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"Promote what you love instead of bashing what you hate." ~Unknown

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PostHeaderIcon Did I run #58 or was that just my imagination?

Wasn’t exactly sure how I was going to do this, and frankly, if I even should.

Chicago, I don’t know why but I love visiting you. My running here has rarely been great, but I come back for more.

Between my mom’s accident, my own health, and the fact that the last time I ran here was right after Chris died, I wasn’t exactly sure how this was going to happen, if at all.

Without burying the lead, this was 3rd worst finish time of 58 half marathons (and two of the three times I’ve run RnRCHI have been some of my worst finish times.) So there’s that.

But. I finished. I did cross that finish line. Despite everything. The heat and humidity was worse two years ago, but still, we started at 70 degrees at 6:30 in the morning. But RnR was well prepared, extra water stations, a cold wet sponge station, multiple large water sprinklers to run under or through, a couple of cooling buses if folks needed them. And extra medical tents. Here’s the good news (especially compared to two years ago), the staff at most of the medical tents looked almost bored. That’s a good thing – it means they weren’t tending to as many people as they could’ve been.

My system isn’t on par given the last few weeks but I managed to eek this one out. I could’ve, yes, skipped it altogether, but after the first week of my mom’s accident and then last week going full tilt each day to help get her set up for success at home, part of me needed to have this outlet. Even though, if I’m honest, part of me also just wanted to get it over with. I don’t like that feeling, I much prefer being excited and looking forward to every moment leading up to the race, and being present enough to notice so much going on around me. Hell, I forgot a ton of stuff for a race weekend as I was packing and didn’t even realize I did until far too late.

I don’t recall much of the race, because I was in the mindset of wanting to simply get to the finish line. It felt like the longest miles ever recorded. I managed the first few miles runinng, and then I took walk breaks and nearly every mile, if not more frequently. I was not a strong runner for any of it, in fact came close to hurling (not because of effort) more times than I can count (what fun photos those would be.) At one point at mile 10, I was extremely wobbly. Weaving a bit, saw a few concerned faces glance my way. As we started to go up a hill – and I was walking, I noticed my legs practically marching themselves, not by my effort, simply whatever energy was coursing through me. It happened a couple more times, but thankfully I never needed assistance to cross the finish line. Now I get how many times I’ve seen that in other people, what that very odd feeling is all about.

It was a slog. I love the city of Chicago and when I was able to pay attention to my surroundings, I loved where I was running – it was a fabulous course this year. More live brass bands than any other city. Great architecture and sites. Classic windy city streets. Incredible volunteers cheering folks on. And clearly a lot of people making their best efforts to have their own good race and great experience. Even Katherine Switzer was there – while I didn’t get to meet her, just knowing she was there was inspiration enough.

I definitely ran for my mama, not because she would be running, but because she’s been so incredibly supportive of this running journey of mine including picking a race location each eyar to join me at. I’m hoping we get her wholly healthy to the point where she can again join me this Fall.

So yeah, I did ‘run’ it, I did start it and yes, I finished it. While it doesn’t exactly inspire me like so many other run experiences have, it counts for something I suppose, to cross those two markers yet again, in spite of everything leading up and around it. Here’s hoping this 2017 halfway mark (five done, five to go) is the beginning of a real, sustainable, happy turnaround.

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