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Chicago Marathon - RunMarathon

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Chicago, Illinois
United States
Chicago Marathon
40F / 4C
Total Time = 5h 06m 40s
Overall Rank = 28270/
Age Group = M40-44
Age Group Rank = 2881/
Pre-race routine:

I opted to stay downtown for this one. Figured with my first marathon, my almost one year anniversary of being back in Illinois, and just needing to have some sort of urban excitement I'd stay downtown. Sunday morning I woke up at 5:00, went down to get some coffee, then I came up to the room, got dressed, read some motivational stuff I saved beforehand. I hailed a cab and managed to share said cab with 2 other charity runners... turned a $12 cab ride into a $2 cab ride.
Event warmup:

Got to the ACS tent right about 6AM. The American Cancer Society is awesome. For the DetermiNation team they had Starbucks coffee, a huge spread of food including fruit, bagels, energy bars, everything. I hope the stuff was donated, because it had to cost them a fortune. I checked my bag in the tent, texted some people I wanted to meet before the start, and got my morning business done. Walked from the charity village to the start line, which was probably a good mile. I was listening to some Beethoven- I've never done classical music before a race, and it's something I'm going to start doing from now on. I really got amp'd from it.
  • 5h 06m 40s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 11m 42s  min/mile

OK, I guess the reason I was here was to run this thing. I spent most of the summer training with CARA @ Wheaton. I chose to do the 11:00/mile training group because I'm notorious for getting running injuries. I figured 11's would be easy on the body and get me to the finish line. I had also figured out during my 20 mile training run that starting out at 10:00 or 10:15 would get me to a better time~ the glycogen was going to be gone regardless. So I started out at about 10:15 miles. I wasn't paying attention to the heart rate because I felt great. I knew my form was decent and I was running like a 250 lb gazelle :P

Felt it best to stick to how I trained and walk the aid stations. I took in Gu every hour and went mainly with water at the aid stations. I was feeling like a real rock star up to about mile 12, when we were back in the Loop. I don't know why, but all my thoughts turned negative for some reason. I was feeling pain in my foot, freaking about a stress fracture again. I was aggravated by people suddenly stopping to walk and go talk to their spectators. I was just pissy for some reason? Anyway, at 13.1 I was like "wow, only halfway done?" At that point I realized how the marathon really is as much mental as physical.

So about mile 15 or so the pain started. The craptacular mood was only getting worse, and I figured I'd soldier on mile by mile. I lowered my head a bit as I have been doing all summer. I figure if you need to make your horizon only 8 feet in front of you to reach it, so be it. I soaked up the sun where I could, the music and noise all over the course, and soldiered on. Mile 18 really got hard. My heart rate when I was "jogging" was around 155, and my breathing was labored and shallow. The last 8 miles were like this. I knew I would survive but I was afraid I was getting asthma or something. Irrational stuff, I know. Anyway, I just pushed through the pain, my poopypants attitude, and everything else. When I finally hit the South Loop, I knew I had made it. That is, until that stupid hill on Roosevelt before you turn on Columbus, right before the finish. I could not run it... I walked it :(
However, after the turn I saw the finish and smiled the whole way down. Crossed the finish line and was just glad to be done.
What would you do differently?:

Honestly, I wouldn't change a thing. I left it all out there mentally and physically. I can still visualize the entire race in my head. I gave 100% mentally and physically. I felt fulfilled.
Post race
Warm down:

Ugh. My least favorite part of the day. I walked back to Charity Village to the ACS tent. It was well over a mile and the wind was whipped up and it was freaking freezing. There seemed like at least 250,000 spectators around, and I was fighting a crowd to get back to charity village. By the time I got to the tent, I didn't feel like socializing with anyone, so I waved to teammmates (apologized later on Facebook), grabbed a 312, and my bag and decided to run back to the Hyatt. Yeah, run. I wasn't feeling like cabbing it because it was going to involve standing and waiting, and I didn't want to do either. I wanted a shower, a bed, and the Bears :) Got a late checkout so I fell asleep for a few hours before heading home. Left the hotel about 6, caught the train back to the 'ville, and I was home at 7:30.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Clearly you get what you train for. I chose to train conservatively to prevent injury. If I do this again I'll definitely train at a faster pace.

