Happy Monday. What a weekend! I am so excited for the week to begin and be able to get some rest. No joke!
This weekend was half marathon weekend for 75+ MDA Team Momentum members who trained for the Michelob Ultra Chicago Spring 13.1 race. It was a chilly and rough winter and the weather did a total 180º for the event.
Friday was exciting because my Rock flew in from NYC. He had been gone for a few weeks for work and I missed him a lot. My cousin also came into Chicago as a member of Team Momentum to do her first ever half marathon. We also had a few other team members come and stay with us. It was a full house to say the least.
Saturday we started the day off with a BBQ. Rock’s student Zach was also in town from NYC to run the half and we had him along with family and friends over. I also surprised Rock with an early surprise birthday celebration. He was definitely shocked!
The evening ended with our Team Dinner. If you have never participated in a race through a charity this is something that really sets the tone for your event. The dinner was held at the Hard Rock Hotel and they hosted a lovely meal for our group. There were some really great inspirational speakers to get everyone excited to run the next day and many athletes were recognized for their hard work and fundraising. It really is a wonderful way to celebrate, meet the rest of your team, and get pumped up for the big day.
Speaking of big day, it started nice and early at 4:00am. After some pre-race bagels and coffee we were out the door to the race venue. Set in the Park at Lakeshore East, we had a perfect spot to get prepped. Team Momentum was the official charity of this race, and our runners were treated to some great perks including our own tent and port-a-potties before we got started. Any runner will tell you that is well worth joining a team for those perks alone!
And then the race got started. To say the weather was tough would be a huge understatement. As we waited in corrals it seemed a bit chilly but as soon as the gun went off we were met with tons of humidity and a bit of drizzle. The course was an out and back along Lake Michigan (hello amazing views!) and the wind was in our faces on the way out. We were all looking forward to the wind at our backs on the return but we all forgot that the lack of wind would make those humidity levels really feel exceptionally harsh.
Humidity, in my opinion, is one of the most difficult factors to deal with on a run. You really can’t control the conditions and it definitely zaps your energy levels. These conditions are always a great reminder to listen to your body and do what is best for you, and of course hydrate at every aid station you find and maybe even at water fountains too! It takes a tough athlete to push through those conditions all the way to the finish and I am proud to say that each and every one of our athletes made it to the end.
As a coach I really love these events. I was given coach’s access to the course which allowed me to comfortably move back and forth without any issues. Again, awesome being the official charity partner! Near the end of the day I was able to help athletes get all the way to the finish line and head right back out on the course to find more team members and do it all over again. Being able to skip any hurdles about entering a race course really makes this much easier to do and the rough weather conditions made this even more valuable.
Rock was also on the course with our buddy Zach and as soon as he finished he came back and helped coach other runners. Together we teamed up and finished a really successful race. By noon I had completed 16 miles of running, not bad for 25 weeks into pregnancy! It is days like those that make me feel incredibly lucky to have Rock in my life. He’s not just my husband or best friend, he is also my running partner in crime and when it comes to work we are fortunate that we do it every day together and we do it really well. When I saw him back out on the course to help me it was a huge relief. We make a great team.
Today I have to give a huge shout out to all of the MDA Team Momentum members who completed this race. A big congrats to my cousin Carrie for completing her first and for 14 year old Zach who finished his 4th half marathon. What a superb group of people all around.
Also, a huge thanks to Lifetime Fitness for hosting a great event complete with beer and pancakes at the finish. They certainly know how to keep a group of tired and sweaty runners happy. They also hosted MDA Team Momentum in such a great way from inviting our ambassadors to be emcees at the event to sharing our mission with every participant. They even came out and made an appearance at our team dinner despite all the craziness of race set up. What a fun day!
Rock and I ended our day with a delicious Chicago pizza from Lou Malnati’s. As you can see, there is a reason we never order this stuff. We ate the whole thing at once. And then later Louie and I went out for frozen yogurt and he of course got his own serving. What a way to end a perfect weekend.
Did you race this weekend? Does the humidity drive you crazy too?