Naperville Women’s Half Marathon Race Recap

“I get by with a little help from my friends”

Running is about

Fun

Fitness

Friends

FOR ALWAYS.

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Yes I have dreams. Yes I work my ass off. Yes I have goals.

BUT

In the end this is what it is about. This is sustainability.

During this race one of my girlfriends asked me Bob Scott’s secret.

For those who don’t know Bob, he is my best friend and the man who introduced me to triathlon and taught me to swim. We train multiple times a week. He will be 87 this year and has a loaded race calendar of Half Ironman and Full Ironman.

So his secret. The funny thing is I believe it is hindsight for him. The man is humble as all else but has run Boston more times than he could count and been to Kona more times than he could count. He is an elite runner and triathlete.

He has always told me from the beginning,

Fun. Fitness. Friends.

The ones who take this sport too seriously burn out eventually. It may not be next year but eventually. They all do.

He believes in working hard. His record proves that. But in the end, it comes down to longevity. And that is where

Fun. Fitness. Friends.

comes into play. I want to play this sport forever.

I honestly have dreams of being that really adorable old couple running marathons around the world hand in hand when we are insanely old. When that day comes, I bet I won’t remember a single time. I will remember who was holding my hand and the places we saw and the people we shared the experiences with through life. That will be my Magic. And it will happen.

Sooooooo

Back to this race recap!!!!!

I diverged because well, if you read my stuff you know my writing just flows unedited straight from my heart to words.

And this race to me, was about my friends.

 

NAPERVILLE WOMEN’S HALF MARATHON

So this was the inaugural race for a Western Suburb of Chicago, Naperville. I think they are brilliant for bringing a women’s race here because the running community is very strong out in those western suburbs, especially among women. Their Full and Half are in the fall so it was great they began this and I think it will be around for many years.

They had a special offer where you could get 1, 5 or 10$ bibs if you signed up right when it when on sale and I snagged a 5$ bib so you really can’t beat that! My cheapest race entry ever! A few of my girlfriends signed up as well and we were going to have some fun!

RACE DAY

So here is the thing. I haven’t run a “running race” since last summer’s Rock and Roll 13.1 and it was hot as all hell so I wasn’t going to perform fantastic. Previous to that it was November 2014 and I got a PR on the Naperville Half Course. I admittedly had in the back of my mind, I wonder if I will PR today because I am not swimming and biking before. I have speedy friends to chase down. I simply tossed it out there. No pressure. Because ultimately I wanted to be with my girls.

I met up with Jenn and Brenda and we were about to start when Bob showed up to give us good luck hugs. That man just makes me smile. He actually ran Jenn and I in at our first 50k together. He is such an angel.

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RACE

The course was through the Naperville neighborhoods and river path. It was beautiful as everything is blossoming there. It was VERY well supported from the aid stations to the community coming out to cheer. It is such a pleasant city and charming.

I realized quickly it was NOT a PR day because it was MUCH hillier than I thought. Hills are my weakness. On biking and running. I know that and I have goals to work on them. I wasn’t totally prepared for 13 miles of them though. All rolling hills but still, no hill training to hilly run equals a bit of hurting, HA!

I was keeping up with my girls who were truly running for FUN. Brenda had just completed Boston and a 50k and Jenn had just pushed through a rigorous training period as well. Their spirits were so free and I fed off of them all day. I will never forget Jenn’s eyes and smile that day. She was floating. She is a special friend to me as she was on of my first running friends when I started this crazy adventure. And when I say first I mean like probably one of the first two or three.

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One thing that is different for me is the way it feels running after a swim and bike and running a road race. I realized that it is a different race. When I run in a triathlon I have spent an entire day prepping my body to run. By that I mean salt, hydration, nutrition and yes my legs are shattered because of a bike but they are warmed up. I have down my nutrition in a triathlon and I know I have an aid station every mile during a 70.3 for water. I am a FISH when I race and guzzle water.

Running a road race is different in the sense I just started running. I did all the things I normally do but my body doesn’t have the same nutrients and hydration as I am USED to with triathlon.

This was just an observation I made. It is a different style of racing.

I did notice the effects because I started to get dehydrated on the course and couldn’t get in enough water. My fingers swelled up pretty bad and I was really hurting at some points. By mile 10 we had slowed and walked some and laughed and had fun and ran some. My girls are the best. Truly. I love them both dearly.

We got to the end and we all just sat. Like literally at the finish line. Haha!

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I think there was a big sigh from us all. I can’t really explain it. It wasn’t a relief from the race because it was a fantastic race.

We just all had our personal motives and reasons we were running that day. And we all crossed the finish line. We all MADE it. We made it TOGETHER! Because if you are going to make it in life … You have to have a tribe.

We ran into a lady they knew afterward. She placed in her age group. She also had just found out she had cancer and started chemo. I will never as long as I live forget the words she spoke to us:

I know that being healthy and fit before I started chemo is allowing me to do this.

LIVING a healthy lifestyle and having something that sets your heart on fire is what will get you through the REAL LIFE hard times. Running is such a metaphor to life. Taking care of your body is the best investment you will ever make.

I vowed right then and there once again that I would live a fit life until I was 103 years old.

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Because what I know for sure is that I can handle whatever life throws at me. And I am sure I have more curve balls ahead. But I also have some EPIC and magical, out of the ballpark HOME RUNS as well. And that is why I show up swinging every.damn.day. and for every race. You never know when that magic will hit.

I may be a dreamer. But Lennon got it right …. I’m not the only one. I have SO much love to give life and I chose to manifest it time and time again through a sport I love (as well as other ways but for the sake of a “race recap” I will stick to running).

I may not be the fastest and most impressive athlete. But I always say, I have endurance and longevity in me. With a few MAGICAL home runs someday.

I will go to Boston someday. I want to complete all the World Majors. It may be in 10 or 30 years. Who knows. I will go to Kona one day too. That may be more like 40 years! I know I will find someone wild to run with and have my dream of being 80 and kissing the love of the rest of my lifetime at the Antarctic Marathon or somewhere else crazy.

Running didn’t just cross my path so I could get PRs. I believe and know it came into my life for people and experiences. And I forever will be grateful for that. I will LIVE and LOVE to my fullest capabilities in this sport.

I may never produce jaw dropping times but numbers will never be able to measure the circumference of my heart.

And in the end…

Heart and Love

Always WIN.

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