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Monday, September 20, 2010

Sunny Days Sweeping the Clouds Away...

You know the feeling you get when the Sesame Street theme song starts to play - the AHH what a wonderful day this is going to be feeling? And then you see the adorable fluffy doggie running carefree through the fields? Yeah, you know the feeling I am talking about. This is the feeling I had when I ran the Chicago Half Marathon last weekend.

The weather was perfect - sunny and cool with beautiful views of Lake Michigan for the first 8 or so miles. The crowd was fantastic and rooted for all 13,000 of us - there were even real cheerleaders and fun cover bands. I danced and cheered through the whole race!

I admit though, I was terrified of the big day. I knew I could finish, but would I finish strong? Would I be disappointed with my time? Would the crowd psych me up?

The half marathon was my first big race. The first time I had actually trained for a real run. In fact, before training for last weekend the farthest I ever ran was 6 miles.

My strategy was to play the race down, let people know I would be happy with just a finish and that time did not matter (haha). The night before I popped a couple of good ol' Tylenol pm pills and consumed an enormous plate of homemade spaghetti thanks to my race support (jason!). I was fast asleep by 9:00pm and up at 5:30 ready to head out.

Believe it or not, I finished the half marathon and I was even zen for the first 9 miles. Zen you say? While running? Is that even possible? Why yes, yes it is possible and I was ZEN! It felt amazing. I was pulling out 9:05 minute miles - what me? A 10:00 minute miler? It is true - the excitement and the anticipation was amazing for my time! I ended up struggling a bit in the end and slowed to 9:50 minute miles, but finished strong at 2:04. I am no speedster, but hey not bad for my first half.

I am hooked. Next year you will find me in the 8:30 group!


LJ said...

A fantastic description of your race. Wish I would have been there to cheer you on and to get a feel of the excitement of the people. Life is good when you experience something like this, don't you think?
Hope your Thursday nights get good responses and you can enjoy a beer afterwards.
Love you!

Anne said...

I'm so impressed Nicolette! As a 10-minute miler, your new found speediness is inspiring! : )

Jason Vander Meer said...

It is really amazing what the race day adrenaline does for you!