Chicagoland Spring Half Marathon

Chicagoland Spring Half Marathon


I ran my first half marathon race today! On Saturday I picked up my race packet and bib number. I knew it was going to be a small race by the amount of people waiting in line at the running store.

I was really nervous about this race because my Achilles tendon is injured and I’ve had to take the last two weeks off. Running is my passion, I live for it, it makes my heat beat faster, and I light up when ever I talk about it… so it’s been a rough couple of weeks for me. I’ve been getting through it by positive self talk and reminding myself that I want it to heal so I can qualify for Boston at the Chicago Marathon this year.


The race was an hour away from my house so I woke up at 4:30a.m. and did my usual routine. Ate oatmeal while reading blogs, drank lots of water, double checked I had everything 10 x’s and then my step-dad and I were out the door by 5:30a.m.

Driving to the race made me nervous because the temperature was in the low 40’s, it was raining, and was reporting 35mph winds. Definitely not the best race conditions! We got there early so we stopped at a gas station to use the restroom and take MySpace type pictures for my blog. 😉

We parked, walked to the starting line and went into an office building where all the runners were hanging out. You can tell from the pictures how crappy the weather was.


I started the race in between the 1:40 and 1:45 pace group, hoping my Achilles would hold up and I’d be able to run a decent time. I surprising felt pretty good in the beginning. My Achilles hurts less when I’m running and more when I’m walking and going up and down stairs…not sure why that is? I made the rookie mistake of starting off too fast and ran with the 1:40 pace group for the first 8 miles or so. I took a gel at mile 6 but by the time I was at mile 8 my Achilles was hurting and I felt like I was running out of steam. I’ve definitely lost endurance since I haven’t been running much.


Here I am running with Mark who was the pace leader for 1:40. He was such a fun guy to run with. He was cheering for people the entire time and kept everyone in good spirits. At mile 10 I started to slow down and fell behind him. The last 3 miles were such a challenge because we were running against the wind. At one point a huge gust of wind came and I actually took a step backwards…It made me laugh. You just never know what the weather might bring on race day. I did a lot of positive self talk during the last 3 miles. I kept repeating to myself “Sara, you’re okay, you’re okay…you can do this, you are strong!”


Here I am about to finish and running my little heart out. I need to work on my stride… in all my pictures I’m taking very large steps and I’ve heard that’s not a good thing. I was so happy to be done and little shocked by how well I did.


My friend Kristen is a rock star and volunteered for the race. She gave me my medal and I was so happy to see her. I can’t imagine standing in the rain all morning. Thank you so much Kristen!! And thank you to my step-dad Michael who came out to cheer me on and take pictures of the race.

My Achilles instantly started hurting and felt really stiff when I finished the race. I tried to walk it off and I’m just hoping I didn’t injure it any more. Right before my step-dad and I were about to leave they put up the official results….

I finished in 1:43:16 and won 3rd place in my age group!! I wasn’t thrilled about my time, I know I can do better when I’m not injured and it’s not so windy…but I was so happy to get 3rd place. When I found out I got 3rd place all of my pain seemed to go away and I couldn’t stop smiling. =) We waited for the awards ceremony so I could get my 3rd place medal.



Overall, it was a great race! I feel proud I finished strong and stayed positive through out my injury and the race. I’m going to take the next 1-2 weeks off and let my Achilles fully heal so I’ll be ready to start marathon training in June. Can’t wait! =)

About Sara


  1. Sara, you ARE strong! That is a great time if you ask me! 🙂

    I love the “you’re ok, you’re ok” self-talk! Totally been there! Congrats–and I hope that achilles heals up quick!

  2. BigSissy says:

    Congrats Ra!!!!!

  3. Rhonda Walker says:

    Congratulations !!! You did a great job running the Chicago Marathon. Keep up the good work.

    Your cousin, Rhonda☺

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