It’s more impressive when you count steps. I got through near 15 miles, 14.93 to be exact. I struggled through this one. It seemed I was running against the wind no matter which direction I was going: one of the many joys of Chicago!

I was determined not to make the same mistakes from two weeks prior. I carried plenty of gels. I made sure my water bottles were filled every chance I got. My husband met me again half-way through the run and I’d asked him to pack a few peanut butter pretzel nuggets.

I saw him coming toward me — I’d recognized him from his running gait and it made me smile. We decided to divert from the lakefront path to the path just west of the expressway at Diversey to get out of the wind. The gravel and tree shade was a welcome change and again brought me back…. this was my old north to south out-and-back long run route.

We went over the North Avenue bridge back to the lakefront and headed south again. My husband, who describes his skin tone as a “heathy blue,” was a having a tough time in the sun and wind. So, we exited the path and headed west on Oak St. That may or may not have been a mistake for me.

The lakefront offered direct sun, heavy wind, and a clear non-stop path until at least mile 13.5. The city streets provided shade, shelter from the wind, and a a number of stop-starts until reaching the end. I was grateful for the shade and a break from the wind. However, the constant stopping and re-starting proved to be hell on my joints after a while. They wanted to lock up. So what do I take away from this? It hurt less to keep going.

It’s something I hope I’ll remember come race day. Feet may hurt, back may hurt, everything may hurt. . . but it’ll hurt less if I just keep going. That’s what massages are for?