I was asleep until at least mile 3. I went without coffee and instead opted for Nuun with some caffeine. It wasn’t enough waking at 5AM and heading out the door by 6:00. Even the smallest inclines felt like hills. I loped past the Lollapalooza nonsense and headed north again. On the way, I mentally logged what I encountered from my start:

Rats: 2
Lost hair weaves: 1
Lost/abandoned sandals: 1
Tourists out & about way too early: countless
Undomiciled humans yelling at nothing: 2
Pockets of weed smell: 4 (thanks, Lolla!)

My route took me around Navy Pier this morning, which was blissfully empty. I got to bail out of the flyover, which part of me was looking forward to tackling for some odd reason. On my way back toward the path, I captured this:


I hadn’t been around this way in a while and was ticked to find the water fountain at Ohio St Beach is no more; I was counting on it to fill my small water bottles.

I carried on north to Castaways, filling up at Oak St. (just under a mile further) instead where I ended up chatting a bit with another runner on his 6 mile route back home up to my old neighborhood. Despite the rapidly increasing temperature, I found some relief from the steady lake breeze and felt pretty good for the first time. I also got nostalgic for the days when 12 miles was an easy run.

A few swimmers dove into the lake from the chess pavilion and I was jealous for a split second until I realized the were headed to Ohio St. No thank you, very much. I was getting pretty hot at this point and regretted opting for a hat to keep dripping sweat off my face and out of my eyes instead of one of my Bondi bands.

I tried to think of ways to amuse myself — my playlist is already annoying. So, I took this pic of my shadow. That water bottle fanny pack is doing nothing for the “svelte, tiny torso, tree trunk legs” silhouette I was really going for…


But seriously, folks….

I took a long break at Castaways to help cool myself down and an even longer break once I got back to Ohio St. I was fatigued. I considered calling for a ride home. I drank more water and ate some of the banana chips and mini peanut butter pretzel chips I brought. I should have packed another gel too. I ate the first approaching mile 5 and had nothing for the back end of the planned 12 miler. I thought the other snacks would suffice and was terribly, terribly was wrong.

I cooled down a bit in the shade and started back around Navy Pier. By this time the tour boats were gearing up and I got a nice face full of exhaust fumes. Lovely. I was tired, almost out of water, and now getting hungry smelling the restaurants cooking up their breakfasts. Even the little 1 foot ramp they’d constructed on the pier to cover some kind of construction inspired a curse or two. Damn hills!

It also began to dawn on me that in by passing the flyover to around the pier, I’d have to go back up the stairs I came down. . .

Mistakes were made.

Or so I thought. I was part of the way up when I realized that there was the “old” way around that went under this monster right beneath Lakeshore Dr. and back to the lakefront path. I’d run that way hundreds of times and completely forgot about it in that moment. I walked up these stairs. The brain was not running full force. Neither was I for that matter.

I found a spot to refill my water and also stopped at an aid station (thanks, CARA!) to chug some kind of sports drink and take another long break in the shade to bring my body temperature back down. I hit just about every red light on the way back home and was glad for it. I drank too much water and my stomach was feeling sloshy. “Sloshy,” I believe is the proper medical term.

I thought if I could reach the river, I’d be happy with this run. I hadn’t really noticed the change in elevation from Franklin to Wacker until today. It’s laughable to people who run real hills, but it sucked just the same.

I got just over 11 miles before the stomach cried, “No more!” I thought I could con a run-walk out of it, but stomach protested too much. So, I walked and texted my husband that I was headed back home. He texted back that he was proud of me. Aww! It felt pretty good despite the nagging feeling that I might yak. Love is weird.

In all, I covered 12.5 and ran 11.17 at a decent enough pace for me. I’ll consider it a win. And yes, bacon with breakfast!