Wednesday, April 16, 2014

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Chi Town Half Marathon Race Recap

The Chi Town Half Marathon was race #2 of my birthday weekend races. The first was the Chicago Quarter Marathon on April 5th and I made sure to take it easy on that run so I wouldn't be burned out come Sunday. I had this little idea in my head that maybe this half marathon (#10) would be a personal best for me. I didn't want to commit to going for my best time because I didn't want to deal with whatever disappointment I might experience if I didn't break my best time of 02:09 (Fort Myers Beach Half Marathon in November 2013).

The morning of the race, I woke up early and took a cab to the start line. My right calf was sore and cramped from all the walking and running of the previous day so I was praying that it cooperated enough to get me through the race. I got a free massage before the race and eyed the 9:32/mile pace group. I knew that the 9:32/mile pace group had an estimated finish time of 2:05. I kind of hovered around them until I decided that my goal for this race would be to simply keep them within sight.

I continued to hover around them as I did my run-walk-run thing. (Which, by the way, does anyone in Chicago do the run-walk-run method?) Even with the end and a new personal record within reach, I never introduced myself. They noticed me (it was hard not to with all my beeping) and did an amazing job at encouraging me along the way. About half a mile away from the finish line, I passed the pacers and even told one of them I would be the person crying at the finish line because she got a new PR.

When I finished I wanted to jump out of myself. My unofficial time was 02:04:10 (official time was 02:04:04). That time was almost 6 minutes faster than my previous time! There were times during the race I didn't think I was going to make it to the end or would be able to keep up with the pacers. Every time a negative thought came up, I told myself to stop. I knew that the minute my brain broke down, my body would quickly follow. The race feels like a blur now that I try to think back to it and all the emotions I felt along the way. I still can't believe I ran it in 02:04 and now my dreams of running a half marathon in two hours feels within reach.
Source: IG @according2kelly
What I liked:

  • A new PR!
  • Flat course along the lakefront and park. 
  • Medal. 
  • Free massages. 
  • Water and snacks at the finish line. 
  • Water throughout the course. 
  • Clean bathrooms. 
  • Long-sleeve shirt. 
  • Fast packet pick-up at Road Runner Sports. 
  • Friendly pacers. 
  • Small race. 
  • Personalized bib. 

What I didn't like:

  • I felt lonely being the only interval runner around. 
  • It was cold! 
  • Course got a little boring in the park area and there wasn't much to see. 

Next Race Recap is April 13th's TOUGH MUDDER! I have no other races scheduled until Rock n Roll Chicago in July. However, I know myself enough to know that I will probably sign up for something before then. 

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Incredible job and a HUGE congrats on your PR, that is amazing!!