2010 IL Marathon – 3:25:05

We got up at 2:30 in the morning to get ready for the race. We had over an hour drive away to the race and we wanted to get there early to avoid road closures and parking issues. We were out the door by 3:45am and had no problems getting a parking spot. Then we had about two hours to hang out, but they really flew by with what felt like 100 bathroom visits (they had the arena open so we didn’t have to use the porta potties) and just going over the race in our minds.

The weather ended up cooperating. The rain held off and the sky was cloudy. There was a breeze but when the sun broke through the clouds during the race it felt so warm and humid. The temps were in the upper 60s.

We ran into folks from our town that are all serious runners. I took this as a good luck sign. πŸ™‚ It was great to get to see them before we headed out.

The 5K race started at 7am, wheelchair start was around 7:30am and then half and full marathon after that. The half and full marathon course was together until around mile 12 then the course split.

I ended up wearing my Nike LunaRacer2s for this race, with my longest run being about 15-17 miles in them (I forget which run it was). And I’m happy to report I had no issues with my feet from them, whew! πŸ™‚

It was quite humid so I made sure that when I drank water I poured any little bit remaining on myself. I was soaked the whole race, but it felt like I helped me keep from overheating. I took water at all stops except the first one. Later in the course I took two cups of water.  For fuel I used my watermelon flavored sports beans at Miles 5, 10, 15, and 22ish. I’m not sure that I’ll keep using sports beans for fuel. I may continue to look for other options and see if there is anything else that works for me as the packaging of the sports beans is bulky and they are hard to eat while running. So far I’ve kept with them because all other Gus and blocks have upset my stomach. Right now that’s been the trade-off. Feel free to post me any suggestions in the fuel department.

I had a great race and I was all smiles and just felt so happy the whole way. I was able to thank people along the way. The cheering helps keep me going. It’s funny how at a full marathon women spectators love seeing a woman runner out there going for it. I had so many women at all ages shouting “girl power” and they would get so excited, clapping, bouncing and pumping their fists. They all really pumped me up! I would tap my heart and say thank you. Other times I would give a thumbs up and say ‘you know it!’ Other times I would give a thumbs up or the hang 10 type gesture and say ‘all day baby, all day’.

There were times on the course we were running along the opposite direction of traffic and there were cars full of runners from the half marathon and 5ks leaving and they would stick their heads and arms out of their cars cheering us. I got a lot of ‘you go girl!’ I was beaming with pride and excitement!

I got a little choked up a couple of times saying ‘morning’ to some of the much older generation that came outside their homes to watch us run. One man around mile 22 said ‘You are looking good’ in a very proud sort of way and I shouted back ‘I feel GOOD. Life is good. Life is damn good.’ My smile was HUGE the entire race and people kept commenting now how happy I seemed. I just couldn’t get enough of the pure joy I felt running.  

Outside the football stadium a group of guys started shouting ‘Hey!!’ and a man in the group said ‘I paced off you (not sure if he meant for the half or marathon relay)!’ And I responded ‘Sweet! That’s my home! Going home!’ and I pointed to the football stadium. As I approached the turn into the stadium there was a large crowd of people cheering and I said ‘thank you’ over and over as I pushed with everything I had left.

The finish line is the 50 yard line of the Fighting Illini football stadium and just a picture perfect way to finish a race. 

I got a new PR!!! 3:25:05 and I was 7th female over all (out of 635) and it appears that I got 1st in my Age Group (out of 108)!!! The 3rd female overall was in my age group so her award will pull her out of the age group ranking. They are supposed to mail the awards. I can’t wait to see what it is!!! πŸ˜€

Since I didn’t have to worry about big city building messing with the GPS signal on my Garmin I left it on auto lap and didn’t bother with hitting the lap button at the mile markers. So these split times are approximate as with having to side step people and moving in and out of a water stop cause the mileage to be a touch higher and the Garmin mile split to go off before hitting the mile markers. But for what it’s worth, here is what it showed.

Mile 1 – 7:43

Mile 2 – 7:34

Mile 3 – 7:32

Mile 4 – 7:37

Mile 5 – 7:38

Mile 6 – 7:37

Mile 7 – 7:45

Mile 8 – 7:38

Mile 9 – 7:45

Mile 10 – 7:45

Mile 11 – 7:39

Mile 12 – 7:31

Mile 13 – 7:29

Mile 14 – 7:35

Mile 15 – 7:38

Mile 16 – 7:40

Mile 17 – 7:41

Mile 18 – 7:35

Mile 19 – 7:44

Mile 20 – 7:45

Mile 21 – 7:47

Mile 22 – 7:48

Mile 23 – 8:05

Mile 24 – 8:14

Mile 25 – 8:11

Mile 26 – 7:53

Last .2 – 7:26 Pace

Rob also got a PR!!! 3:37:27 He had some serious stomach issues starting from mile 9. I caught up to him just before mile 19. I’m so proud of him to keep pushing through it. Stomach problems are just awful and he still pulled out a new PR!

