WOW! This race totally blew my socks off. Not literally. No socks were harmed in the running of this race. Here is a recap of my experience running the Rock and Roll Half Marathon in Chicago last weekend. I will skip the details of the weekend and zoom right to the actual race.
The entertainment was non stop! Bands! Guys on stilts! Cheerleaders! And cheering stations everywhere!
I also loved all of the amenities. Plenty of aid stations and medical tents with water and Gatorade. Aid stations toward the end had gels which included the Rock and Roll official flavor: Salted Watermelon. (Full disclosure: I haven’t been brave enough to try it yet.) Cool sponges and mist stations were also very nice. Ice cold towels at the finish and plenty of snacks.
Start: It took about 20-25 minutes for our wave to start after the official 6:30 start time. I’m not sure how many people ran this thing but it was in the thousands. I was really impressed with how well organized this race was, especially considering how many people ran. I got to hang out with a friend while waiting so the wait time flew by. Gun went off and off we went!
I originally wanted to try to PR at this race. Looking at the forecast on Thursday though (extreme heat warning and humidity) I readjusted my plans and aimed for a goal of 2 hours, 30 minutes. Not a PR but would be my best half this year.
Mile 1: Went out too fast. What’s new right?
Mile 2: Even faster. That’s how I roll.
Mile 3: Energizer bunny! Just keep going!
Mile 4 & 5: Still rocking it, at this point feeling pretty confident. Took a short walk break for a gel somewhere around 4.5.
Mile 6 & 7: This is where my feet starts to hurt every other run. But today they didn’t. And it felt awesome. I popped in the headphones and started sprinting. At this point I knew I could meet get a PR in spite of the ridiculous heat and humidity. I felt great.
Mile 8: Heat took over and I had to take a break from sprinting. I immediately realized my mistake. The arch of my left foot felt like it was shattering, ripping, almost collapsing on every foot fall.
Mile 9: The pain was excruciating but I kept limp jogging through it as best I could.
Mile 10-13: It was just unbearable. I switched to jog/walk intervals to finish.
Finish time was 2 hours 47 minutes. My slowest half ever. It was also an extremely fun experience despite the pain and slow finish time. I definitely recommend Rock and Roll and would love to run another half in this series.
This race also qualified me for Half Fanatics. 🙂 Inmate # 12395.