from the bakery in our hotel!

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Saturday morning the race didn’t start until 9 am, which was really 10 am in Michigan, so we spent the morning very relaxed! It was strange running a race with no alarms before the sun, but I definitely wasn’t complaining. We walked about a mile to the start from our hotel and this was when I first realized how cold it was going to be. The temperature at the start was 16 degrees with a real feel temperature of 5 degrees and 12 mph winds. I remained unrealistically positive, thinking that once we started running we would warm up.

Ha! This was by far the coldest race I’ve ever run, including all of the races I’ve ever run in Michigan in the winter. The start was right behind Soldier Field and we ran along the lake front trail for the entire race. The trail was awesome because we never had to worry about cars, but it ran right along the water so we never got shelter from the wind! The views were beautiful, but I didn’t get to appreciate them much as I was cursing myself for signing up for this and not thinking about weather when I packed. I took two pictures the entire race because it was just too cold to get my camera out.

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All in all, I’m very glad I ran the race but probably won’t be doing it again! I was expecting it to be much bigger – there were only about 4,000 people total in all three races – the 7k, 14k and 21k. It was a struggle for us to figure out where the actual start was because it wasn’t marked off and bag check was in a different spot. Also, there were no race photographers along the course and no food at the end! We were give water at the end, and water and gatorade pretty regularly along the course though. I can’t even imagine how cold those volunteers must have been!

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I’m proud to say I did it and glad to have Sunday to recover. 6 weeks from now is the Gazelle Girl half marathon in Grand Rapids and I am looking forward to a warmer run! I think I’ll take this week easy to recover since my right knee is feeling a little iffy today. Other than that we are back to it! Only about 5 more weeks left of no ice cream. (Although I found out that Lent is actually 47 days including Sundays, so it turns out you ARE meant to cheat on Sundays! I will make sure to follow that rule later today 😉

Have a wonderful week in hopefully some warm weather!

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