After picking up race # from Loop Guy’s condo, I walked the mile back to hotel and enjoyed the rest of my Saturday in Chicago; went to Intelligentsia Coffee (some of THE best coffee around), went into an awesome Photo Gallery on N. Michigan Avenue. Cesar Russ Photo. His photography was gripping, mesmerizing & inspiring. His website does not do his work justice, but it is The CROWN FOUNTAIN SERIES was awesome to see in person.

My initial thoughts before flying in were to go to the Cubs vs Giants game. Having never been to Wrigley Field before and with my favorite team in town, I wanted to go. However, with the weather looking more awful by the minute, the last thing i wanted to do was go sit in a cold, windy stadium for 3 or more hours. So, I watched the game from the comfort of the bar area at restaurant across from my hotel. I had a nice dinner, felt cozy and cheered my team on from the comfort of my bar stool. Went to sleep early and woke up at 5am feeling ready to race. Feeling refreshed and limber is a great thing on race day. I feel like those feelings/conditions have eluded me the last few races.

Appropriately dressed for rain/cold, I walked out of the Raffaello Hotel and headed west for the mile walk to race start. Windy, heavy drizzle slapped against me as I made my way towards the Lakeshore. I was so glad to finally see some runners and took comfort that we are all a bunch of crazy and awesome people.

Soon enough, the race began. The course was entirely along the Lakeshore paved path. Out and back. The narrow path proved to be a bit congested in many areas, but it’s not like I was trying to run 7 min miles or something…I kept a good pace for the first 6.5 miles out with the wind at my back at times and other times, it was coming from the west side. It was truly like being pelted with sheets of ice. No protection whatsoever. Left side of my face was frozen. Head too. Ouch, man. That hurt. Then, the wind would whip up and shove me forward.

For the 1st half of race (about 6.5 miles) I was running about 9:18 pace per mile, which was ok and I felt encouraged until I made the turn to head back the other direction. WOW. How to explain running into 25-30mph winds? Nothing to compare it to. Holy Cow. That’s about all I can say. I’ve run in wind before, but I have not run in WIND OFF OF LAKE MICHIGAN. Because I wear glasses, I had to wear a hat which was blown off of my head several times. I could not raise my head much, so I just kept my eyes downward and kept on going. With each step, it felt like I was being defeated. I felt like I had to make soo much effort to even go 5 feet forward. Not Kidding.

Did I ever think about stopping and bailing out? No. What I thought was…”Wow. I cannot believe I am voluntarily doing this.”  Honestly, I couldn’t think about much other than getting to the next mile and the next one until I was done. I looked out at the powerful ocean and the white-capped waves a few times. I gained strength from the runners in front of me, beside me, behind me. We were all in our own worlds and yet so connected by our passion, our goal. I believe, in our hearts, we were all aiming to be our own hero, someone we could be proud of…

And, I was. Proud. It took maybe a full 24 hours for me to truly feel proud and get over the disappointment of my finish time of 2:14:34. I know it was the conditions, etc…but I can’t help it. (In case you are just tuning in…i’ve been trying for a new PR at the Half-Marathon Distance.)

I grabbed my finisher medal, which is really nice by the way, and walked back to hotel. A bit later, I get an email from Loop Guy, who lives in a condo overlooking the race course:

Did ya get ur ass kicked by my windy city 😉

ME: kicked my ass and then some! Brutal conditions. The harshest i’ve ever run in during all my years of racing. or even training. But, it does make the finish line more sweet.
thanks again, Dom! I will make the donation and let you know when finalized.
did you watch from the cozy comforts of your condo?

Yep … got that right … was good timing to be on the injured reserve list hehehe
I was sittin in my watch tower … hot cup of coff … toasted french bagel … cream cheese … fresh fruit … anddddd gazing over the diehards … hehehe …. being pummeled with sheets of icy lake sweat …

Just thinking … somewhere in that mass of red runny noses, blured eyes, chattering teeth, … stands Angie … taking one for the team … hehehe … you go girl! … 

Thank you to Loop Guy and to all of you who support and cheer me on in my quests…your kind words, your encouragement, your positive energy mean more to me than I could ever properly or adequately express.



5 Responses to “Chicago:2”

  1. A*M*A*Z*I*N*G!!! great job…i’d have to look back at my tweets to you, but pretty sure i called that race time rather close! i may have even put a little longer because of the wind, but you nailed it….BE PROUD!!!every race is your personal best, your PR will come! love you…


  2. Ang, This got me… WOW… ‘We were all in our own worlds and yet so connected by our passion, our goal.’

  3. smiley face exclamation mark

  4. What an inspiration you are my friend. I’m glad everything worked out and you were able to do the race. I was happy to hear you ate properly the night before… got some good sleep… and had time to stretch before the race. Oh and had the proper running shoes. 😉 You will get that damn PR!!! Love ya sweetie!

  5. great work under some nasty conditions! hopefully you are way over any disappointment. i love the spontaneity and the story with Loop Guy!

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