Illinois Half Marathon Recap

Finally, my half marathon recap! And it’s only 3 weeks late!

Saturday morning started with a 5am wakeup call. I got up, flat ironed my hair, put on my running clothes, and tried to get pumped up. Kristen was awesome and ran across the street to McDonalds for coffee (me) and oatmeal (Ryan). I drank coffee in the car on the way to the race start, as well as a protein bar and a banana.

It was a bit chilly to start, about 50 degrees, but I knew it would warm up as we ran. We wore long sleeve top layers that we ended up tossing to Kris at mile 2 – thanks!


This pretty much sums up how we were feeling. Chilly and sleepy.


And me. Clearly, I am an awesome self-photographer. Also, my coffee had kicked in and I was feeling good. (We lined up at the 2:30 pace group, in case you care.)

Ryan and I had planned before race start that we would stick together. He was still feeling a bit off from the night before – but I think it may have just been nerves. It had been almost 2 years since his last half marathon.

Unfortunately, the blue potty lines were super-duper long before the race, so we decided to stop after the race start. The first ones we saw were at mile 0.5 and took about 30 seconds. Worth it.

il 5k 4

Before mile 2 – I was on the lookout for photographers. I look really excited. And clearly do not pick up my feel when I run.

il 5k 10il 5k 9

I’m either really happy to be running 13 miles at 7:30 on a Saturday morning or I’m crazy. Wait, I think those are the same things.

The first few miles we were feeling really good, even though we’d just run a 5k the night before. It started getting pretty warm about a mile in and we shed our long sleeves.


We saw a singing Elvis impersonator outside the Silver Bullet strip club around mile 4. Keepin’ it classy. Right after this is when we took our first walking break. 

Just before mile 6 we took another visit to the blue box (AKA port-a-potty) and ended waiting almost 12 minutes in line! This kind of put us in a funk for the rest of the race and I wasn’t able to PR at this race.


Saw these really tall guys around mile 5. Seriously, they were about 7 feet tall. It was like running next to giraffes.

Miles 6 – 8 were pretty uneventful. We took a few walk breaks to relieve our legs while running on the narrow park path. At mile 10 we saw Kristen again and she ran with us a bit to see how we were doing and give us some motivation to get to the finish.

il 5k 2il 5k 1

Before I knew it we were coming up on memorial stadium and the finish line.

il 5k 14il 5k 15

il 5k 5il 5k 6

Thanks, shirtless guy, for jumping in front of me at the finish. il 5k 7il 5k 8

Yes, I was exhausted as I look. I think my exact thought was, “Water, Gatorade, food.” I was also looking for the people holding the shiny, shiny medals. I earned those things, dangit!

After grabbing some water we headed into the stadium for some food (pizza, bagels, cookies, pretzels). I did go into the medical tent for a few minutes for some ice and supervision. I felt dizzy and nauseous, and needed some ice and a chair. I was good to go after a few minutes, no worries.

Here’s all the swag I earned from the two races:


5k t-shirt, half marathon tech tee, and 3 medals


Close-up of the hardware – one for the 5k, one for the half marathon, and one for the I-Challenge (doing both races)


We also got this drawstring bag as our goodie bag for the half marathon.

Since I didn’t snap any post-race pictures of myself, mostly because I felt like I was going to fall over, here’s one from the car.


Feeling good. This was before the three hour drive home.


I can’t believe I’m a two-time half marathoner!

Oh, check out the finish line video for more awesomeness!

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