|The $5 bling featuring Abe Lincoln of course!|
The navy blue shirt was kinda goofy with the big Lincoln head, but I actually adore it.
It's a women's Gilden performance shirt that fits me perfect and is super comfortable.
My friend Cassie and I got up early to make the 1:20 drive into Springfield. Arriving just a 1/2 hour before the start, we nabbed a great parking spot one block from the start/finish. Another reason I love these smaller marathons - no fuss, easy in, easy out. There simply wasn't enough time pre-race. I knew so many people running this race (which made it fun), but I still didn't get a chance to talk with everyone. Sorry if I missed you! Lots of pre-race photos and meet 'n greets with readers (thanks for snagging me when you saw me!).
|My Peoria running group (left), Marcia from Marcia's Healthy Slice (top right) and Carmen from She Runs Everywhere (bottom right). Carmen went on to run a killer race - new PR and grabbed 3rd place in her division with a 1:37!|
The race started in front of the Old State Capitol, a one-block change from previous years. I was pretty relaxed at the start and chatty with my pals. I wanted a good run, but had no illusions of anything spectacular. I've had achey muscles this past week and was actually slightly worried how painful 13.1 might be. I smoked this course with a sub-2 a couple years ago. I felt a bit sad to know I am no where near that speed or shape right now. Sigh.
Since this race is all about President Abraham Lincoln, the course winds through the Illinois Capitol to give you a full running tour of all the Lincoln sights. In the first couple miles, we ran through the section of historic building, including Lincoln's home. Then we veered back downtown and past the current State Capitol building...
Mile 1 - 9:43
Mile 2 - 9:38
Mile 3 - 9:31
We ran through some pretty neighborhoods with houses I can only dream of living in. The temperatures were in the mid-30's. Perfect for (me) running, but understandably chilly for cheerleaders. I remembered there being a lot more spectators last time (on a warmer day). We ran a scenic stretch through Washington Park and the rolling hills began. The first part of this course is fairly flat, but the second half is definitely a challenge.
Mile 4 - 9:46
Mile 5 - 9:47
Mile 6 - 9:36
As we exited the park, there was a steep hill to climb. I tried to glide up it smooth and quick. I pulled away from my friends at this point. I knew there were challenging hills ahead and wanted to find my zone. Consistent mile splits are kinda my thing...
Mile 7 - 9:54
Mile 8 - 9:50
Mile 9 - 9:53
Shortly after the mile 9 marker, we entered into Oak Ridge Cemetery. There's a nice downhill to pass by Lincoln's Tomb... but it's easy to miss that landmark when there's a huge UPhill looming to get back out of the cemetery. This is the hill that kind of killed me. It felt like knives stabbing into my glute muscles. Although I powered up it, not giving in to my desire to walk, I knew I was fading... fast.
|coming into Lincoln Park|
|Anna giving the photographer some love|
while I turned to head up the final hill.
Ha! Love this!
I completely forgot about the final hill that we climb to get out of Lincoln Park. But there it was, waiting to torture me. Anna sailed up it and I was struggling on my own again.
Mile 10 - 10:01
Mile 11 - 10:07
Mile 12 - 10:30
I was about to reach into my shirt and pull out an earbud for music when Cassie caught up to me. We chatted a bit, but she had gas left and moved ahead as well. I tried to hang with her in the last mile, but just couldn't find the motivation. Ugh, I can't remember a race where I felt so worn-down in the last mile.
Mile 13 - 9:46
The finish line was different this year too. There were suddenly a lot of people but I had a hard time seeing ahead where the finish was. I must have looked confused because some guy yelled out, "Turn left at the light and you'll finish." Whew, thanks. Done.
average pace 9:54
Overall #905 out of 2???
Female #378 out of 1134
Div F35-39 #68 out of 209
I didn't have the best-feeling run, but it sure was a fun event. The course is very pretty, albeit not-easy. The entry fee is perfect and it's a close getaway from home. I would highly suggest this event - especially if you don't already have their famous giant penny medal. (There were complaints of people wanting the penny versus the $5 bill this year. I thought it was cool that the race actually offered the penny option at the finish line.) All around GREAT RACE!
Of course, we took a boatload of fun photos after the race...
|Wearing a Badgers outfit (in honor of Saturday's Final Four game) was a blast. I got so many cheers along the course from Big Ten fans. At the post-party, I bumped into a fun Kentucky fan. We were both wearing the sparkle skirts too!|
|How about just one more hill Mr. Lincoln?|