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.
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.
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
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!!!!