You’d think I would have learned a few takeaways from the Rock and Roll half marathon last month to use in yesterday’s Chicago half marathon. And I did! And yet I didn’t.
Lesson #1: Just because you get to the race site at 5:30 a.m. before the sun is even up doesn’t mean you won’t need your sunglasses later. So it’s best to not leave them in the trunk of your car.
Lesson #2: Turkey chili is really not the best thing to carbo-load on the night before a race. Trust me on this one. Delicious, but not the best.
Lesson #3: Why didn’t someone (namely myself) remind me to wear pants? Let me rephrase that: For the love of God, DON’T WEAR SHORTS BECAUSE CHAFING HURTS WHEN YOU FORGET TO LUBE UP PRE-RACE.
Lesson #4: Mentally and physically, this race was easier than the last one. My foot did not rebel, and adding some ZZ Top (LaGrange) to the half-marathon mix did wonders at mile 11.
Lesson #5: Also? Thank you, Peter Segal and the Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me crew. Three podcasts in a row will also do wonders for distraction while running up and down Lake Shore Drive. Also, that Henry Winkler was a hoot on Not My Job.
Lesson #6: Yes, I really am that big of an NPR nerd. The secret is out! (Like it ever even a secret?)
Lesson #7: The two best signs I saw during the race: 1) A woman’s shirt that said, IT’S NOT SWEAT, IT’S JUST MY FAT CRYING, and 2) a guy holding a sign about a quarter mile from the finish line that said THE END IS NEAR. The lesson? If you’re going to cheer people on with a sign at a race, make it a good one.
Lesson #8: Don’t leave your ID in the car because then your brother-in-law will take your free beer ticket and drink said free beer, knowing you will not bother walking back to your car to get your ID then walk BACK over to the race site for a free Mich Ultra. But then again, it’s Mich Ultra, so it’s not like you’re missing much.
Lesson #9: Gatorade is disgusting, especially if you drink it at every aid station along the way. Must you be so sugary, Gatorade? Blech.
Lesson #10: Who has two thumbs and is excited to take a break from running for awhile? This Girl. Well, at least until it’s time to start training for the next half-marathon in Wisconsin this November. And that training starts, let’s see here on my schedule….. Gah. Shit.