We did it. Today, Hubby and I ran Chicago’s Rock n’ Roll half marathon. Our feet carried us 13.1 miles or over 230 football fields, or up and down Willis Tower about 16 times or … You get the idea. It was a long haul.

But we did it..

Our day started off at 4:15 a.m., after I’d hit the snooze button a couple times. We had stayed up too late the night before and loathed dragging our carcasses out of bed.

On the drive downtown, I was a nervous wreck. My poor Hubby. I was doing what we call “schpindling,” where I prattle on about anything and nothing. It’s nervous energy.

I couldn’t believe we were about to run 13.1 miles. I wished I’d trained more. I worried about my shins. I worried I’d have another bad race like the Shamrock Shuffle. Worry. Worry. Worry. Why did I ever think this was a good idea?

Then there we were, in our corral, waiting for our turn to go. Oh God… I started to pray, but I couldn’t even think of what to pray for. A fast, pain-free race? Good weather? Not to die? Then we were off.

In the Rock n’ Roll races, there’s bands playing along the course, so musicians would cheer for us and Hubby and I’d give them the obligatory sign of the horns. The first few miles of the race felt really good, Hubby was even cracking jokes and we enjoyed soaking up the Second City. Running underneath the Magnificent Mile, crisscrossing the Chicago River four times, inhaling the chocolaty goodness in the air courtesy of the Blommer Chocolate Factory.

Besides the live music, the spectators were awesome. (Chicago has one of the best running communities.) Their signs were inspirational. One woman’s read: “Some day you won’t be able to do this. Today is NOT that day.” My favorite was at mile 12. A man held up a bright green sign that said: “You Got This.”

I always love high-fiving the crowd. The best was these two tubby kids standing outside the projects with their hands outstretched. I smiled broadly, got my high-fives and thanked them. They giggled back.

Will Ferrell was playing his cowbell on the sidelines. Well, it was kinda him. He had the short shirt, hairy belly thing, curly moptop thing going on.

Meanwhile Hubby and I kept plugging along and we felt pretty good. We agreed that if I was going too slow for him, he’d meet me at mile 12 so that we could cross the finish line together.

I kept waving him forward and I didn’t want the hare to wait for the tortoise. After doing this about 5 times, he gave me a look that let me know he wasn’t going anywhere. We were in this together. I felt lucky. Neither of us are big runners, but this was only the second race in Hubby’s life and it was a half marathon. Quite impressive. And the only reason he was signed up was to run it with me. Quite touching.

Around Mile 4 I told him I was going to switch on my music. And when I did, I kicked it up a notch. (I’d like to thank Nicki Minaj, Rhianna, Lady Gaga, Beyonce and even Britney for their role in today’s activities.)

I have a confession to make. I have musical Tourettes. I get so hyped about a song that I tend to belt out part of the lyrics. So my fellow runners would hear.

“Ruh Ruh, like a Dungeon Dragon!”


“Baby, you were born this way!”

“My female intuition telling me you a dog!”


It’s bad, but I didn’t care. It gets me through the rough spots. And there were rough parts. Around mile 10, I was like OK. I’m tired. My back was hurting, the balls of my feet were working on a spectacular blister, and worse my legs felt like they were knee-deep in cement.

I downed some Gu, water and Cytomax and told myself I had to break through this wall. Finally the cement dissipated and I got my running legs back. My smile broadened, my pace quickened and we kept headed for the finish line.

A few steps before the finish line, I reached for Hubby’s hand. He clasped mine. After 2 hours and 52 minutes, we were done. We did it.



Rockin’ at Chicago’s Half Marathon — 19 Comments

  1. That is so awesome, I am so proud of you! Seriously, you’re a freak (in a good way!). I love that this was something your hubby and you did together.
    Seriously I don’t think I’ve walked that much in my entire life let alone in one day! And 4:15am? Hubby accidentally woke my daughter at 6:15am the other morning and I almost put his clothes out on the porch.
    Nothing about this sounds like anything I’d ever want to do. I try to be a sedentary as possible without gaining 300 lbs 😉 It’s actually a goal of mine, “how much can I do today with as little movement as possible?”. The answer is usually, “Not much.” hence my dirty house. I’m anxiously awaiting the hover chairs from Wall*E.
    And if, if I’d somehow lost my mind and did enter the race you would’ve lost me the second that I smelled the chocolate.
    Clearly you’re more motivated than me. Virtual high five!

    Disclaimer: This comment was brought to you with as little movement as possible…in my pajamas…because the internet is awesome. 😉

    • HA! You’re hilarious. The best part of that comment was the disclaimer!! Thanks a bunch for your congrats. You’re right I am a freak. It takes a special kind of crazy to think that running 13.1 miles is fun. But I’ve never claimed to be ordinary or even sane! I love your goal of doing as little movement as possible. I need a few days like that. I’d spend them in bed asleep, napping or snoozing. Just those three things, that’s all.

  2. Wow. I am SOOOOO impressed and inspired. Way to go J too! I gotta get back in the game, this heat has just been KILLING me, over 100 every day. I’m down to running only once a week…need to step it back up. Would love to do a half in the spring, but right now I’ll shoot for a couple of 5k’s in Sept.

    • Hey doing a couple 5Ks in September sounds awesome! Thanks for stopping by, glad I could inspire you to get back in the game. I agree, it is atrocious to run in the heat. Just insane. I hope you get some relief from the heat soon!!!

  3. So Rad girl! !! Congrats. You should be really proud of yourself for pushing through that wall. Now on to the disney Marathon …right?! Lol

    • Ha! You know at the race expo, I *did* pick up the info for the Disney *HALF* Marathon. Jorgen agrees it would be fun so now all we need to do is start pressuring Lynn! 🙂

    • Awww shucks. “Amazing” is quite the strong word, but I’ll take it!!! Thanks! There were many times during training where I thought, I just want to quit and be done, but I’m glad I stuck with it. Very, very glad.

    • Thanks for the kudos! Even though we didn’t train together, it was really magical to cross the finish line together holding hands. That man may drive me nuts, but he’s my best friend. (Awwwwwwww.) <>

  4. My gosh. How do you do all that you do? You should be *so* proud of yourself for accomplishing a half marathon at all, let alone so soon after the birth of Baby No. 2. Amazing! And running it along with your hubby. Very sweet. It’s sometimes seems hard post children to create experience and memories with your spouse that aren’t kid-centric, so this was a great thing to tackle together — even if your training had to be done mostly apart. A memorable day for both of you. Congratulations!

    • Thanks Tara. You’re right it is hard after the little ones come to make new memories that belong only to me and him. But when you do, you cherish them even more and that pushes me to make more memories with my best friend. 🙂

  5. Pingback: God Help Me, I’m Training For Another Race | She's Write

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