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(Edited: I wrote this post the day of the race, labor day, but posted much later…I’m a bad blogger! )

As I just wrote the title for this blog post I realized that a goal that I had for the summer. a plan that started off well, then life happened and my dedication waivered and my 1 mile per day through the summer or #amyrunsthesummer plan fell apart at the seams.  But I don’t need to focus on that right now because there were so many good things about this summer other than that one thing.

I am still training for the Chicago Marathon that is coming up in just about 6 weeks!  I still can’t believe it!  I went to Colorado and ran there, and hiked a 14er with Heidi and did all sorts of running as well as getting a new to me bike to start riding and eventually start training for a sprint triathalon next summer!

But I digress, this post is not about my summer re-cap or failures or sucesses of the summer, but rather about my last weekend of the summer.  This last weekend of the summer I spend running it out. Just like I did last summer.  On Saturday I completed the Women Rock Half Marathon for the second year. 

I kept thinking of this race as another training run in my marathon training for a few reasons – one because it was hot, I mean HOT leading up to the race day, like nearly 90 degrees, sunny and so humid, and two because while I really wanted to PR (this race is my current PR), I knew I should listen to my body and not to anything too crazy.  Well I didn’t Pr, so there goes that spoiler.

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I bought a fuel belt for the first time and tried that out for the run.  It went pretty well once I finally adjusted it up to my natural waist, and cinched it up.  In the first 100 yards, one of my bottles fell out. Thankfully I got it back.  through out the race my glasses fell off my head, my headband slipped off any my tank rode up under my fuel belt.  It wasn’t until about mile 6 when things finally settled down.  My two friends and I started off together, but split up along the way.  I eventually caught up with the one out ahead of my at about mile 8 or so and we pretty much finished the race together, her about a minute or so ahead.IMG_20130831_073531_872

Another new thing that I tried out for this race, because it was just a training run, was UCAN.  They started selling it at my gym a while ago and some of my fellow run-clubbers have talked about trying it and how good it worked for them, so I gave it and bought it too (thankfully at a discount since I am now a gym employee!).  At the suggestion of my running buddies I put a scoop in my shaker bottle and drank that just before I checked my bag, and also had one of my water bottles filled with a scoop+water for during the run.

Good news is that I had no tummy troubles, or any weird side effects from the UCAN before, during or after the run! Woo!  I realized at about mile 4 or so that I was not hydrated enough for the heat, humidity and hills of this particular day and course! I always aim for drinking 100oz of water a day, but Friday I just had other things on my mind at work, so unfortunately, I didn’t get in my 100oz.  In the morning I tried to make up for it on my way to the race, but I guess that just didn’t quite happen.

The bad news of the day came at about mile 10 when my friend Crystal and I cross what is the 10 miler finish line for another race that I have done before.  I told her, you know if they had a 10 milers today, we would be done right here.  That was of little comfort to either of us! 😉  We just had a little 5k left, and it was tough, over the river and over passes up hills and all in the sun.  To make matters worse for me was my TI band and or hip flexor was acting up.  I hadn’t had any real issues with either of those things in the last month, but that day they decided to show up again! I blame the hills. (Chicago is flat right!? I hope so!)  We had past the last aid tent, and next was the finish line my dang I hurt!  The pain was shooting from my hip and down through my knee something fierce!

Then about a quarter of a mile away was Angie, my cheering section for the day!  She ran in the last little bit with me and help me forget about the pain, which really, I don’t remember it hurting that much when I was running with her.  #thankfulforrunningbuddiesagain  We passed Crystal’s husband and kids who were beyond excited to see and cheer for me (they kiddos, not so much the husband ;)).

IMG_20130831_095402_651Finally came the finish! Nik was there again helping to pass out the post-race snacks and I got my new necklace by a “hot fireman” and then my favorite person (just some guy) was passing out iced down wet towels.  That was my favorite thing.  We sat and stretched a bit took our post race pictures and then headed over to the post race party for our free glass of bubbly (I had sprite) and enjoyed some live music by GB Leighton.  It was a much better post race party than last year!  The band is local but very popular around here.  We enjoyed some tunes in the sun and then shortly headed out.

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Thankfully my IT band wasn’t hurting nearly as much after we got back to the car because I had a 3.5 hour car trip up north a head of me!  I went up to stay with my sister a brother in-law at their camper up north for the long weekend. 

Of course about 1.5 hours into the trip I got hangry and wanted Arby’s (which I haven’t eaten in about 6 years).  I passed one and decided I would stop at the next one I saw.  Well little did I know they were few and far between once you got out of the metro!  Dang it!  I finally got about half way and settled on a Culvers, well, because they rock, and got a little snack pack lunch.  And low and behold about 45 minutes later TWO Arby’s about 15 mins apart from each other!  Oh my luck!

Well I made it up to the camper and spent some time on the beach with my sister and nephews before the storm hit that evening.

It was a long, but fun day and I have a feeling the rest of the weekend will follow suit!  Hopefully the sun will come out again soon!

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