Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Chicago Marathon Race Recap: No Giving Up

 "I don't look at a marathon as a race. It's a 26 mile journey, is what it is." -Frank Abramic, 80 year old Chicago Marathon 2015 Finisher, after running his 17th consecutive Chicago Marathon in 6:26. Read his story here
That's his motto. Not a bad way to approach a marathon.

Here's mine.

Back when I was a staff nurse, we had to pick up extra shifts during the winter. We could do a 4 hour or an 8 hour shift, but most of us opted for the 4 hour shift. Dubbed the "princess shift", our motto was:
"You can do anything for 4 hours".
That's what I told myself Sunday morning. This was going to be a princess shift.

Not having a killer long run during my marathon training, I was a little worried about the marathon, and if you've been following me, you know I adjusted my goals. Originally, I wanted a sub-4, BQ race. Even though I trained with this goal in mind, not crushing my long runs during my training made me rethink that goal. I realized that going into this race, if I didn't achieve that goal, that BQ, I would have been hugely disappointed. If you read Sunday's post, you now know that the Chicago marathon is really fun. No matter what the outcome of this race, ultimately, I wanted to have fun. Heck, after all that hard work, I'd hate to throw it all away based on a disappointing race! So I made my B goal about having fun, with, of course, the extra goal of a respectable finish time. I mean, come on, this is overachiever Wendy talking here! I wanted to have fun, but I wanted to hold my head high. And finish with a smile on my face.

But even with my adjusted goal, my backup plan, I was really nervous. I don't know why. I think not crushing my long runs was messing with my head. Even with all the words of wisdom imparted to me by friends and my coach, I just didn't feel as confident as I did last year.

Becky gave me this to wear on my wrist with her mantra: "Good Vibes Only". Race morning, I wore that along with my lucky throwaway sweatshirt that has made it to every race this year! I also slipped the rock she gave me for last year's marathon into my waist pack--the one that said "Believe" on it.

Inspiration from my coach
My husband took me to the El station at 5:30. I sat next to a woman from Alaska who talked my ear off the entire ride into the city. She's done Boston, blah blah blah. When you line up for NYCM, stand on the top deck of the bridge because "everyone pees on the runners on the bottom" blah blah blah. Anchorage is "so boring" blah blah blah. There was another guy with her, whom I thought was her husband, but turns out was just another runner. He was from British Columbia, and we walked through Gate 1 together. Miss Alaska took off for parts unknown, so the Canadian guy and I got to talk while we waited for our bags to be checked. This was his third marathon, having run the Victoria Marathon twice. He was a super nice guy, and once we got through bag check, we had our picture taken and split up.

My Canadian friend and me. Baring our bibs. 
I checked my bag and lined up for the portapotty. Once I finished my business, I walked around. Although we had planned to meet for some pre-race good wishes, Sara texted me--she was going to line up in her corral and wouldn't have time to meet. We texted back and forth about the predicted weather for the day. It was chilly pre-race, but the forecast was for wind and a warm up to the 70s. I also heard from my tribe, who sent last words of encouragement. No one was able to meet me at Buckingham Fountain, so I asked some women who were stretching to take my pre-race picture.

A peaceful moment before heading to back to the circus.
I lined up with my corral and at 8:00 we were off. I knew from previous years that because of the tall buildings, my Garmin would be unpredictable. I wanted to use my Garmin to track my pace. But it went crazy, showing paces all over the place, and so I had to run by feel. Once we got closer to the lakefront, I was able to see an accurate pace, and I was running an easy 8:55 min/mi. I felt good and thought that if I could maintain this pace, I might actually achieve that A goal! Believe and you will achieve, right?

I fueled with Tailwind as I planned, 24 ounces/hour. When I stopped to refill my bottle, I also took about 6 ounces of plain water. At mile 8, I felt the need to pee. That never happens to me when I run, but I stopped at the portapotty. As I headed forward, I felt some cramping in my stomach and a little bit of nausea. I wondered if I was taking my fuel too fast, so I backed off a little bit.

I maintained my steady pace until about mile 14. My hamstrings started to tighten up, and when I stopped to hug my friend Karen, I couldn't catch my breath. I was trying to figure that out. The wind must have kicked up something that triggered my latent asthma and/or allergies. I haven't had to use an inhaler for a couple of years, but today would have been the day to pack one in my already overloaded SLS3 HiPZiPP (affiliate link). I started to run again. Interestingly, that shortness of breath didn't bother me as much when I ran, but every time I stopped, I had to catch my breath. It was an uncomfortable feeling.

