The course is scenic, but pretty brutal for the last 4-5 miles as it's quite hilly. There are plenty of water, Gatorade and GU stations, and plenty of volunteers passing out the goods. My goal was to finish the race pain free and I tried not to think too much about the clock. Mile 11 was the toughest, by far. My strategy was to keep my head down and focus on my breath. I sang the ABCs (in my head) until I saw the signage for Mile 12, and at that point I was able to put my head up and take a peek at the animals as we ran through the Franklin Park Zoo.
My final time was 2:12:34 and although it wasn't my quickest, it definitely wasn't my slowest. The last time I ran was in 2013 and I could barely finish due to neck and shoulder pain. Since that time I've been seeing a chiropractor regularly and more recently have incorporated hot yoga into my conditioning routine. Both of these have helped tremendously (and the fact that I'm no longer hauling around my twins' infant seats) and it's incredible to finish pain-free.
Here are some shots from the race. Thanks to all the people that stood along the course and cheered! It really helps! Also, big shout-out to the November Project dudes on bikes. Your shouting and encouragement really made me laugh.
Pre-race around 7 AM
Port 'o Pottys as far as the eye can see. A runner's dream.
Pre-race around 7:30
Waiting for the starting gun
Finished! Time for a nap. Oh wait, that was my 2007 race self. I mean, time to go home and spend the afternoon in a bouncy house with my kids.