Thursday, September 26, 2019

Fox Valley Marathon 20 {2019 Race Recap}

On Sunday we ran the Fox Valley Marathon (Final 20). 

I had signed up to run the marathon a few months ago- it was going to fit in with my training perfectly as an easy long run. 

On Saturday, September 21, the day before FV, we said goodbye to our big dog, Hampton. His health had declined significantly over the past few months but Monday - Thursday of the week was nothing short of awful. He rallied and we had a good day Saturday, before freeing him of his failing body and mind. 

Sunday morning we woke up to rain and grief from losing Hampton. We drove out to St Charles and knew today would be a tribute to Ham, our big fox. 

I had planned on the Marathon as a training run + way to process all the emotions I had swirling in my head about losing our soul dog after almost 15 years. 

The weather was low 70’s, high dew point and humidity. I was feeling ok enough. 

I started with the 3:25 pacer who seemed to easily be clicking miles off 15+ seconds faster per mile than the 7:49’s I was expecting. I didn’t chase them. 

I walked through water stops and started running with the 3:30 group for a little bit. They also seemed to be running 10+ Sec faster a mile than 8:00- so I didn’t chase. 

Around mile 9 (my favorite number) a song came on my iPod which made me start crying because it reminded me of Hampton “someone you loved” by Lewis Capaldi. Luckily the course was spread out quite a bit so I was by myself.  Running + crying is hard. During this time I almost stepped on a chipmunk which darted out of the bushes. I can only imagine Ham Laughing at me saying he expected better from me since he trained me to be an excellent squirrel/small animal spotter. 

I made the decision shortly after to drop to the 20. I felt spent from the stress/sadness surrounding Hampton + the heat/humidity + possible hangover from celebrating CB’s life the day before.  I didn’t want to slog through the conditions for another hour more than I needed. 

Somewhere in the last 2 miles there was a group hanging out mimosas. I remember them from when I did the Half with Kim a few years ago. Mimosa never tasted so good!

After the 20 mile turnoff i was running with a few other ladies for a bit. We had all dropped to the 20 and also had Chicago marathon on deck in a few weeks. After finishing we all high fived and wished each other luck for the big dance in 3 weeks. 

The course is beautiful. It’s whats kept me coming back infrequently over the years- I’ve completed the marathon 2x, 13.1 once and now the 20. Its chill and well organized. 

In the second half I continued to walk through aid stations and take base salt (thank you Natali)

I also started walking a little in between running. When I’d run I felt good but I would start having difficulty breathing so I’d walk. 

S2 tribute for CB dog at the finish. 2:55, avg 8:45

I was very happy to finish. I was so hot and done and emotionally drained. L didn’t finish too far behind me and had a decent day as well. 

We got changed and drove to More Brewing to celebrate. 

This one’s for you, CB. “Space Boots”

I had a crazy Cobb salad with chicken - not my usual first choice post long run but it sounded the best. I was feeling nauseous for a while post race. 

My only goal going into FV was to finish upright. I did that. It was mentally and physically exhausting due to everything that happened. I’m so glad we didn’t bail - getting out of the house for a few hours definitely helped me a lot.  


Belvita almond butter biscuit thing in the car ride over. 

Water at all aid stations. 

Base salt at all aid stations. 
No gel/gu/carbs whatever. The plan was to run to depletion to train my body to run off fat. In Chicago I’ll take Maurten. 

Sunglasses would fog up due to the conditions, super annoying. 

Dedicated to our big fox, Hampton.