Trying to catch my breath
As was the nausea and a migraine that was threatening to go full blown. By mile 16, I felt so queasy that I pulled out my secret weapon. As a nurse practitioner, I prescribe a medication for nausea and vomiting, and I put one of those pills in my waist pack every time I do a long distance event. I've never had to take it before but today I popped in my mouth and let it dissolve. I chased it with some Tailwind. I figured I couldn't feel any worse than I was already feeling, right?

The sun was really starting to feel warm and at mile 17, I finally put up the white flag of surrender and began to walk. Crap!

This would be my pattern for the rest of the race. I tried to run slower, but I still had to stop to regroup every mile. I felt a feeling of despair. This is exactly what happened to me when I ran my first Chicago marathon. Except, I reminded myself, at that race I started to feel badly at mile 8. Here I was at mile 17. I could finish this thing, even if I had to walk the REMAINING 9 MILES. Oh, hell no! I remembered calling my husband at mile 18 during that bad race--I wasn't going to do that. I could finish this thing and meet my B goal, right? I needed to stay positive. There would be no burpees. Not only because I was going to push on and finish, but because I didn't think I was capable of getting back up off the ground once I went down to do them.

There's motivation, right there.

After that little mental pep talk, I felt better and began to run again. I listened to my music. "No Giving Up" by Crossfade came on.
"There's no giving up now. Do you really want to give this all away? Can't you ever see things in a different way? Somedays. No giving up now. Such a beautiful thing to throw away. You should think things through. Over and over again. All over again."
and

"I know we have given. All that we can give. When there's nothing to lean on. Well, I remember this. All we make of this lifetime. Is always here within. And remembering that's why. We should never give in. "

And to think I almost deleted this one from my playlist. If I ever needed to hear this song, it was now. I will admit it's kind of screamy. But the lyrics were just the push I needed.

And so it went. I couldn't count on my Garmin, so I kept my eye on the clocks at the mile markers, knowing that I started 31 minutes after the elites. I was able to estimate my finish. And as long as I finished under 4:30, I would be happy. I pushed myself to run a little farther, a little harder.

Run, walk, run, walk. I channeled my inner Jeff Galloway. Sipped my Tailwind. Ignored my hamstrings and my feet, which were now screaming in pain.

Spectators called out encouragement to me:

"You got this!"(believe it or not, yep, I do)
"You look great!" (to which I shook my head) 
and "Go USA" (in reference to my shirt) 

Finally, I made it to Mt Roosevelt. The final sprint to the finish. That 400 meter run up a stupid hill to the finish. My legs found something that I had been missing for a while. A little surge of adrenaline pushed me up that hill and I flew through the finish line! 

Finish line, here I come!

Official finish time: 4:25:53
I felt a huge sense of euphoria, crossing that finish line. Because even though I didn't get my A goal, I got something more. This finish was a huge mental victory for me. I didn't quit. I didn't give up. I dug deep and did what I had to do. And I finished with a respectable finish time. One that I could be proud of. 


If the weather conditions were different, could I have done better? Probably. But I always think of that advice that my friend and Ironman finisher Sandy gave me back before my first marathon: 
"You have to go with what the day gives you."-Sandy, Ironman finisher
And that's exactly what I did.

On my terms. I haven't stopped smiling since I finished.  What a race!


Have you ever had to adjust your race goals based on your training? On race day conditions? How did you do? And how did you feel?

I'm linking this post up with DebRuns and Wednesday Word, which for this week just happens to be adjust. Who knew?


127 comments :

  1. Congratulations! I understand being proud of the mental accomplishment, but the physical was there too. And, you do look great!

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    1. Thank you! That mental victory was huge for me!

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  2. Part of why I love this crazy thing called running is because you never know what you'll get on race day. It's always different. You ran a strong race with what the day gave you. That is always a win to me. A huge congratulations to you, Sista!

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    1. Isn't that the truth? I've run this thing 3 times and each time has been a completely different experience!

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  3. Love this recap!! Your pre-race picture that you had someone take of you, you look like a teenager!! You inspired me before this race, you inspire me more now! Glad you met goal B and enjoyed it!!!

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    1. Awww, that's just the nicest compliment! Now it's your turn to race and I can't wait to cheer you on!

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  4. Great recap, thanks for sharing.Really enjoyed following your journey and finishing a marathon in itself is an accomplishment !

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    1. This was the first time I have ever made a B goal for a race, and it was the best thing I could have done. I had a hard race but I had a great time. I did a lot more smiling that I expected, feeling as badly as I did!

