This race I was on the fence about running from up to the moment we woke up to get ready.
As I mentioned in my previous posts, I have been dealing with tight hamstrings, especially on my right side, for about a week before the Chicago Marathon. I ended up having hamstring issues most of the marathon. Since then I’ve been trying to follow the scheduled recovery period as my legs would allow. I was feeling optimistic since I was noticing improvement. Eventually my left side was pain free and just my right hamstring was sore.
Friday I was feeling better and went out for my planned 8 miles easy and was going to do pick ups afterward. I found out quickly that I couldn’t even finish 8 easy without foam rolling. How was I going to run a half marathon in two days feeling like this?
I iced my leg often Friday. Saturday I even sat on an ice pack on as we drove to St. Louis. I also did an ice bath at the hotel that night.
FR Tip: If you are at a hotel and plan to take an ice bath, use the gear check bag as your ice container for the ice machine, it holds a lot!
I knew HM goal race pace was out of the question. I was more worried could I make it 13 miles without making my injury worse, especially when 8 easy Friday was such a struggle. I awoke to a leg that was improved, but not 100% I planned to run the race and be conservative with my stride. I knew I could get out there and within a few miles I could be regretting my decision.
As far as my tummy goes the day before the race I had gluten-free cereal, salad from Panera with no dressing and a strip steak with cream spinach for dinner. I know it’s TMI but magic happened, thank goodness! So I was happy to expect tummy issues wouldn’t be a concern.
I got ready and hugged our pug Coco before heading out. 🙂
We stayed in a hotel close to the start/finish area so we were able to easily warm up before getting into the corral. Rob and I spent some time determining how much of a stride I could take to try and save my hamstring. I would try to make an effort to take smaller steps and lean forward to keep my hamstring as happy as possible.
The weather was perfect! 55 degrees and zero wind, mostly overcast, the sun only came out for short moments.
By mile 2 a young lady says to me “Hey didn’t you race Washington?”. I say “no”, thinking of Washington D.C. first and wondering if Rock and Roll has a race. I didn’t catch at the time she meant Washington Cherry Festival in Washington, IL. Then she says “but didn’t you run Rock and Roll Chicago and IVS Half Marathon?” Then I’m like “yes, yes I did!” She responds “I thought I’ve seen you at those races, you and your husband race a lot.” No denying my addiction for racing. 🙂 She asks if I ran Chicago Marathon and is suprised to see me out. I tell her about my hamstring and my conservative pace. I try to catch her name and I think it was Vanessa. I tell her about the running blog, so if you do read this please post and say hi. I hope you had a great race!
The miles passed by easily. The course is hilly throughout and noticible to me since we live in a very flat area. I enjoyed every moment running with my conservative stride. I was able to say “good morning”, “hi” and wave to many people on the course. I even saw two pugs at different points on the course and told the owner my love of pugs and that we had a sweet pug Coco. 🙂
The course went south into some beautiful neighborhoods. It was just an absolute perfect day. As we came into the finish it was on an incline which was an interesting, punishing twist. I finished with a 1:43:09, which I’m very happy with considering I wasn’t certain I could even race at all and my leg didn’t feel any worse! I easily found Rob and he also had a fun race, finishing with a 1:32!
This was one of the better organized Rock and Roll races. There were a lot of bands throughout the course that sounds really great. The waters were iced and there was plenty of fruit afterward. The medal was large and seriously heavy.
Afterward I had another ice bath and am still feeling like things are improving, thank goodness! I would definitely consider coming back to do this race again.