Tuesday, October 12, 2010

ambulance sirens

after hearing about another hot one in chicago, i thought about my own experience "running" the chicago marathon back in 2007. {insert voice of doom} the year of cancellation and no water {end voice of doom}. anyway i remembered that i had written a sort of "race recap" back on my sweet myspace "blog" (hey this was '07). it took me a while to remember my log in info, but i did - lucky for you guys.

for your enjoyment - my 2007 chicago marathon race recap: (a few present-day notes in red)
i survived the '07 chicago marathon (marathons, by the way, are 26.2 miles). a little over 45,000 people registered for the race - only 24,000 people finished. on a record-setting 90 degree day in chicago (in october), the race was cancelled about 3 hours in.

as usual, my original goal was to run a 3:40 (a bq). it was 75 degrees at 6:00am, and the race didnt start until 8. probably about 6 miles in, i abandoned my goal -- i decided i just wanted to beat my old time (3:56). that quickly turned into keeping it around my previous marathon times (sub 4:02), which shortly after the halfway point became "i just want to finish". sometimes i didn't even want that... for the first time in my life i thought "i will never run again" (we all know i will though). it was just miserable. around mile 17ish i passed one of the pacers for the race who said "at this point it's all about survival and making it back." comforting, isn't it? after hearing that i thought - i just want to live, but what little competitiveness was left in me would not let me drop-out of the race so i pressed on. (apparently i was quite the drama queen)

i had some soreness from the running / walking (let's be real it was 90 degrees, i didn't run the whole time) but i also felt my eyes getting heavy and thought i was maybe about to pass out. this started at like mile 8, by the way. i had a bit of a headache which usually = early sign of dehydration. i forced myself to drink gatorade and water at every station even though i didn't want it at most of them. it's probably a good thing i did, because they ran out of ambulances in the chicago area.

over 300 runners were hospitalized and one died. [run in peace chad schieber]

from about mile 10 on - you could constantly hear sirens wailing throughout the city. there was a runner down at least every 1/4 mile, and the majority of the runners, like myself, turned into walkers. it was like a zombie movie - there were no more runners, it was a death march. at the water station near mile 23 i heard officials announcing "the chicago marathon has been cancelled due to the extreme heat and humidity - please drink plenty of fluids and walk the remainder of the race". at first i thought it was a joke but then the policemen started making annoucements over their radio/speaker things and even from a helicopter flying overhead. i ended up walking it out with a lady from boston while the wonderful crowds/fans continued to cheer everyone on, even though the race had been called off. we crossed the finish line with a craptacular time but since the race was cancelled - my time doesn't count (in my opinion). they still gave us our medals and considered us finishers of the race - so technically i've crossed illinois off my list. (i'm still up in the air as to whether or not i should re-do illinois)

after finishing, (and laying down in the shade for 20 minutes - special thanks to matt (kid i had a crush on at the time hahaha) for talking to me on the phone and making sure i didn't pass out!) i went in search of my friends who'd started the race with me; luckily we'd all made it through ok. the finish area was like a scene from a tragic movie - people were milling about in a state of delirium (dehydration, heat exhaustion, etc) and searching for their friends/family members and hoping they were not carted off in one of the ambu's.

the day after... i'm actually not that sore - though i could use a killer back massage (and have been promised one-you better follow through!). my legs are ok, but i think i'll give myself a couple days off anyway. fingers crossed, but this is the first marathon (of 4) i've come out of injury free! well, minus the dehydration/heat-exhaustion problems i'm still working on. and yes, i'll probably be back out pounding the pavement later this week, but i think i might take some time off from the marathoning industry. (hah that clearly didn't happen)

i'm not sure who promised me that post-race back massage, but i don't think i ever got it. lame.

congrats to all the 2010 chicago marathon finishers!
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34 comments :

  1. Wow i am the first one to comment. This never happens anymore since I'm such a crappy blog reader now!

    I am glad you have kept on running marathons, and I can understand you maybe wanting a do-over where Chicago is concerned. Aren't you glad you didn't decide to do it this year, with the heat that they had on Sunday? (Of course, 70 feels like nothing compared to 90.)

    that is an awesome race report - I like the "old school" posting! Even back then you had your signature sense of humor. I love it! :-)

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  2. Thanks for digging out that recap. I enjoyed reading it, even though it sounds like a miserable day, at least it's one to remember! It seems this year's Chicago and Portland were both eventful due to the weather.

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  3. That was a great recap. I seriously cannot even imagine trying to run a marathon in that heat! What a nightmare. I'll bet you are glad you weren't out there this year too!

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  4. great recap! thanks for digging it out :) those conditions sound brutal!

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  5. That was awesome to read! Thanks for sharing. MySpace... bahahahahah

    FYI, the cool kids (i.e. me) were already on Blogger in '07. ;)

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  6. That was a fun recap, but the race sounded brutal! I enjoyed the present-day comments. I was only just discovering My Space in 2007...I was late to the party.

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  7. That is seriously some scary stuff! It was great to read that recap though. I'm scared to ever sign up for Chicago now. Maybe they need to move it back a few weeks.

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  8. Really nice to read that, thanks! I can just imagine what you felt like.

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  9. Are you sure you weren't spectating on Sunday? Seriously, this was exactly what it looked like. A zombie death march. So glad you made it to the Finish in one piece!

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  10. Wow, thanks for sharing. And you should track that person down and get your massage. It is never too late, you know!