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  5. Nice recap Wendy. You just never know what happens during a marathon. It is so hard to predict. This was a great race for you. Your attitude is inspiring and guess what? Your time is really awesome too! You didn't have many long runs. I followed your training. You did great. You are a very strong woman Wendy.

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    1. I think in many ways, this was my greatest race--because I didn't quit. That was much harder than anything else I accomplished on Sunday!

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  6. You did so great in tough conditions. I'm quite familiar with that stretch at 17...very walkable. ; ) Glad you are proud cuz you made the most of what the day gave you. Can't ask for any more than that. xo ps when you run NYCM you don't have a choice of upper or lower bridge. You get what you get. She was obnoxious, yes?

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    1. So obnoxious--I hate smug runners. I wonder how she did?

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  7. Oh, dear, I had no idea you were feeling so poorly. Given that, it's amazing that you achieved such a fabulous finish time. I love that line, "You have to go with what the day gives you."
    Congratulations. You did it.

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  8. As I told so many of our trainees, who also got hit hard during the race: it is just as impressive to get your wits about your and finish a tough race as it is to run a flawless one. You should be just as proud of yourself for making smart decisions that got you to the finish line even though things were tough as you would be with a perfect race. SO PROUD

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    1. I think having experience in the marathon really paid off for me with this race. I knew what I was capable of; I strategized how I could finish and still feel good about my time. It would be interesting to compare the Wave 1 runners with the Wave 2 runners to see how many achieved their goals....it really warmed up after 11:00.

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  9. Congrats on finishing a tough marathon! The hardest ones are always the most memorable. I trained my butt off for Richmond marathon ast year and had a hellish day. cold temps, burning fuel faster than I thought and a cross-wind on a mile long bridge did me in. My mom ended up running the last 10 miles w me and found me a sweatshirt on the side of the road to wear to get warm. It was the most miserable ten miles I've ever run but damnit I'm proud that I finished. The hardest fought races teach you the most I think! -C

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    1. I think the toughest races are the most rewarding too! Finishing is winning, for sure!

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  10. Wow this is almost exactly how my race went down too. Everything started doing downhill around mile 16 and that was when I was like, nope, time to run/walk. I also got a killer headache and had to stop at a med tent for advil. I think it was the tension in my neck and shoulders. I wish this race went better for me, but we FINISHED and that is awesome! We dug deep and got it done. Something I kept repeated to myself during those hard miles was "grind it out." Until next time, 26.2!

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    1. Yep, that back half was killer! Finishing was winning for us!

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  11. Great race!!! I'm proud of you for sticking it out and finishing strong. My splits went crazy on miles 20-23 too. It's soooo hard!!!! You have so much to be proud of!

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    1. I'm so happy I made a B goal, and I'm happy that I achieved it. First time I've ever done that!

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  12. I always love your perspective and how you are able to see so many positives come out of a challenge. No one else would think of this as a princess shift. :) Congrats!

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    1. I've worked some difficult princess shifts, but I'd say this was one of the toughest ones ever! :p

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  13. This is super-inspiring! I am nervous as heck for MCM (not stellar training this summer, tweaky knees 11 days out), but I'm gonna download that Crossfade song for sure. Thank you. and congratulations!!!

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    1. You just never know where you'll find inspiration!

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  14. Great job, you look so strong. I want to be like you when I grow up for sure ;)

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  15. the know it all marathon runner at the beginning would have so annoyed me! Glad Miss Alaska moved on :) Great recap - and BIG congratulations. You had such a great training cycle. So inspiring to follow your journey and you're right, you didn't quit. Love this!!! so happy for you!

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    1. She was such a distraction from my nerves. But inside I was like "STFU!".

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  16. Congrats. I think you did great, considering. It is tough when the body doesn't cooperate. I really hesitate trying to run a full.

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    1. They say a marathon is 90% mental and I'd have to agree with that.

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  17. Oh man I have been there... mentally urging myself to finish the race and just keep going! I heard it was really warm that day. I am sure a lot of people had to adjust their expectations!

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    1. Well, look at it this way, since I didn't BQ, I only have one more marathon to run...

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  18. Great job! The important thing is that you never gave up. I love that last picture of you....in the zone!

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  19. Congratulations!!!! I think running a marathon is such an accomplishment. They are never easy or perfect. I wonder if anybody actually has ever had a perfect race? My perfect race would be me running on one of those motorized treadmill like things at the airport...really. Way to go
    bakingrunner.blogspot.com

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    1. That's a great question...I wonder if any one has?

