1. In an effort to try to set myself up for success with my half marathon on Saturday, I intended to do two things for the duration of my training cycle: no dessert except on special occasions, and no alcohol, period.
I made it a whopping three days into training before I decided stressful days at work counted as “special occasions,” (as did, as time went on, weekends, days where I ran a lot of miles, days where I just wanted dessert. A lot of occasions became special over the last 12 weeks, ha 😛 ), which I suppose isn’t that surprising. It’s no secret that I have a sweet tooth, nor is it a secret that I have little interest in denying that sweet tooth.
I didn’t, however, have a drop of alcohol from the moment I started training until–well, I still haven’t had any. I had hoped to go out for brunch after the race and get a mimosa, but 1) the place where I had brunch that morning doesn’t have alcohol and 2) I was so exhausted, dehydrated, and underfed after the race that alcohol seemed like a really bad idea, so I probably wouldn’t have had one regardless.
Admittedly, it’s not like I accomplished anything particularly notable here, at least for me. Me giving up alcohol for three months is basically the equivalent of a pescatarian who only kind of likes fish going full vegetarian for three months. My drinking on a normal basis is already limited to special occasions, so it’s not like I was making a huge sacrifice here. There were only like two times when it was a real bummer to not be drinking: when I went to Bar Siena during Restaurant Week, and when I went to Girl & the Goat in early March, and wasn’t able to get a fancy cocktail at either of them.
Nevertheless, I thought it was useful to see just how much of a non-issue it was for me to not drink for 12 weeks. I still went to bar trivia with my friends, I still went out to dinner, I still went to get-togethers. I just drank a lot of water (which, considering my training status, probably wasn’t a bad idea anyway!).
2. It weirded me out how…nothing, I guess, I felt after breaking 2:00 in my half marathon Saturday. After the Chicago Marathon in 2018 (and in 2017, even though the only (“only.” It’s hardly an “only” in my opinion) thing I accomplished was not bonking), I basically floated through the next week. I was perpetually on cloud nine, and I 100 percent expected to feel that way if I broke 2:00 in the half. I wanted this as badly as I wanted to break 4:45 in the marathon, and considered it to be as “unattainable” as breaking 4:45 in the marathon (unattainable without concentrated, focused training, that is).
And yes, I’m glad I broke 2:00, but when I reviewed my race photos, I was genuinely surprised to see myself smiling in my finish line photos–like, happy smiling, not smile-for-the-race-camera smiling. My actual thought was, “Oh, I guess I was happier than I remembered.” Like, what?
I think my lack of emotion–which, upon reflection, I don’t think is actual so much a lack of emotion as it as a lack of the emotion I expected–is because honestly, I’m not happy with how the race went. I mean, I’m happy with the outcome, but I’m not happy with the process. I’m not unhappy with the process enough to wish I could do it again, but I guess I am a little bummed I didn’t have the picture-perfect race I hoped for, even if I still got the result I hoped for.
3. I have another race on Saturday! I’m on a mission to do all the Chicago races I like prior to moving (again, not because I’ll be prohibited from doing them after I move, but because I don’t think I’m going to want to do them after I move.), and the Lakefront 10 is one I’ve really enjoyed in the past. I haven’t done it since the Wilson track was added, though, so I’m curious to see what it’ll be like to finish with a lap around the track. I’m also curious to see what it’ll be like to tackle Cricket Hill at the end of the race rather than at, like, mile three, but I’m more curious about that in a dreading it sort of way rather than an interested in seeing what it’ll be like sort of way, ha. I don’t have any real goals/hopes/dreams for it, though the last time I PRed it was right after the Chi Town Half five years ago, so who knows.