Last year I walked my fist half marathon. I loved it, I hated it, I wanted to do it again. Then I did the Disney Half where my mind was even more tested than my body. Especially because I only had 2 hours of sleep and I was emotional about leaving my family and doing this out-of-state race alone. But after I finished Disney I had the same reaction; I loved it, I hated it, I wanted to do it again.
In February or March of this year, I decided I wanted to try more Rock n’ Roll races because these tend to have a longer time limit – something I look for since I’m a walker in hopes to become a runner. Because this series goes to so many fun places, I wanted to do more than one. I wanted to do – for sure Dallas but it was too late and I hadn’t been training so I skipped it. Anyway, I bought the Rock n’ Roll TourPass, and may I say this is one of the BEST ways to do more than one race in the series for an affordable price!
The excitement took over me and I signed up for 3 races:
- Chicago in July – This was part of my birthday month celebration
- Philadelphia – I love history and I want to explore Philly while I run/walk
- Brooklyn – I LOVE New York – enough said!
I prepared my training schedule for Chicago – which, if I’m being honest, I didn’t follow as I should have -. I booked the hotels, I bought the tickets. I was – almost – ready! July came like a storm and with it additional trips before the race. For the 4th of July weekend, I went to Denver for my friend’s wedding and celebrated my birthday; the same week of the race I had to go to Mexico for work and then I flew to Chicago.
Last time I was in Chicago, I was 9 or 10 years old, so obviously I don’t remember much! This was my first time in this awesome city as an adult. I was ready to explore and enjoy the race, but at the same time I was scared I wasn’t going to complete the race on time – after all, I knew my training wasn’t as it should had been -.
The hotel (Palmer House) was amazing and in an awesome location. Just a block or two from the starting line – that meant I could sleep a little longer ;-). As soon as I landed and checked in, I went to the Expo, where I signed up for the 5K on Saturday and met some cool people, and hey I made some impulse purchases as well.
On my way back to the hotel, I called Lift and got a little lost – GPS signal in Chicago it’s crazy – but that gave me a chance to see the city. Saturday morning I participated in the 5K where we walked from Grant Park around the Lake and back. It was a beautiful morning and I ended early enough to go and explore some of the city. While I was exploring, one of my good friends gave a suggestion of a place to go and have a good dinner, it is called Carnivale. It was delicious.
One of my favorite things was taking the train. Everywhere I went I used the train and it was super fun! While I was exploring, one of my good friends gave a suggestion of a place to go and have a good dinner, it is called Carnivale. If you are in the area, you should check it out, it was delicious.
Sunday morning arrived. I was nervous and all up in my head. It was cloudy and the temperature was really pleasant, after all, there was a heat advisory. I joined the 3:30 pace team – this was the time limit of the course and I wasn’t ready for it but I was going to push myself -. I believe I started with a really good rhythm and the best part was how the city was unveiling itself to me.
Every turn had a surprise for me and I felt grateful. Grateful to be able to discover the city while walking around. The wind on my face – although against me – it felt amazing. The buildings rising and falling as I walked by and the river always a constant while walking in Downtown and Michigan Ave it was like walking on a Red Carpet.
At mile 7.5 it started to rain. The race organizers asked us to take cover because of the lighting. I thought that was it. I was going to have to take the van to the finish line – at that point, I was falling a behind. Once they gave us the OK to continue, I took off and kept walking I had decided that even if I wasn’t on track I WAS GOING TO CROSS THE FINISH LINE! I’m glad I did because just like that the city kept showing itself.
Crossing the finish line was a great experience, but because of the rain, most people were gone. On the other hand, I had the cameras for myself :-), and I took advantage of that. I didn’t finish in the time that I was supposed to, but it doesn’t matter. I didn’t give up, I pushed through damp shoes and socks and I’m proud of myself for completing this amazing race!
Have you don’t RnR Chicago Half Marathon!? If so, do you love it? How was your experience? Are you doing the race again!?