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  20. Congrats on sticking it out and achieving your "B" goal. For most of us, it wasn't an "A" goal kind of day. I think we both had adrenaline push us up Mt. Roosevelt, as I hardly remember it being difficult despite running 26 miles until that point! Congrats again!

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    1. We wave 2 runners really caught the warmth of the day...I keep hearing from people who struggled like I did. What a tough race!

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  21. You are not a quitter and I'm so glad you found the inspiration and motivation you needed to get you through this very tough race! My toughest race was the Tupelo half a year ago, I could have given up on running after that one, but I signed up for it again and I could swear it was a totally different race! The hills that killed me last time were very doable, still hard but doable! I found something inside me I had not seen before and so did YOU! Great race Wendy! :)

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    1. Oh my gosh yes! And last year was a completely different race for me.

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  22. Congratulations! Just as worthy of a race battling through an off day as feeling great....almost more so I think!

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  23. I have enjoyed following your journey. You should be extremely proud. Overcoming the mind is the hard part and you did it. Congratulations on your victory!

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    1. I'm so happy with this race! It isn't always about finish times, is it?

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  24. wendy. i am SO proud of you. i know sunday was tough for SO many of my friends (almost all of them, actually) and you did it -you didn't quit and you finished strong. i was tracking you all morning and was SO happy when you finished. congrats again - amazing job!!! xx

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    1. Thank you for all your support! It means the world to me. I can't wait to see how you do at MCM!

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  25. Congratulations on a well done race! You continue to inspire me daily!!

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  26. I love when the perfect song comes on my ipod with words of motivation!
    Congrats!!! So amazing.
    I'm sorry you felt so bad with the nausea & a migraine is the WORSE!! You are one tough lady to press on through that!!!
    ... & I gotta admit - I'd be the lady talking - I am a talker anyways but when I'm nervous, I dont shut up - dont be too harsh on her - she's my kinda people :) haha

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    1. I'm a talker too but there's talking and then there's....talking...

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    2. True story!! And the you start looking at them with glassy eyes and just grin and nod as if you're paying attention!! :) ha!! Been there... done that! Great job Wendy!!

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  27. I am SO SO SO proud of you!!! You took what the day gave you, and you ran with it (pun intended). I always tell people that no matter how much a runner prepares, there's no controlling the weather on race day. And sometimes our body just doesn't want to show up when our mind is active and ready. You did great, and you finished with a smile ;-) I wish I could high-5 (and hug) you in person!

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  28. I'm SO proud of you, Wen! I absolutely loved your recap, and YES -- You can do ANYTHING for four hours, especially after a journey like that!<3

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    1. Yep, nothing will be as hard as this race! And that's why I finished with a smile!

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  29. Congratulations on a well-done race! You demonstrated such mental and physical strength by pushing through those hard miles - running with nausea and a headache is no easy feat. If I learned anything from my one marathon, it's that the only thing we can control in the race is our attitude, so we might as well be positive and determined!

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    1. I think that is the take home lesson I learned from my first marathon. In spite of feeling like crap, there was just so much to smile about! And smiling really makes the miles easier, doesn't it?

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  30. HUGE tears in my eyes seeing that second to last pic. So super proud of you, Wendy!!! You did an amazing job despite several obstacles!!! My first Chicago was slightly similar, except for the fact that I NAILED my 20 miler and thought I had a 4:45 race in the bag. My knee blew at mile 17, and I hobbled the last 1/4 of the race with a 5:23 finish time. BUT...I didn't quit. You rock!!!!

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    1. I knew I could run with my issues--it could have been so much worse--a blown knee? Ugh.

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  31. You totally kicked butt AND I love that you thought about the lack of burpees to keep you motivated. I see ya CrossFit ;) Great job!!

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    1. That was my motivation last year as well.

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  32. Loved this recap - I was thinking about you on Sunday and hoping you were having a good race. You ROCKED it!!! Congratulations, and job well done on pushing through some really painful miles.

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    1. It wasn't pretty but yep, I'd have to call it a good race!

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  33. Congrats on digging deep for that finish. It is so hard to keep moving when you feel so crappy. Reading your story reminded me of the frustration I felt at Ironman Mont Tremblant. Those hard earned mental victories are sometimes worth more than the clock time victories. Great recap and hope you are recovering well!

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    1. Absolutely! It isn't always about finish times, is it?

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  34. Great race report! Congrats!

