#s 2 (Disconnect for 48 hours) and 24 (Run a Half Marathon)

Since disconnecting for 48 hours is boring and there’s not much to write about it, I’ve decided to lump this in with a much more fun accomplishment – running a half marathon!

The week after Labor Day I headed down to Texas to visit my sister and her husband. I decided on the flight down there that this would be a great opportunity to disconnect. I would be with my sister and she had the day off on Labor Day, which meant so much talking that I wouldn’t need to know what was going on with the rest of the world. We spent that Sunday having breakfast at Manuel’s (a must if you are ever in South Texas), then headed to the beach for the day. On Monday, we did a real Texas thing:


It was nice to just be with my family and not constantly check email and social media. I hope to continue to check out of the digital world when spending time with family and friends in real life.

Now, onto the exciting part of this post:

You guys, I ran a half marathon. And didn’t die!

I spend the summer “training” for the Chicago Half Marathon. And I put training in quotes because my training was extremely lackadaisical. 4 weeks before the half marathon, I could barely run 6 miles. (I blame the 90 degree heat, humidity, and my stupidity for thinking that I could run in the afternoon on the hottest day of the summer). Needless to say, I was worried.

I was also a little freaked out because the this half had a requirement that I had to keep a 13 min/mile pace or a bus was going to pick me up. I kid you not, I had actual nightmares that the bus was coming for me. Deep down, I think I knew that I would be okay but still…all my training would have been for nothing.

The week before the half I spent the week in Texas with my sister. I tried a long run on Sunday but the heat and humidity down there was unbearable (90 degrees by 8am people!), so I just told myself to keep up with short runs and I would be okay. I got back to Chicago on Saturday night, ate delicious pasta and headed to bed so early because I had to leave for the race at 5am (why oh why do all runs start before 9am?! Aren’t there any runners out there that like to run later in the day??)

During my “training” I kept telling myself that even though I wasn’t finishing my runs at the pace I wanted them to, the adrenaline of the day and the cheering spectators would keep me going. And it totally worked. Miles 1-5 flew by. I honestly felt like I could have run forever. And then we got to mile 9. Ohhhh mile 9, I really could have done without you. At this point, we had turned around and started heading south on Lake Shore Drive so we were no longer looking up at the beautiful skyline of Chicago.

This photo isn't the greatest (I mean, I was busy running…), but it was so exciting to look up and see this gorgeous city.

This photo isn’t the greatest (I mean, I was busy running…), but it was so exciting to look up and see this gorgeous city.

We were also in direct sunlight. Considering the summer we had, it wouldn’t be so bad. But the sun and heat finally decided to make their debut, we were 9 miles in and no shade to be seen. I wanted to die.

Why do people insist on capturing the worst miles of the run? Get me at the start and the finish when I'm most excited!

Proof that I wanted to die. 

At mile 10, I had had it. I needed to walk and get out of my head. 10 miles had been the longest I had ever run before and I was done. After 5 minutes of repeating “this is awful, what were you thinking?” over and over in my head, I decided I that I only had three miles to go. It’s a 5K. I’ve run a 5K before and most of my short runs were about three miles. I could do this.

And so I did.

And so I did.

As soon as it was over I said I wouldn’t do it again. The next day, I said I might do it again. By Wednesday I had emailed my friends asking if they were going to sign up for next year. (I’m beginning to see why people get addicted to running). I had two goals for this run – don’t walk and finish under two and a half hours. Sadly I didn’t achieve either goal, but I only missed my goal time by 3 minutes. (You can see the results here.) And since next year I’ll (hopefully) take my training a little more seriously, I will (hopefully) hit both goals.

And the best part? I didn’t get picked up by the bus!