|On the way to the start line riding the train.|
I fell in line behind Bob (one of the four hour pacers) and decided I was going to follow him since he was the easiest to recognize. We headed up Columbus Drive and under a bridge where there were hundreds if not thousands of spectators watching from above. It was an amazing sight to see and one that I don't think I will ever forget. I just followed Bob, as we were bobbing and weaving through people. It was so crowded it never felt like I could open up and just relax. Running through downtown Chicago was amazing. The sound from the crowd reverberating off of the buildings just intensified the noise, energy, and emotions. At around 3 or 3.5 miles we started to head north and away from the massive buildings of the Loop and toward Wrigley Field, which I tried to see but never did. Somewhere between 7 and 8 I met my wife, who passed off some gels. I grabbed them and headed off again to catch back up with Bob.
I was feeling good, my pace was on target, we had placed about 29 seconds in the bank, thus far. My legs felt fresh, I was hydrating well, everything was going according to plan. I gave some kids high-5's and kept on moving. At about mile 10 I started to get some feedback from my body that I may have hydrated too well, so I began to look for another port-o-potty. Somewhere between 11 and 12 I saw one just off of the course without a line. I hurried up and did my business and got back out there. I knew that I'd lost my pace group, but I was feeling good and figured that I could slowly pull them back over the next few miles.
Between mile 12 and 13, as the course makes a left onto North Franklin Street, my worst fears became true. It started as just a little twinge of discomfort in my arch. (I'd had some issues in my right arch leading up to the race and had been trying to get mostly healed before Chicago.) I thought to myself, just ignore it and it will go away, don't think about it.
Mile 13 was hit in 2 hours 2 minutes and 30 seconds. I was two and a half minutes off my pace and I'd stopped once to use the restroom... not bad. But, my arch was starting to hurt a little more. By mile 14 I was finished! My 4 hour marathon was done. I remember texting my wife: "not great." At 25k which is only about 2 and a half miles from the half way point it had taken me just over 26 minutes to complete that distance. By this time I was suffering, and suffering severely. All I could do was to keep moving forward. My arch felt like it was on fire, so I stopped and tried to shake and stretch it out.....nothing. Keep moving...you've got to go.
The next five miles I have no recollection of, other than my wife texting me her location on the north side of the road at mile 20, to which my reply was, "which way is north?" She replied, "on the left." I found her, or rather, she and our friend Matt found me. I stopped to get a couple more gels, and to bitch about my foot. She was so supportive. I was in so much pain that the fire had turned to flaming hot daggers. I knew I was probably damaging my arch and that I would probably have to take some time off for recovery, but I was going to finish. However, I was pissed off! I was having my own little pity party in my mind. I'd trained so hard for this day and it wasn't going like I had planned. I kept moving....
|Mile 20.. Temp on bank sign 84|
|Mile 25, dumping the arm band.|
|Tammy, and I|
|After the race, rubbing the arch. Ugh, that arch.|