Us with our medals.

Me post race, changed clothes and have my finisher’s medal. Still grubby, and happy!



7:50 Pace

F: 7/638

F 30-34: 1/110

Overall: 105/1816

34 thoughts on “2010 IL Marathon – 3:25:05

  1. I am SO SO SO proud of you speed racer!!! πŸ™‚ you and Rob are both amazing natural runners and its so fun reading your reports and hearing how well you do!!! Your my inspiration to be happy for that far and just keep running too!!! Maybe just maybe, i’ll make it to boston with you!! πŸ™‚


  2. You are a ROCK STAR!!!!! My goodness, will you ever stop PR-ing?!

    As far as nutrition products, have you ever tried sharkies? (http://www.sharkiesinc.com/). All of the blocks have upset my stomach, but these have not, and they are quite tasty! πŸ™‚


  3. Christine & Rob:

    I am so proud of what the two of you have accomplished in the short time you have started this journey. Your stories have kept me pushing, working and knowing that with dedication and time anything is possible. Your story is one for all to look at and take note of. I’m so thankful to have happened across your blog, and created a wonderful friendship in the process.

    Please give my best to Rob and let him know we are thinking of him, but big congrats on the PR. I found out the hard way the issues your stomach can have on race day and I am still feeling his pain. Way to push and fight through what was handed to him that day.


    1. Stevi,

      Thanks to both you and Chris for your support — Christine and I feel very lucky to have met you! I was feeling pretty down about the race; I told Christine that I lost track of the number of times that I wanted to just take the DNF and quit. It was my own foolishness that led me down that road, but I do feel like I learned a valuable lesson that day.

      You are an inspiration yourself, and you should be extremely proud of your race this past weekend, even if it didn’t end up exactly how you planned. You showed some serious strength, dedication, and unwillingness to give up. EXCELLENT JOB!


    2. Stevi,

      Thank you so much for your support! We are so glad to have met you and Chris through the running community and value your friendship so much! You both are such an inspiration to us! I think of you when I run these races and know that you are wanting the best for my run as I am for you and your races! I am so proud of you and your dedication. I hope that I’m as strong as you were when that situation ever occurs to me. I hope we get to meet up this summer and trade stories in person. πŸ™‚

      Thanks again for everything!!


  4. You are such an inspiration! You train hard and your results show it. Congrats on the AMAZING PR/marathon time.

    What is your secret? What is your nutrition/eating habits like? Maybe I can learn something from you since I will be training for Chicago this summer as well and really want to shave 6 minutes off my marathon PR (which would put me at a BQ). I’d appreciate any advice you can give! πŸ™‚


    1. Hey Stephanie! Thanks!! Not sure if there is a secret, just found a training program that has been working for me and had a great race day!

      I think 6 minutes improvement is more than acheivable! You have the marathon experience so you know what to expect, I think that already puts you at an advantage for a PR! And 6 minutes over 26 miles is really just 15-ish seconds faster per mile, correct? I would just keep doing what you have been doing and try to stick to your pacing on race day.

      Do you mean nutrition/eating habits throughout the day or during running? If you mean throughout the day my breakfasts are usually granola with natural almond butter mixed in with skim milk, lunch is salad loaded up on veggies and a little light dressing OR a healthy choice entree, snacks are usually banannas OR KIND/Lara Bar, dinner is usually steamed shrimp with broccoli with brown rice OR veggie thin crust pizza OR a veggie fajita bowl with no cheese or sour cream. Those are the types of foods I eat during the day. Plus I love coffee with skim milk. For running I right now use sports beans as mentioned in the post, but I’m looking into other options.

      Hope this helps!


      1. That does help, thank you! I was wondering what you ate to fuel you for these super fast training runs.

        You are such an inspiration! We started running the same year and I am simply amazed at how far you have come. I truly hope I can run as fast as you some day.


  5. Hello, superstar! I am so stinking proud of you and your new PR!!!! That course is no joke, neither was that weather! Very impressive! Just a question about the gu/block/bean issue. Have you tried Power Gel? I can’t tolerate most gels, but I can that brand. Just food for thought… Recover well and keep on smiling!


    1. Hey Rebecca!! πŸ˜€ Thanks!!! I haven’t tried power gel. Any flavor recommendations? I’ll make sure to be good on my recovery and smile lots! πŸ˜€ Thanks for all your support!


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