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  35. You are a warrior! As soon as I saw the forecast I decided to run for fun and soak up the experience. I have decided to go for a PR(maybe a BQ!) at the Naperville Marathon on November 8. Join me!

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    1. So tempting! But no distance events for me until next April when I run Big Sur. My coach would probably stop training me if I did anything else!

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  36. Congratulations, Wendy! You fought through that 26.2 like a champ! Now I hope you're enjoying some rest :)

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    1. I'm really tired after this one! And believe it or not, I'm enjoying some time off. But I won't lie, I'm starting to miss running!

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  37. Congrats Wendy! You know you have inspired me this entire marathon training cycle and you have just inspired me more with your positive attitude. I'm a bit worried about my goals for next week, especially with my nagging calf and worried that I'm going to set myself up for disappointment. I need to channel your positivity because right now the taper is killing my mental game!! So proud of you and how you pushed through despite the conditions!! xoxox

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    1. I thought about you and how hard both of us trained to crush our goals...but this race really proved to me how strong I am as a runner! I look at those splits on those last tough miles, and yep, they were slow but they were consistent. I was still strategizing how to salvage this thing, even though the wheels were threatening to come off. I'm really happy with how it all turned out. Yep, a BQ would have been a dream come true, but to pull this one off was such a mental victory for me!

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  38. Congrats! I really enjoyed your recap! I admire your strength to push through despite the weather conditions and not feeling well.

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  39. Congrats on a great finish Wendy! It stinks you weren't feeling well. but you toughed it out and finished strong :) What a inspiration you are.

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    1. I'm really proud of this race. My goal was to finish strong and have a beer at the finish, and I did both!

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  40. Congratulations! I'd love to run this one day!

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  41. Congrats on running Chicago! Yes you can do anything for 4 plus hours! I love following your story...I am a nurse too! I hope you enjoyed your beer too and happy rest and recovery!

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    1. You bet I enjoyed it! I forgot to even mention it in this recap because compared to everything else, it was kind of anticlimatic!

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  42. Serious awesomeness Wendy! Congrats on the finish despite not feeling well. Never give up are powerful soul deep words.

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    1. Truly. I feel like I can do anything after this one.

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  43. What a story, thanks for sharing! You did an awesome job and you should still be smiling! Every race is an adventure is how I look at it! You never know how it is going to go for sure but I knew you would finish strong! HA, the princess shift is funny, not sure I could look at a marathon that way- mine might be more like a disaster drill :) Enjoy that recovery and rest a bit, you have certainly earned it! I hope you are still smiling!

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    1. I am still smiling! I feel like everyone should know what I did, right? And they should treat me like a princess...

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  44. Thank you so much for sharing! You're making me want to run a marathon. Congrats and great job!

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    1. Crossing that finish line is the BEST feeling in the world. I can only compare it to giving birth. Seriously!

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  45. Great job! We never know what race day will bring and you handled Chicago like a champ! I am training for NYC and got injured on my 17 mile long run. I am not sure I will even be able to run again before the race so I did adjust my goals to just finishing!

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    1. Experience definitely paid off with this one! I am sure that I would have DNF'd like so many runners did if I didn't know how to switch up my strategy. I'm really proud of this race! It isn't always about finish times, is it?

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  46. Hi Wendy. I also just ran the Chicago Marathon and so appreciated reading your recap. We experienced so many of the same thoughts and issues on the course. I wish I had had your ace-day wisdom to adjust my pace expectation so I wouldn't be disappointed with my 4:25 time, but I am feeling more positive every day! I guess this is just one more thing that comes with experience! Congratulations and thanks for the detailed recap!

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    1. Experience definitely paid off this time around. After reading your recap, I recalled my first Chicago Marathon and how disappointed I was with my finish time. Hindsight is 20/20 but I definitely should not have had a time goal for that race! This was the first time I ever revised my goals--and having that B goal was huge for my mental toughness! Congrats again! It was a tough day!

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  47. Great job! Congrats on staying strong and keeping moving forward. It really is so much about mental toughness.

    I have a feeling that MCM will be filled with minute by minute pace decisions. I'm planning to go out there and have a ton of fun, if nothing else.

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    1. I'm so glad I revised my goals and had that B goal. When I look at my splits, you can see where I did my revision of my pace decision! Even though my later miles were slow, the splits were consistent, and that shows me that I ran a smart race! I'm so happy with this one.

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  48. Huge congratulations, Wendy! Way to push through despite all the challenges you were facing. You are a ROCKSTAR. I think it was really, really smart of you to adjust your goals based on how you were feeling. It takes a lot of courage to do that!

