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Rock 'n' Roll Chicago Half Marathon - RunHalf Marathon

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Chicago, Illinois
United States
Elite Racing
70F / 21C
Total Time = 1h 42m 9s
Overall Rank = 1018/14438
Age Group = 30-34
Age Group Rank = 40/1783
Pre-race routine:

Laura (Whizzzzz) drove down to stay at Chez Kelly for the night so she wouldn't have to drive so far in the morning and we went out to dinner. Had a glass of wine at dinner and then came back home. This was another race where I wasn't really sure what the plan was going to be in the morning and I was more interested in having fun than taking it too seriously anyway so we polished off another bottle while we put together our race stuff.

Got to bed around 11:00 p.m.
Event warmup:

Woke up around 4:15-4:25 a.m. wishing the race started about three hours later. Crammed food in my face while simultaneously dressing and getting the last of my stuff together and we headed out around 5:00.

Parked at UIC, took the train into downtown, gear checked our bags, and I had a few minutes to chat with Laura, Trixie and her friend Robyn before I headed to my corral.

Working at the running store has meant I've met a lot of the running community in some format in this area. As I was standing in the corral a guy walked up to me wearing the jersey for one of our training groups and said, "Hi Kelly. Have you seen Amy?" The first thought in my head was, "Who the h*ll is Amy?" And then I thought, "Who the heck are YOU?" But instead I smiled and looked around like I knew what I was doing and said, "I haven't seen her." Then he asked me what pace I was planning to run and the next thing I knew his wife was taking pictures of us. He did look fairly familiar after talking to him for a few minutes, but I still couldn't place his name by the time we started.
  • 1h 42m 9s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 07m 48s  min/mile

I'd been asked a few times what pace I was going to run and I honestly wasn't sure. My training has been kind of all over the place the past few weeks and since I figured this couldn't be an A race anymore and I'll be doing the marathon in Denver in October anyway, I would just run this the best I could and hope for low 8's. In reality I also know there's no point in me planning a pace for a half marathon or shorter. My body knows what it can run and I generally find if I stop worrying about it and just let my body figure it out, I'll run stronger than I thought I could. I'll also pace more consistently than I could if I were over-thinking it. So I headed out at a pace that felt good and was surprised when I realized I was almost at PR pace.

After having an extra .4 miles on my Garmin for the marathon in April and being told it was because I don't cut in close on the corners, I really tried to be careful with that this time. But by mile 1 my Garmin and the course mile markers were already off. Throughout the race there was a difference of anything from six seconds to a minute fifteen difference in what my Garmin marked off as a mile and what the course said was a mile. My Garmin reports the race as 13.33 mile, but I also lost signal in the Mccormick Place tunnel and may have lost it in a couple other places. So instead I ran with a general guesstimate of where I was based on course clock time and when my wave took off.

I didn't feel like I needed much nutrition for this race for some reason so I only took fluids at three aid stations and I only did a couple sips for each one. I never felt dehydrated or low on fuel though, and it helped me maintain stride and pace, so I may see about cutting back on the aid stations in other half marathons and see if that continues to work.

About halfway through mile 12 a girl ran up next to me and said, "I've been running behind you and you've been strong." Then she stuck right by my side until the finish. SHE was really strong and she was pushing me. The last 100 meters I wanted to puke or collapse or something because it hurt so bad and she kept quietly saying: "Come on. Keep going." I don't know if I would've finished so strong if we hadn't been running together. Once we crossed the finish line we introduced ourselves, said it was great to run together, and she said, "It's always nice to make friends" and then she was gone in the crowd.

I knew by mile 9 that I was very close to a PR, but I couldn't tell how close. I set my original PR at this race and thought it would be awesome to break it today at the next generation of the race. I really tried to push the last few miles, even picking it up to a 7:30 pace for my last mile, but the clock said I was coming in at 1:42:15 while I was still running down the last 100 meters so I figured it was gone by that point and I was about 30 seconds slower. I was shocked to find out I was actually only six seconds off.
What would you do differently?:

Not much based on where I was with training and life in general going into the race. I paced very evenly throughout (staying between a 7:48-7:50 pace most of the time) and I almost beat my PR. I'd obviously try to find that six seconds somewhere, but otherwise I think I this race went really well.
Post race
Warm down:

Got my finishing chute food and then sat on the curb and made friends with whoever sat next to me until Laura finished and then she and I went out to eat at Wishbone, our favorite post-race restaurant for breakfast in the city.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Training, life. Even still I almost ran a PR. Can't complain.

