The Chicago Marathon: A newbie's tale (part 1)

The Chicago Marathon: A newbie's tale (part 1)

I ran the Chicago Marathon on Sunday.

It was my first marathon, and I finished it. In 6 hours and 11 minutes.

I did it even though I hadn’t run/trained in about 6 weeks. Or approximately when I started my final semester of grad school.

I did it even though my long runs were only 13-15 miles long, and even though it left me doubled over on the toilet for an hour afterwards. (To my surprise, I had only ONE bout of the runs…and it waited until after I finished dinner! Alleluia!)

Yes, I know exactly how long it took me, unlike Paul Ryan. Oh, people made so many signs about that… and they were all hilarious. Thank you, sign makers. Really, thank you. Every single one made me laugh. And no, I didn’t poop my pants!

I went to the expo on Friday after work, figuring I could spend Saturday off of my feet, and catch up homework. I’d been worried, because my stomach kind of ached the previous few days. I couldn’t tell if it was the stomach flu that had been going around at work, or if it was just nerves. To try to minimize weight on my stomach, I decided I should see if I can pick up any freebie gels.

To my disappointment, not many booths had freebies, but at least the guy at the GU Energy booth let me taste the chocolate one before I bought it. It seemed overly sweet then, but during the run it was HEAVEN. Absolute heaven. Between those and the Cliff Shots and the Gatorade Chews on the route, my stomach was sufficiently satisfied, I was properly fueled, and I wasn’t  overly full. I kept waiting for the “wall,” but never hit it.

I’d been monitoring the forecast all week prior to the race, and Sunday was alternatively forecast to be warm or cold. On Saturday, the forecast settled down on the “cold” side, with wind chill off the lake. I tried on my capris. They did not fit. Crap. Well, they did, but it constricted my abdomen in a weird way. My stomach still hurt, and I was afraid this would aggravate it.

I read up about cold weather wear. Everyone said that wicking fabric is downright mandatory, otherwise the dampness will make you feel colder. I only had cotton long sleeves. Crap, again.

Also, the marathon shirt that I got with my packet pickup was too small. So, back to the expo I went on Saturday. I exchanged my shirt, and looked at all of the booth-shops that were there. OMFG they were expensive. No way was I going to buy new capris and long sleeve shirts at those prices! I did find somethings at Lucy, near where my counseling was. It was $100 I really didn’t want to spend, but I needed to be comfortable and WARM. It was perfect for the whole marathon.

The whole day was quickly spent, and I never did work on school. I couldn’t focus.

Sunday morning, my cat nibbled me awake, telling me he was hungry by mimicking what he could do if he was sufficiently hungry enough. I put on my new clothes. This is where the long training runs help–so you know what areas are prone to chafing, and try ways to minimize it.

I put bandages over my nipples to prevent chafing, then I put on a long sleeve shirt, then my running bra. The bra chafes on longer runs, and wearing a shirt underneath helps. Then I pulled my TEAM PAWS singlet over the whole thing. The capris solved the issue of chafing thighs, especially since it’s covered in sharp hairs that I can never manage to shave off. I put on toe caps on my tall-man toe. And bandaged my pinky toes to make sure the nails won’t cut its neighbor as it has in the past.

Then I headed off to my start corral, E, crossing the start line at 7:42. Thanks to advice, I knew to start off at a slower pace than I might otherwise use. I call it my slow jog-that’s-like-walking-speed, and it was responsible for the fact that I was bringing up the rear.

Part 2–The Chicago Marathon: A marathoner now

Filed under: Marathon


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  • Congratulations on finishing the marathon. What an accomplishment!

  • In reply to Yoga Mom:

    Thank you! And whoops, I somehow published this post before I was done! I tried to save the draft, but it published it instead....

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