RACE DAY!!! Ship’s Log–July 21st


Wow what a day! I rose early, with a 4:30 am wake up time, dressed for the race, and headed down to our hotel’s breakfast for the runners. We are staying in a Westin, and the chain is now providing special packages and services for Rock and Roll Runners at some of the races, including special Run Concierge, late check out on race day, and this free pre-race breakfast. The buffet offered food appropriate for runners, including coffee, juice, cereal and oatmeal, bananas, and toast and bagels. If the Westin in Philly provides this, I will certainly stay there for our September race.

The walk to the start line took a bit longer than I had expected, but we got everyone into our corral just before the first wave started at 6:30 am. The morning was a little warm for a race, but Thing 1 and I kept our pace manageable by alternating running and walking. She struggled a lot, and I think she was considering quitting by mile 5, but somehow she kept moving forward. She asked to stop at a medical tent just before mile 9 because they were handing out ice and very cold water. One of the medics took one look at her, decided that she must be dehydrated, and demanded that she swallow a packet of salt with her water. I expressed some concerns that this was a BAD IDEA, but he insisted, so she downed the salt and a second bottle of ice water. She then headed back out on to the course, ran about 10 steps, and refunded the salt water all over the street.

Listen to your mother, people. Sometimes she really does know best!

We headed right back to the medical tent, where the medic apologized and helped her clean herself off. She sat for a few minutes with a cold towel on the back of her neck, then looked up at me and said “Well now I HAVE TO FINISH, no matter what it takes.” This is what is called in our dojo Black Belt Attitude. While our finish time of 3:15 was quite a bit slower than our usual 2:05, she did finish despite two weeks of bronchitis and throwing up mid-race. The Hub had a more respectable 2:21 finish, which is excellent for a first time on a hot, hot course, and my sister finished even faster, just over 2 hours, but with horrific blisters on her poor feet.

The rest of the day was spent lazing around, trying out the local deep dish pizza, and taking the Chicago Architecture Foundation’s boat tour. We had planned on hitting Navy Pier in the evening, but everyone was too sore and tired to follow through with it. The whole family just wanted to grab an easy dinner and head to bed early for a well-earned sleep.

Race Fuel and Recovery:

  • Pre-race @ the Westin Michigan Avenue: Coffee with sugar, whole wheat toast with peanut butter and jelly
  • Pre-race about 30 minutes before start: Clif Shot Energy Gel Chocolate
  • Mid-race: Clif Shot Energy Gel Chocolate @ mile 6, Gatorade along the course
  • Recovery: Gatorade and pretzels, iced coffee with soy milk back at the hotel

Lunch @ Gino’s East:

  • Family style salad with Italian dressing
  • Deep dish pizza with cheese and spinach
  • 20 ounce 5 Rabbit American Blonde Ale
  • 1/2 M&M cookie

Afternoon Snack:

  • Caramel ribbon Frappuccino made with soy milk but topped with whipped cream

Dinner @ D4 Irish Pub and Cafe:

  • Homemade potato chips
  • Grapefruit salad: kale, lettuce, hearts of palm, avocado, pine nuts, radishes, and grapefruit tossed with a grapefruit vinaigrette
  • Half and Half (Harp Lager and Guinness)

Late Night:

  • Twix bar (we had planned on hitting a cute Italian bakery near our hotel for dessert, but were dismayed to learn that it closed at 6:30 on Sundays)

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