Commemorating 9/11 with 13.1

I’d like to say I planned to commemorate the 10-year anniversary of 9-11 by running the Chicago Half Marathon, but the truth is I didn’t even think about the specific day of the race when I signed up. I looked into the Chicago Rock and Roll Half and the Chicago Half Marathon and chose which to do based on my training schedule and price. However, now that the race is finished, I am really glad I was able to do something special to help commemorate the day.

As for the race itself, it really didn’t go quite as I had planned. Since I have a 20-miler next Sunday, I wanted to keep to a 12-min/mile pace. Adding in extra time for bathroom breaks and extra walks, I anticipated a time of 2:45. The problem is I got caught up in a pack  and with the adrenaline rush, I ran 11-min miles for the first 4 miles, followed by 11:10 for the next 2. I stopped at mile 6 to use the restroom mostly as a means to put me in a different group of people. I was out for only 90 seconds, but it was enough to surround me with different faces at a new and slightly slower pace.

It was at mile 7 that I realized my carrier that held my “energy gels” had fallen off along the way. I had eaten a banana and a piece of toast for breakfast, and then 15 min before the start of the race I ate one of the energy gel packs. Since the race didn’t offer any food along the course, that meager breakfast was going to have to sustain me until I reached the finish line.

At around mile 9 I had to use the bathroom. The line wasn’t bad, but I still lost about 4 minutes. And unfortunately, I couldn’t get back into the groove once I returned to the course. I ended up walking a full 5 minutes. I then managed to get back to my rhythm. I took a few additional walk breaks, but I still managed to stay within my 12-min/mile pace expectations. I finished with a time of 2:34:21.

A special thanks to my friend Kara and her family for helping me with logistics to the race and being supportive throughout. Kara, Kevin and Michelle all 3 ran and did a fabulous job!

Did you do anything special to commemorate 9-11?

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