Event comments:

I've done another Country Music/Rock and Roll half marathon and they are very well done. I would definitely recommend them for veterans and first timers alike. I thought as an inaugural race this went very well. I would suggest they loosen up their policy about making everyone pick up their own packet though, especially if they are going to continue to hold the expo in the middle of the city with $20 parking to get to it. For people coming from the suburbs, it was a 3-4 hour trip on top of race day.

Last updated: 2009-06-07 12:00 AM
01:42:09 | 13.1 miles | 07m 48s  min/mile
Age Group: 40/1783
Overall: 1018/14438
Performance: Good
Course: A twisting, winding course through downtown Chicago and south through McCormick place and then back north on the lakefront path.
Keeping cool Average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2009-08-02 8:36 PM

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Wellington, North Island
Subject: Rock 'n' Roll Chicago Half Marathon

2009-08-02 8:53 PM
in reply to: #2322973

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Racine, WI
Subject: RE: Rock 'n' Roll Chicago Half Marathon

As always, great race Kel!  I wish I would have been there, the pictures look like fun.

Oh, and that bottle of wine? EXCELLENT pre-race nutrition

2009-08-03 8:46 AM
in reply to: #2322973

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Subject: RE: Rock 'n' Roll Chicago Half Marathon
That's great that you can both have fun and nearly PR.  I think there's a lesson for most of us in there somewhere.  Congrats on such a strong race!

Edited by drewb8 2009-08-03 8:47 AM
2009-08-03 11:23 AM
in reply to: #2322973

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Subject: RE: Rock 'n' Roll Chicago Half Marathon
DAYUMMMM! I didn't know you were blazin' fast! Nice run!
2009-08-03 2:17 PM
in reply to: #2322973

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, North Carolina
Subject: RE: Rock 'n' Roll Chicago Half Marathon

Blazin' fast is right.  Your weird training or lack of has certainly paid off this year!  Wait.  Is that a PINK shirt you're wearing?

2009-08-03 3:17 PM
in reply to: #2322973

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Subject: RE: Rock 'n' Roll Chicago Half Marathon

NICE WORK! But, unlike Tony, I knew you were blazin' fast!

2009-08-03 3:31 PM
in reply to: #2322973

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Westchester, IL
Subject: RE: Rock 'n' Roll Chicago Half Marathon
Great job, I never have fun when I almost have to puke.
2009-08-03 3:32 PM
in reply to: #2322973

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Subject: RE: Rock 'n' Roll Chicago Half Marathon
Nice job.  Almost beating your PR with a pre-race dinner of wine is awesome.

If you were running in wave 2 you must have finished almost exactly with my wife.  She went 1:42:07.  If the girl at mile 12 was a 5'3" blonde with a long pony tail it could have been her. 
2009-08-03 8:18 PM
in reply to: #2322973

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Subject: RE: Rock 'n' Roll Chicago Half Marathon

Seriously impressive!!! Maybe chaos works?

Congrats on a fabulous race!

2009-08-04 8:47 AM
in reply to: #2322973

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Subject: RE: Rock 'n' Roll Chicago Half Marathon

GREAT job!!! I am jealous of your speed woman!! I also like how you think...just let the body decide instead of trying to think so much...that's a fantastic idea!

2009-08-04 7:04 PM
in reply to: #2322973

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Extreme Veteran
Algonquin, IL
Subject: RE: Rock 'n' Roll Chicago Half Marathon
Great job!  Is that my pink top your wearing?  I want it back!!! Tongue out

2009-08-04 9:19 PM
in reply to: #2322973

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Subject: RE: Rock 'n' Roll Chicago Half Marathon
Wow..great race!

Can't imagine running that fast for a 13.1 miles (but would love to)..very cool!

Very funny story at start of the race. I have talk to me at times mostly at the Y I have no clue who they are and they tell me all about me...can't always figure out who they are but obviously we've chatted before.

40th in your AG is impressive with such a large number of women in it.
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