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Chicago Marathon - RunMarathon

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Chicago, Illinois
United States
Bank of America
65F / 18C
Total Time = 3h 17m 23s
Overall Rank = 1740/35708
Age Group = 25-29
Age Group Rank = 76/3691
Pre-race routine:

My training for this marathon consisted of 5 half-ironmans, from May to September, with my last race on Sept. 17th- Syracuse 70.3. I took the following week off of running, due to calf pain, and did my only 20 mile run 10 days before the marathon. Not ideal :) So, going into this race I had no goals, no expectations- I just wanted to enjoy racing in a big city event. I have run marathons before, with my previous PR at 3:15, but my last stand alone marathon was in 2009.
Event warmup:

The night before the race Ryan and I hung out with some friends of ours that we went to highschool with. In college, we used to meet up to go skiing, so it's cool that some of that crew has gotten into endurance sports as well. The morning of the race was pretty stress-free, even with taking the El into town- everything was smooth as butter. We met up with our friends and just chatted while getting into the start corrals. I was seeded in the B corral, so I was near the front, but it still seemed far away.
  • 3h 17m 23s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 07m 32s  min/mile

When the gun went off, I settled in to what felt like an easy pace. I was hardly breathing and I found myself flying past people. I checked my watch and my pace was in the 6's. Yikes. I hoped my garmin was off, so I used each mile marker to watch my splits. Each mile I clocked a 7:20 or below, and with each mile, I tried so hard to dial it back. I wasn't overly excited or kicked up on adrenaline- I just felt good! My lungs were 100% cooperating, and my legs felt great. This was a huge improvement on how I'd felt all week and it made me extremely happy.

The race was awesome. There were so many people out there cheering, for virtually the entire race. I read nearly every sign people had out there, and there were some really funny signs. 'Worst Parade Ever', and 'Go harder' with the accompanying 'That's what she said', were my favorites. I also spotted nearly every dog on the course, and came really close to stopping and petting a 12 week old tri colored Aussie fuzzball that stole my heart. Watching out for dogs really made the miles fly by.

I had to do a fair amount of weaving at every water station, and to get good pavement. I drank water and gatorade at every aid station, and dumped the water over my head. I got gatorade up my nose twice, and in my eye once. You would think after doing enough races I'd figured out how to drink and run at the same time. Apparently not! A few of the sections are pitched, or had sun-exposed areas, so I tried to avoid running there, and in doing so, ran a less than perfect course. I also stopped at the bathroom twice, grabbed a green popsicle, ate 3 bananas, 2 orange slices and 4 gus and smiled for all the cameras. If only I had known my pace for my previous PRs, and what time I was running towards....

But, I didn't- I didn't care about my time and pace, I was just running what felt right. I also knew that I was running way faster than I was expecting to, and was just waiting for the pain to hit. I had to wait until mile 23, when finally my legs said they had enough. I was so ecstatic that I'd made it that far, feeling so great, that I just kept running hard, and only dropped in pace to 7:40s/7:50s for the last 3 miles.

When I crossed the line and saw 3:17, I just couldn't believe what I'd done. For almost every race, I come in 100% prepared, with a goal in mind, and this race was the least prepared I'd been. Obviously, training for tris for 10-15 hours a week for the entire summer isn't exactly 'untrained'- but my body usually objects to running long without building slowly, so I was just so thrilled that I ran a near-PR. And, according to my Garmin, I ran 7:21s hehe :)
What would you do differently?:

Nothing! I had a wonderful race- both performance-wise, and fun-wise. Chicago is a blast!
Post race
Warm down:

This was when the temps started to climb! I found Ryan and he had a huge grin on his face, so I knew he broke 3 hours. I am SOO friggin' proud of him! 3 years ago, he thought I was nuts, hardly running at all, and now he's so fast, it's just incredible!

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Not training properly for a marathon. This race motivated me to focus on running for a bit, and who knows, maybe I'll run another marathon soon!

Event comments:

Chicago is an awesome race. They were extremely well organized, especially considering the massive scale of the race. The expo blew my mind. I highly recommend this race. It is also very flat. However, unless you are seeded in the A corral, the flow of runners never really lets up, so the course is pretty crowded. That makes it super fun, but if you need to save a few minutes to get a PR, the congesting might take away those few minutes.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2011-10-07 12:00 AM
03:17:23 | 26.2 miles | 07m 32s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/3691
Overall: 0/35708
Performance: Good
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 Too easy
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2011-10-14 8:51 AM

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Ann Arbor, MI
Subject: Chicago Marathon

2011-10-14 11:12 AM
in reply to: #3723789

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Ann Arbor, MI
Subject: RE: Chicago Marathon
Your fitness this year is off the friggin' charts! I bet you could go out and climb K2 right now, if you had the right gear. If Chicago were a month later in the year and you had actually followed a marathon training plan...I can't even guess how much faster you could've gone, but I can tell you I definitely would've been watching my back. So incredibly proud of you and all you've accomplished this year.
2011-10-14 11:33 AM
in reply to: #3723789

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Extreme Veteran
Denver CO
Subject: RE: Chicago Marathon

Yeaaaaah girl! Congrats on an amazing race. Your base fitness is incredible.

Gatorade in the nose and eye, hahaha. Glad not everything is a piece of cake

2011-10-14 9:15 PM
in reply to: #3723789

Iron Donkey
, Wisconsin
Subject: RE: Chicago Marathon

As I told Ryan, I'm so proud of you two.

Just have to tell you that you could have ran *counting ... 1, 2, 3, ....* a couple of minutes quicker if you wouldn't have been looking for the dogs.

I don't know your goal with achieving a sub-3 hour marathon, but, I'm sure it won't take you long.

Congratulations on yet another outstanding time you've done.

Say "Hi" to the Cody pup!!

2011-10-16 10:55 AM
in reply to: #3723789

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Fishers, Indiana
Subject: RE: Chicago Marathon
Fantastic job! I think it goes to show how fit you are and the depth of the base that you have right now! Looks like it was fun as well, so fun and edging so close to the PR--awesome! Congrats!
2011-10-16 11:04 AM
in reply to: #3723789

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Subject: RE: Chicago Marathon
Awesome job!

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