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  11. Haha- I had a myspace! So funny!

    I love reading old re-caps; I am so not surprised that you were hardcore during that race...you are AWESOME!

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  12. MySpace... Wow...

    I was at Chicago 07 too!! (Forgive me if we already established that at some point in the past). I was at about mile 20 when the race was "officially" canceled. At that point it was a run/walk/survive to the finish.

    The worst part of the race was actually for my wife. She had signed up for text message alerts. She thought that there was going to be three alerts and that the 3rd alert meant I was at the finish. There was actually 4 alerts. So, she quite a while running between the med tests and finishers chute until the 4th txt eventually came through.

    And to anyone who ran Chicago this year, "Congrats! and You're Welcome" :) I am glad I got to be your guinea pig for dealing with a hot October marathon. haha

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  13. isn't it fun to read old race reports!!!! the innocense, the excitement... it's still there today, of course, but it's more stark when you look back at it.

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  14. Great recap! Chicago is still on my list of "must-do's" but 90 degrees! I would have been sipping margaritas by mile 5!

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  15. Glad you got through it okay!! That's crazy hot...even by Texas standards. Thanks for sharing!

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  16. how many marathons have you run now?? i hear even despite the heat chicago is a "must run" (that's assuming you run marathons, lol). and this year the race director was "noncommittal" about moving the race date due to recurring weather conditions. :)

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  17. This sounds traumatic! I'd like to think that if I was faced with the heat I could push through due to my new-found Texan-ness, but I don't even know if I could have finished.

    You're a very dedicated one, Lindsay.

    Also, I feel like any medals or paraphernalia from the race will be collectors items.

    Enjoy your day!

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  18. Haha it's fun to go back and look at old posts and such. I always chuckle when I got back and read my old stuff.

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  19. Sorry to hear about Rick - It's hard loosing a friend, but I'm sure he left you some great memories.

    I remember the day of the Chicago 07 marathon - I had a race in Arkansas in the same conditions. Very hot and humid. Made for a hard day (and night).

    Yes - We must do one of Terri's races. I will try and keep-up with you, is more realistic.

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  20. Oh memories...I remember the zombie walk so well...and I cannot believe I pretty much relived it on 10/10/10. Un freaking believable.

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  21. LIked reading this. I was fascinated at the time that they would cancel a race. How awful to do all that training for such a disaster.

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  22. Great recap, not so fond memories. I was in Chicago that fateful weekend in 2007. WMC and I ran for 10 horrible and dry miles. We did not carry our own water and there was none on the course. WMC's achilles gave out at mile 10 and we were out. I remember reading every article I could find about that horrible day. I have to say that I still love Chicago! But, after this year, I am convinced that they need to move the Chicago marathon to November!

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  23. Wow, that account is sort of chilling. What a surreal experience that must have been!

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  24. This is terrific, thank you for finding it. 2007 sounds absolutely freaking NUTS... and scary. ZOMBIEEES! (ps. isn't it fun to look back at old recaps and see if they match up to how you remember it now?)

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  25. Sounds like a bloodbath! I bet it was fun to explore your old blog. Don't redo Illinois! You should get to cross two states of the list for that one.

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  26. Gee thanks......this isn't making my "quivering" finger over the "summit" button any easier to press ya know!!

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  27. Lindsay

    That was a really interesting recap of your marathon race in 90f. I only have one similar type of memory from 2006 Norwich Half marathon where I ran in 86f. My memories of this were that if it hadn't of been for the helpful spectators with hoses and extra water I would have struggled. As it was I was constantly searching for any shade provided by trees the road being hot and almost sticky.

    Sounds as if Chicago organisers made right decision to stop the race to avoid more potential fatalities.

    These days can I admit it - I am scared of the marathon distance!

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  28. I would not have handled 90 degrees. I ran the Quebec City Half marathon in August and the race organizers were coming over to wet me down. It must be very apparent that I don't do heat.

    It's cool that you have memories written down no matter where you kept them :)

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  29. I had no idea that you were part of Chicago 2007. Ken and I watched the footage from our hotel room in Puerto Vallarata and could not believe the chaos!

    I finished this year around 11:30 and we heard sirens until we got back inside. Even though I know it was not as bad as 2007, it was scary hearing the sound of sirens for such a long time.

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  30. Thanks for the 2007 recap! I love the Chicago Marathon. I ran it as my first in 2006 (28 and sleeting at the start) and returned this year with my wife (her first!). Needless to say it was a little hot. After 2007, they have incorporated a weather alert system. At the start it was all green, by the half mark it was yellow, and by the time we reached 16 it had turned to red. We're just glad they learned their lesson on water/Gatorade. Maybe next year they should do it on 11/11/11 ;)

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  31. I hope that race serves as a good point of reference when the going gets tough.
    I deleted my MySpace back in May, but did copy/paste all my blogs first. Browsing through them, I could tell that I enjoyed writing blogs at the time, but just couldn't compete with the more popular ones about crap like backstabbing friends.
    I'm glad I was directed to blogspot, because of its flexibility.
    And I like how you should have called it a day at Mile 8. I bet next time you will.

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  32. That's just plain crazy! Thanks for sharing the recap...that's pretty cool that you still have it and can look back on it. Reading this brought back memories of my first (and only) marathon in 2004; it was the Marine Corps Marathon in D.C. on Halloween, who knew the weather would be in the 80's with 95% humidity!! needless to say it sucked and I remember hearing sirens too.

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