    So bummed that Marcia and I didn't see you at Mile 13! We were keeping our necks craned for your patriotic shirt! But when we realized you already passed, we figured it was because you had flown by in such a flash of light that you were a blur to us spectators. ;-)

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    1. I am so sad I missed you guys! I was scanning the crowd for Mr Happy but missed him! Guess I was just flying by! Funny how I spotted Bart Yasso at mile 12, tho...

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  49. Congratulations Wendy!!! I love your recap and way to push through the hard parts!! Don't you hate the hill at the finish? :)
    So happy for you - you are a rockstar!!!!

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  50. Congrats Wendy!! You are amazing!! Even though all did not go as planned you pushed through and finished! You are an inspiration! I see a marathon in my future! :)

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    1. thank you! Make it Chicago. Best.race.ever.

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  51. Can I just say "ditto"? LOL. We had such similar races (although, I wish I had your finish time ;) ) Congrats to you!!! @hellyonthrun

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    1. It seems that there were a lot of runners who had similar experiences! What happened at mile 14? Mile 16? It's like they turned on the heat or something....

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  52. Bravo! Congratulations, my friend. I am so happy for you and so proud of you! Terrific job in recapping. And I use Sandy's quote all the time - You took what the day gave you and made the most of it. You are a Superhero! ~

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    1. Thank you my friend! it was a tough one, but I'm still smiling!

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  53. Sounds like you gave yourself the perfect attitude adjustment at mile 17. Congrats on persevering and running a race that you are proud of!

    Thanks for linking up!

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    1. No regrets at all! We learn something from every race, and this one was a great teacher!

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  54. Great run. That was a challenging race especially with the heat at the end. You gave it your ALL and you did it. Great recap and Congratulations!!!!

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    1. Thank you! I'm really proud of this race.

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  55. I love this recap so much. Way to dig deep and push! So proud of you my friend!

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    1. Thank you! I was pretty proud of this one....

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  56. Congrats ,Wendy! It was a tough one for sure.

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  57. This was my first marathon. I had several levels of goals. Didn't quite make the first two, but hit the others. It was truly a mental and physical obstacle course that I won. I'm thoroughly enjoying reading the individual stories. How cool that more than 40,000 people (and more if you count the volunteers and spectators) were concurrently existing as their best selves.

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    1. Congrats on your first marathon! I agree, I like reading everyone else's recaps. What an amazing experience!

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  58. Congratulations for digging deep and finishing strong despite the tough hand you had there with the headache and nausea. I jumped in at Mile 13 and ran 10 with a friend. She had stomach trouble and was so upset. When she met me at 13, she was 2 minutes behind. We stopped again at 16, 18 and 22. At one point she was so upset that she was almost hyperventilating. I just rubbed her back and reminded her that she "wasn't going to win this one today, so she may as well enjoy the rest." At least that got a smile. She finished in 4:19. The more impressive days are when you overcome. Great job! You'll get that BQ next time!

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    1. I think everyone (most everyone anyways) struggled with the conditions on race day! How great that you helped your friend finish. I don't know about a BQ because my next marathon is Big Sur!

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  59. Ok I FINALLY got to read this. Wendy, I've been there SO many times. Eagleman this year, Boston 2014, Scotiabank Marathon 2010 to name a few. I had goals for each of them and had to re-evaluate after I had started the race. It sucks but that's racing. You pushed through and didn't quit and that speaks volumes! You never know what the day is going to bring so you do the best with whatever you're given. Congrats!!!!

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    1. Thank you Phaedra! I would love to be looking forward to a BQ, but I still look at this one as a win!

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  60. Congrats on a hard fought finish and making your B goal! I think sometimes its easy to get wrapped up in a long distance race and in the heat of the moment you can just give up mentally. And those months of training can go right out the window in those few hours. It takes a lot of mental strength to fight through and keep going. Love your positive attitude about the race, too!

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    1. A marathon is such a big deal, and I think we runners set some really high goals for ourselves. I was so disappointed after my first one and I hated feeling that way. No matter what the outcome, we should all be happy when we cross that finish line.

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  61. Love, love reading this! You are an amazing runner. I love your commitment and dedication. I could love a thing or two from you. :-)

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    1. I learn from all my running friends! I've become such a better runner because of all of you!

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  62. It seems like I always have to adjust my race goals...either due to injury...or training...or weather. In the end, it always works out if I set realistic expectations. I usually end up crushing my goals! Congrats on your race...I'm hoping to run Chicago next year as my first full!

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