Diary of a Fat Runner 4.0
The Chicago Experience
Two weekends ago, I had the privilege of running the 2015 Chicago Rock N’ Roll half marathon. Chicago is a beautiful city, full of great sites and history that have been made into movies. I have had layovers in the airport in Chicago, but have never stayed there. The city, and some of its people, did not disappoint.
I had some issues with my hamstrings about to months ago, so I was limited in training. I went up in mileage quickly and thought myself clear to run at a great pace. I have to say that I had to eat some humble pie.
The run started off hit and just got hotter. I know I started off too fast. Besides that, I decided to see the city during the run. I would take side streets than come back to the race course. I never took a short cut though. At mile marker 5, I had gone almost 6 miles. So I decided to slow down a bit. During those first miles I got to run through Millennium Park, Grant Park, downtown Chicago and even got to see the bean. Running over the bridges was the scariest. I would look down and could see the Chicago River. Well, I am afraid of heights so I just had to focus on looking forward.
At about mile marker 7 (my GPS had 8 miles), I ran out of steam. I slowed down and even walked at times. I think part of it was taking time off, part was running the extra mile early on and part of it was the heat. Then at about mile marker 10, I got my second wind. I picked up a little steam but cramped up less than a mile away from finishing. During that time I witnessed 4 people down with severe dehydration and heat exhaustion. I just read that nobody was seriously hurt. I started feeling better and sprinted the last 200 meters. It was not my best time, but not my worst either. I learned that I have a long way to go in my quest.
I did want to thank my friends Nicole and Martin for making my experience so much better. It’s always better when you have people encouraging you through the finish. I also want to point out that I missed the concert and found out later who Andy Grammer was. If I only would have known I would have stayed a little while.
I did get to meet a Make-A-Wish participant at the airport. I also met a single mother whose child was sick. She looked so tired but never stopped taking care of the child. In both cases, you just felt and saw the unconditional love these parents had and it made me feel great that it is still out there. It made me reflect that most of us don’t have real “problems”. That was more of a humbling experience than the running was. I made a vow that I would run for people who really suffer.
My next update will come quickly. Until then, create a great run!
Manny Davila, ACE Certified Personal Trainer and RRCA Certified Running Coach