Reflections on My Attempted Marathon

I went into the race knowing I was not fast. I expected the 26.2 miles to take me at least 6 1/2 hours. My only goal was to finish the course. On two feet. Needless to say, a combination of a late start (my corral didn't cross the start line until almost 9am) the warmer than expected weather, and the cloudless sky made it impossible for me to finish. 

This is the race report that I posted to my Facebook training group. "I had a lot of setbacks over the last 4 weeks of training, and to top it all off, I woke up with a horrible cold the Sunday before the race. I chose Chicago as my first marathon because I have lived here for 25 years (I guess you could call it my home town) and I didn't want the stress of having to travel someplace for my first marathon. A friend was scheduled to fly up from Atlanta to run it with me. This was his 3rd marathon. His goal was to be my encouragement. I called him my drill sergeant (He's an ex-Marine). We were in the last corral in the last wave so we didn't take off until almost 9:00am. He was great about reminding me to hydrate and take in fuel at appropriate intervals. I started to run out of steam after the half marathon mark. I am not sure if it was the heat, or if it was psychological. They started removing the aid stations, and the street sweepers and people who were disassembling the course messed with me. My favorite neighborhood was Pilsen (the Hispanic neighborhood). The spectators were still out there when I went through. There was an old man handing out flowers, another group had grapes and another had water. The stretch between Pilsen and Chinatown was the toughest. The sun was high, and I was beginning to feel faint. Shortly before the entry to Chinatown, I ran out of gas. 21.2 miles was all I had in me. I know I need to remind myself that I finished chemo less than 2 years ago, but I am terribly disappointed in myself. And embarrassed. Not sure what my running future plans are."

Today is Thursday, so I have had 3 days to really think about what my plans are for running. I am scheduled to run the Hot Chocolate 5k at the end of October with my Cancer to 5K group. I am not sure what the next race on my calendar will be. I do know that if I don't have a race scheduled, it will be very easy for me to take an extended break from running. And that won't be good for anyone!