Races tend to have a rain or shine policy. Unless conditions are crazy dangerous – I guess this means a typhoon or tsunami – the show must go on. And a little bit of rain never hurt anybody, am I right?
Of course I’m not.
When MM and I woke up on Sunday morning, the day of the Chicago Half Marathon (different, mind you, than the Chicago Distance Classic which we ran in August), it was raining, which wasn’t a surprise. It had, as best I can remember, been raining for approximately my entire life… or three days. Give or take.
For reasons I cannot quite explain, we kept moving forward. We got decked out in our race attire. We ate bagels. I drank my coffee. We waited for our ride. We checked our gear. We lined up in the corral. We never questioned any of it.
And it kept raining.
The thing that’s even wackier about all of this half marathon madness is that everybody else showed up too. We're freaking lemmings. And every last one of us was drenched before we even crossed the start line. When did we collectively decide that we wouldn't let a little rain get in the way of our BIG half marathon plans?
Only it wasn’t a little. It was a lot. And it never stopped. Not once. In fact, it got worse.
I started the race with Lindy and a plan. The plan went like this: run slow, walk through aid stations, run slow. Actually, it was a little more strategic than that. I decided that this race would be my marathon “dress rehearsal.” I wanted to finish this race knowing that I could keep going.
At mile 5, Lindy dropped back and I, not wanting to deviate from my strategy, forged ahead. The course was long, kind of lonely, and extremely wet. The vast majority of it happened on Lakeshore Drive, which happens to be concrete and is not super fantastic when it comes to comfort and other such nonsense/luxuries. I forgot my iPod because the massive amount of moisture made caused molding in my brain which led to memory loss. The loss of the memory that I had put my iPod in my bag and failed to take it out before checking my gear.
But I did it. It wasn’t the best “oh my God I love running” run, but it happened. And the truth is, I felt pretty good about it. I was at the back of the pack (of course), but I was strong. And as we moved closer to the finish line, I passed more and more people. Why? Because I can do this. I know how to do this. I know how (on a good day) not to burn myself out at the beginning. It's like I put on a purity ring and won't lose it until the marathon, the day I wed... the... pavement. I'm the everything but girl. HAHA. Vintage SATC references AND social commentary. Wait, what was my metaphor?
2:49:52. Slow even for me, but I was shooting for a time between 2:45:00 and 3:00:00 because that is when I would like to see the 13.1 sign on October 12, 2008. And let's face it, these were the second worse racing conditions I have ever experienced.
So whatever. I'm still drying out. It's going to take awhile.
And remember friends, we’re only halfway there. From here, it only gets harder.