Chi-Town 1/2 Marathon RR

Felt pretty good at the start

Felt pretty good at the start

The first race of the season came and went.  It was a good opening race but not as good as I wanted.  First I’ll set up my mindset going into the race then go into a little bit about race day and all that.  I did this race last year and it was like 60 and sunny; ya know spring weather.  Welp, looking at the 10 day forecast it was looking like it was going to be like high 35 with 20-30 MPH winds.  Ugh!  That is not a good weather day for a PR.  I kept checking the weather everyday to see what it would be like but not much change.  My time goal coming into the race was 1:19.  I picked that time because it would automatically qualify me for the New York City Marathon.  I was not 100% sure I could get to that time but my training has been going amazing so far and I went 1:21 last year so I was going to give it a shot.  So I was a bit disappointed in the weather because the cold is one thing but throw in cold and wind and that is just no good for a fast day.

So I wake up on Sunday AM and have my coffee, Bonk Breaker bars (toying around with my pre-race breakfast since I don’t eat much gluten anymore), then head to the race site.  I was lucky that I have a small car and was able to park, literally, right near the start.  I got there at like 7:10 for the 8:15 start so I picked up my packet then went back to my car to sit in the warmth.  The day was not looking like a good day for that 1:19.  My race plan going into the day was to ease into the race and start off running the first few miles 6:10-6:15, which is off pace for the 6:02 for the 1:19.

Yeah, the finishing stretch was brutal.  Especially with the wind.

Yeah, the finishing stretch was brutal. Especially with the wind.

I get out of my car, head out for a little warm up jog to try to warm up my legs.  The half marathon ran alongside a 10k, but I will get into that a bit later.  Get to the start line and do the normal stand around for a few minutes and shake my legs nervously thing.  Not much chatter at this start line and I am not usually talkative pre-race so that was ok with me.  The “gun” goes off and we are off.  I hoped to find some people running my pace so I could pace off of them and do a little drafting as well.  I found a group of like 3-4 at the start but then they picked up the pace a little and I dropped back.  I figured, “run your race”, but with the wind and the opportunity to pace off of other I quickly picked it up to catch up.

We ran together for the first 5 miles but it was not in a tight pack.  They would surge a bit and I would hang back then they’d slow and I’d get ahead.  Then the women I was running with and I dropped the other few people in the race and we were doing a good job of pacing each other.  Then, here is where the 10k comes into play, right as I was about to ask her what time she was going for she made the 10k turn.  DAMN!  Now I am all alone.

Starting to kick it in a bit

Starting to kick it in a bit

So the rest of the race was me running all by myself, except for the few high school kids running the aid stations and telling us where to turn.  I kept checking my watch and trying to calculate how far off pace I was.  I told myself that once I hit mile 10 I would start to pick it up.  Once I got there I looked at my watch and saw I had 18 minutes to cover that distance for the 1:19.  Ok not too bad (well I miscalculated a little there and had less time).  So I start to pick it up and I am GASED!  I run the last 2 miles in 5:57 and 5:56.  I am still in denial that I can get that time so I kick and kick and kick.  I see someone ahead of me like 100 yards but I don’t really care about him since I am going for time.  Then about 200 yards from the finish I see my watch hit 1:19.  Damnit!  Well still a PR but not what I wanted.  I start to sprint it in and the other guy surges as well.  We sprint next to each other but I edge him out at the end before my legs basically give out and I have to lean against the barrier to keep myself up.

Here is the Garmin file for my race if anyone wants to check it out.  Chi-Town 1/2 Marathon Garmin Data

PAINFUL finish

PAINFUL finish

Results: 1:19:26, 5th Overall and 2nd AG (good for a PR)

Now time for a few more weeks of training then in 18 days it’s time to run the Boston Marathon!!!!

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Race Season is Near

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Wow, all I can say is this year is flying by so far!  Student teaching is going well, training is going well, and the weather, I hope, is starting to warm up a bit.  Now that it’s almost mid March I am starting to see the beginning of my race season.  My first race of the year is the Chi-Town Half Marathon March 24th.  Then 3 weeks later I will be running the oldest, most storied marathon in world, well besides the original “marathon”, the Boston Marathon!  I have been wanting to run this race since I started running seriously a few years ago.  I missed out by like :27 seconds last year which was a blessing because I did Ironman Texas instead.  Then my first triathlon will be the 5i50 series race in New Orleans.  I went down to NOLA last year for the 70.3 which turned into a duathlon due to storms.  After that race things really kick into gear with another big race being Muncie 70.3 then the USAT AG Nationals being another biggie.  I have other races planned during the summer but those are the ones I really want to peak at.

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I have been thinking about my season goals for a while but with triathlon goals are tough to nail down because times depend on weather and course, and placing depends on who shows up that day.  But here are a few of my goals for the season.

  1. Run a 1:19 half marathon- I ran 1:21:17 last year and I am in better shape right now
  2. Run a mid 2:50’s marathon- I hope I can do this in Boston and that is the pace I have been using as my marathon pace but with a point to point course weather plays an even bigger role.  Last year was hot, two years ago had a great tailwind (fingers crossed for that again!) but a headwind could wreak havoc on pacing
  3. Qualify for the 70.3 World Championships- Not sure if I would actually race the WC but qualifying would mean placing probably top 5 in my AG
  4. Race my best race at the USAT AG National Championships
  5. Go low 2:00’s in an Olympic Triathlon- Again, course dependent but I went 2:09:xx during Ironman training last year so I should be able to go faster now that my focus is speed

I have other goals that I think about day to day but these are the big ones.  Now time to keep training and stay injury free!