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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5 thoughts on “Chi-Town 1/2 Marathon RR

  1. Awesome Race! A PR is still amazing and happy you didn’t get lost on the course as i read by some other people. Excited for you for you to run Boston. Definitely on my dream list (as a fundraising runner 🙂

    email me if you are interested in being featured on the site in next Tri-Friends post. nicolekesten@gmail.com

    • Thanks! I did not get lost but the course people did steer me wrong around a corner which took me the long way but oh well. Some were great others were cold and wanted to be home! Ha

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