enjoying every second of life and running

Chicagoland Spring Marathon – 3:42:52


I set a new person record….in bathroom stops during a marathon. More on that in a minute.

Saturday we made our way North with Drew for the Chicagoland Spring Marathon. First we picked up our bibs and shirts at Dick Pond Athletics.

Then it was on to dinner. With my stomach I wanted to try something that other bloggers eat prior to a marathon and that’s cheese pizza. The guys wanted pasta so Maggiano’s was the best and easiest choice. I had the Margarita Flatbread and it was delish.

After dinner we went back to chill at the hotel and I had new nail polish to try out. It’s very relaxing to do my nails before a race. I got OPI’s Katy Perry Series “The one that got away”, which matches the pink in my running clothes really nice! Then I applied the black shatter top coat to get the crackled effect. It is very unique and would probably be a good way to cover up nails as they chip to make them look fresh again easily.

I slept well and we woke up with more than enough time to get ready. Me before the race.

We arrived and found the designated parking with no problem. The only issue? The terrible weather. Wind gusts were easily up to 30 mph, it was drizzling cold rain and just barely going to hit 50 degrees. The mist actually was nice, especially since the other option was the downpour that had happened two straight days prior, but the winds were bone chilling and made it hard to walk around to get our chips and bathroom break. This would be a challenge out running, but it was the cards we were dealt.

I was feeling frozen so I actually switched out from my arm sleeves and wore the race shirt under my singlet, which worked out very well.

This was an inaugural race with only 553 running the half and 235 running the full. We line up full and half marathoners at the same time with no coral or pace separations. There are pacers on the course for some times and people line up and there is no pushing at the front like some races. We all are freezing and bodies do full shaking as we wait to get started. The start was in the parking lot of a corporate building and feels much like a 5K race at that point. Then we were off, onto a highway stretch that was perhaps over a mile long and then left to an overpass that took us into Busse Woods. I was comfortably 2nd female from mile 3 on to 10. I was feeling great until right around that point and I knew that I would need to make a potty stop. It’s becoming a part of my racing that mile 10 my stomach makes and undeniable required stop. Luckily a stop was right there at that moment and I quickly took care of business. In fact, I didn’t feel phased by this stop. I was very quick and heck I could still PR since my last PR was with a stop.

Off I go carrying on my strategic plan of being conservative to get a PR, but now I’m in fourth or fifth female overall depending on the person cheering who is counting.

The course was beautiful, paved park trail. Wooded and peaceful, but open areas were difficult because the winds were relentless. They were knock you over level of winds for .5 or mile increments through the course. The course looped back on itself in a couple points and I got to see Rob twice. 🙂 At mile 12.5 a guy going the opposite direction saw my shirt and said “Often Running!” I don’t know who it was so I shouted back “Yeah Buddy!” Other than fighting winds I was feeling good. If you run this course you have to be with being okay all alone for long stints. It was very peaceful, but I had to mind my pace often because I had a natural tendency to go into long run training mode without that race feeling around.

By mile 17 or 18 my stomach was feeling really sour. So horrible that I couldn’t keep eating my Carboom. I felt like lying down and curling up I was in so much pain. I don’t think the heavy winds pushing on my stomach were much help either. My pace fell off and then by mile 22 I was in serious trouble. I had a very intense stomach pain that hit me so hard and I needed a bathroom immediately before I had a scene. There was absolutely no time or options I had to get to a potty. I saw a location in the park about .25 mile away and had to run to it through the wet grass. I made it barely in time and was in there for a long time. 😦 I burst into tears from the discomfort and the loss of my race feeling. After my long visit I came out and ran back to the course from where I had left it. I could have cut across to get back onto the course from where I was, but that wouldn’t be right so I started back on the course from where I exited. I think ‘does this count as an ultra since I’m well over a full distance now?’, just a bit of humor to keep myself from bursting into tears while running.

The last four miles were excruciating for me. I felt weak, dehydrated and unable to take fuel. Mile 25 was a straight head wind gust back and felt unbearable on my stomach. The only thought that kept me running, although be it at a slow pace, was that I love running in spite of how terrible this experience had become.

I felt so out of my skull when I crossed the line. Rob and Drew got me hooked up with fuel.

Rob had PRed in the marathon with 3:30:01 and took 2nd in his Age Group!

Drew PRed in the half marathon with a 2:04:50!

Both of them had just marathoned 2 weeks ago, I’m so proud of them!

I felt completely terrible so we left before realizing that I had taken 2nd in my Age Group. I’m seeing if I can get the award medal sent to me. It would have been fun to have it to wear out to lunch, oh well. A consolation prize to my experience.

I think I’m inventing a new duathlon run, potty, run, potty, run. It’s really disheartening since I don’t feel like I’m really getting to race, I’m just surviving an experience of racing on a broken body. 😦

So what will I do different? I’m going to try fig newtons as my next half/full race fuel and see if that settles my stomach. It makes it hard to decifer since my training runs go fine, but the races not so much.

Here is a picture of the Chicagoland Spring Marathon finisher medal and the award medal.



8:30 Pace (blech)

F 30-34: 2/10

F: 16/80

Overall: 66/235

13 thoughts on “Chicagoland Spring Marathon – 3:42:52

  1. I am sorry to hear that your stomach has once again, decided to give you problems on race day. I hope you find what works best so you can race hard and finish fast!

  2. Oh no! Sorry to hear you had such a terrible stomach towards the end 😦 You should still be proud that you sucked it up and finished.

  3. sorry you had stomach issues! still a stellar time though! im jealous! 🙂 love the opi!!! 🙂

  4. I’m sorry to hear you had issues again. You’ve had a streak of terrible luck. Maybe you’re overtraining a bit? I don’ tknow if that would cause gastro issues though.

  5. A good marathon time and nice race report.

  6. Holy Moly, you still did totally awesome even tho you had to stop for the potty! I am sorry about that and I totally know how you feel. My stomach is way sensitive and sometimes the pain will stop me in my tracks.

    Fig newtons….I have never thought about that but I think I will try it. I love them!

    PS we are doing an awesome giveaway on the blog today. You should check it out!

  7. Pingback: A Fresh Year | FlyRunner

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