Let Go, Seek Adventure

Planning this trip to Chicago was one fail after another. In February I made plans with some girlfriends to do a girl’s weekend away in Chicago and the running thing. One person bailed, so then I bailed. I wasn’t going to go at all and gave away one of my complimentary entries. Then a couple of weeks ago I was contacted by an organization that is very important to me about doing a media interview. Excited about the opportunity I decided I’d go to Chicago with my main motive being the interview.

I juggled some accommodation options, had a few more planning fails, but finally made arrangements to stay at a friend’s apartment just days before the race. I’m someone who is hesitant to depend or rely on others but went into this with a “seek adventure” mindset.

But first, Ironman WI training.

Saturday morning I had 80 miles to bike before I got on the road to Chicago. I woke up to drear, wet roads, and brrrr-WHAT? It was confusing because I thought it was July and I demand boob-sweat season. Oh, and it was windy too. I started my ride with some teammates but I needed to keep rolling so when they stopped at a gas station I kept on my merry way. Yep, I said merry. Despite the chill, drear and fierce headwind I was feeling great.

The second loop should have felt worse with increasing winds, but I was enjoying it and didn’t really recognize my inner monolog. Wind used to piss me off and send me into a deep, dark mental hole. Instead, I noticed when the sun poked out from the clouds, sometimes even a patch of blue sky would appear! I waved and moo’ed at the cows, powered up hills, thought grateful thoughts like how fortunate I am that I get to do these miles, and genuinely felt awesome the entire 81 miles!

I’ve acknowledged my physical transformation differences in the last few months, but have overlooked the mental changes that I didn’t even realize were happening. Going into this ride my mental expectation was to have a tough ride. I said that out loud to John on our drive to Verona. Instead, as I pedaled I let go of expectations welcomed the challenge of the wind. Let go, set your head free, dare to welcome what you think you don’t want.

I’ll boldly state that I didn’t want that drive into Chicago all by myself. Holy cow. Where is everyone in the world driving to at the same time on every highway and roadway in Chicago? That was stressful. I was bummed to miss my media interview but made it to packet pick-up with an hour to spare.

Seek adventure. Let go.

That was my mindset beginning the Rock ‘n Roll Chicago half marathon. My bib had corral number 9 printed on it and chuckled when the pacer put up her stick reading 2:45. Not my ideal corral placement, but hey, this is an adventure, right?

The race started, I navigated around a few corrals in the first two miles and settled into a pace once I had some space. The start of these big races kind of feels like the mass swim start of Ironman WI, swimming around people, getting elbowed looking for space. I welcomed the challenge of navigating through the mass of runners, enjoyed the skyscrapers and awesome bands and cheering spectators on the course.

It down poured a couple of times and I laughed. Adventure!

At mile ten I blew past the 2:10 pace group feeling like a rockstar and took a peek at my Garmin. It read 1:31:49. Gah. I didn’t have a goal going into this, but I was close enough to run strong to the finish and sneak in under two hours. So I did. 1:59:42!

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This was a weekend meant to be so many things that weren’t. I let go and chose to make the best of it on my own. I’m fortunate for the adventure! Next up, Oh-HI-oh! A road trip to Ohio with no planning snafus as of yet! #knockonwood

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