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Chicago Marathon - RunMarathon

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Chicago, Illinois
United States
30F / -1C
Total Time = 3h 47m 35s
Overall Rank = 7692/45000
Age Group = M40-44
Age Group Rank = 995/??
Pre-race routine:

Had a little more to eat for dinner than I would normally. We went to Ditka' can't help but to over eat there. Got everything laid out the night before including a bag for to check in with clothing for after the race. Got a pretty good nite's rest and got up 2.5 hours before race time. Left the hotel about 6 am and got into the corral around 7am (7:30 race start).
Event warmup:

The warm up consisted of a 2 mile walk from my hotel to the Charity Village and then back to the starting line. Did no stretching pre-race since it was 30 degress and I didn't want to hurt myself.
  • 3h 47m 35s
  • 26 miles
  • 08m 45s  min/mile

This was my second marathon and definitely a very strong performance. I signed up with the 3:55 pace team but was feeling froggy so I decided to line up with the 3:45 team. Start felt a little fast to me and my HR was just a little high in the 170s (comfortable doing distance at 165 or so) but I was feeling great and had no problem holding the 3:22 pace through the first 13 miles. I actually left the 3:45 team behind at mile 6 or so and was running on my own the rest of the way. The cold temps definitely helped me to feel like I was turbocharged in Chicago.

The energy from the crowd was pretty constant all the way through, especially in the Loop, Old Town, and China Town. I brought the ipod along just in case but definitely didn't need it. Physically I felt fine until mile 22 when my right calf felt like it wanted to lock up on me. I knew that was a bad thing so I conciously decided to dial the pace back to save the leg. My left calf had the same sensation but the reduced pace kept everything in check pretty well. Miles 22 to 25 were quite tough and I had to constantly fight the urge to walk. While I would've still made my 'sub'4' goal, another goal was to not walk any part of the race other than water stops. I knew that if I walked in Chicago, I would have to train for and race another marathon just to prove that I could run the whole thing. That was some strong motivation for me.
What would you do differently?:

I feel like I slacked off on my training in the end. I would do my long run on monday instead of sunday (football baby!), not run if it were raining, blow off some shorter runs. Honestly I began to hate running once the miles climbed to 50 per week. Still I did get a 26 minute PR and smashed the 4 hour barrier. I guess the only thing I can do better is to pack in some more miles and maybe a little speedwork.
Post race
Warm down:

Warm down consisted of the walk that would never end after the finish line. The charity tent was right off the finish line but they force you to walk an extra mile...pretty cruel. Thankfully an ice truck gave me a ride right to the tent where my family happened to arrive at the same time. I was in immense pain and extensive stretching didn't help. An ice bath later helped a bit.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Definitely the cramping in my calfs told me I couldn't run any faster. I'm not sure I would've run faster anyway, I was pretty spent.

Event comments:

Great race in a great city. If you're crazy enough to run marathons, you've got to run Chicago!

Last updated: 2009-10-11 12:00 AM
03:47:35 | 26 miles | 08m 45s  min/mile
Age Group: 995/??
Overall: 7692/45000
Performance: Good
Average HR 169, max HR 185. Ran a positive split, probably about 6 minutes or so.
Course: All parts of the city of Chicago, north then west, south, and back to Grant Park.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2009-10-11 9:10 PM

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Extreme Veteran
Subject: Chicago Marathon

2009-10-12 8:09 AM
in reply to: #2454315

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Ft. Wayne, IN
Subject: RE: Chicago Marathon
nice job.  this is a great race and you executed really well.  the colder temps helped everyone out I think in the end, great PR and race!
2009-10-12 11:27 AM
in reply to: #2454315

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Winter Park, Florida
Subject: RE: Chicago Marathon
Great job deciding to line up with the 3:45 Group!  It was great reading about how your ambition at that start translated to the 3:47 finish time!  You were problem-solving out there and that is what makes a great run, especially at the Marathon distance.

Work in some speedwork and corework and you will definitely get faster and more confident.

"26 minute PR"....are you kidding?  Awesome job!
2009-10-12 2:42 PM
in reply to: #2454315

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Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: Chicago Marathon
Thanks guys.  I feel pretty good about what happened out there and I learned some lessons for next.  Of course next time will come after this season when I plan to train for triathlons.
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