Shortly after the Wisconsin Marathon, I decided I wanted to run another marathon, in the state of Illinois, and with my dad. My dad has been my biggest supporter with this running thing, and he saw me across the finish line of my first marathon some three years ago. It was really important to me that he see me across the finish line of another marathon before we move out of the country in the coming months.
We were going to run Chicago, but that turned into a lottery system with a whole bunch of hoops you had to jump through. There was no guarantee that we'd both get in, so we settled on a local, yet equally as awesome (if not more awesome) marathon- The Prairie State Marathon.
|Why waste energy on my own snark when I can steal someone else's?|
A new rule this year forbid anyone from parking at Independence Grove where the start/finish line is. Even if you had a parking pass to the park, you had to park at the fairgrounds and take a bus to Independence Grove. Aside from this little gem of stupidity, the race went pretty smoothly (sorry, but if you've PAID to park someplace, you should be allowed to park there!).
We arrived at the fairgrounds around 7 and hopped right on a bus that got us to the start in about 20 minutes. Since it was pretty chilly (30s), we decided to take advantage of gear check and wear a jacket right up until the last possible minute. Because the race was so small, it was a cinch to toss our gear bag into the check in 5 minutes before the gun went off.
|Yep, totally stole this photo from the event's Facebook page. I'm not even sorry.|
The course itself was gorgeous. The Des Plaines trail, in the middle of Fall, is amazing.
|This isn't the course, but it's pretty.|
Given the circumstances, I was pleased with how I ran. I didn't expect rainbows and unicorns, I just wanted to finish without feeling like death warmed over, and under 5 hours.
Check, and check!
Around mile 18 my stomach started to feel sour. I had been drinking Gatorade and water, had taken one Gu, and was occasionally nibbling on a cliff bar. But for some reason, my stomach wasn't having any of it. I stuck mostly to water for the last 6 miles and only ate when I felt it was absolutely necessary (I nibbled on a small piece of a snickers bar). If you're any good at math and adding up calories, you'll see that my intake was rather abysmal.
After reassuring my legs they didn't have to run a single mile ever again after this marathon, I crossed the finish line in 4:51. Not a PR, but not a PW. I've had better days, but I've certainly had worse. And in all honesty, I'm happy with any time that has a "4" in front of it!
|The medal and our half-zip up long sleeve tech tee. It'll probably fall apart after two washes like last year's tech tee did...|