Event comments:

I'm glad I did this. The distance really is challenging- both mentally and physically. I'm also happy I chose to take part in the American Cancer Society fundraising. I'd definitely do it again, but I would probably go about raising funds in a different way. Last... I'm happy to close this chapter on life. I am glad it finished better than it started at this time last year.

Last updated: 2012-01-25 12:00 AM
05:06:40 | 26.2 miles | 11m 42s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Good
05K 08:15:35AM 00:34:26 34:26 11:05 5.42 10K 08:49:53AM 01:08:44 34:18 11:03 5.44 15K 09:22:54AM 01:41:45 33:01 10:38 5.65 20K 09:57:13AM 02:16:04 34:19 11:03 5.43 HALF 10:05:21AM 02:24:13 08:09 11:57 5.03 25K 10:33:55AM 02:52:46 28:33 11:47 5.10 30K 11:10:13AM 03:29:05 36:19 11:41 5.14 35K 11:50:18AM 04:09:09 40:04 12:54 4.65 40K 12:30:47AM 04:49:38 40:29 13:02 4.61 Finish 12:47:49AM 05:06:40 17:02 12:30 4.80
Course: I grew up in the Chicago area, and I've probably seen all the neighborhoods by car. Running this course and experiencing these neighborhoods on foot was the best part of this experience. Heck, the reason that Chicago is Chicago is because of the incredible ethnic fabric that this city is made of. A few areas in particular I will have fond memories of from this race. First is Boys Town. I've never really been there as I'm straight. The crowd there was freaking awesome.... I don't really know how to describe the craziness of these people. The three dudes who were chanting 'we love short shorts" and staring at me will leave an indelible mark. LOL- seriously, it was f'ing hilarious. There were drag queens, dudes twirling batons, everything. It was entertaining, energetic, and it made me want to get into interior design. (Kidding!) Only in America, and really, only in Boys Town Chicago. Pilsen. I don't think I had ever been to Pilsen before. I loved it! The volunteers and the crowd were freaking awesome! The music, the smell of the food, the smiles on the volunteers faces as they could see the smiles of those of us enjoying this neighborhood- wonderful. There was this giant dancing I-don't-know-what-you-would-call-it at one of the aid stations. Just so cool. I am going to go down sometime and have lunch with my kids there sometime. Great people in their element. I'm all about that. Chinatown. I was kind of dreading this part- only because it was where mile 20 would be, and the run along the Dan Ryan coupled with the fact I'd have to run by Sox Park even though I've always been a Cubs fan :D Again, this was so amazing. I love Chinatown... always have. The crowd was great, and the streets were just so colorful and full of life. It really makes me appreciate how incredible Chicago really is. It's like New York, without all the a-holes. It's my kind of town.
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

2012-10-09 8:42 AM

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Straight outta Compton
Subject: Chicago Marathon

2012-10-09 8:56 AM
in reply to: #4446290

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Parker, CO
Subject: RE: Chicago Marathon
Way to go Matt!  I can relate to the not wanting to be very social after.  Pretty much happens to me every time I've run a marathon.  Nice job!
2012-10-09 9:53 AM
in reply to: #4446290

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Roswell, Georgia
Subject: RE: Chicago Marathon
Wooohoo congrats! You are 100% right about the mental part being so huge - way to go with getting past all of it! 
2012-10-09 9:54 AM
in reply to: #4446290

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Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: Chicago Marathon
nice job!
2012-10-09 11:13 AM
in reply to: #4446290

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Albuquerque, New Mexico
Subject: RE: Chicago Marathon

Yup, you nailed a lot about this race. Boys Town (you can go there if you're straight...), Pilsen, and Chinatown are the best! There is also a negative force field at 12 miles and things fall apart on that dreary stretch between 14 and 18's worse when it's hot b/c there's no shade.

Glad we got to meet you on Saturday night! We'll definitely hang out again.

Hope your next chapter is awesome!


2012-10-09 8:50 PM
in reply to: #4446290

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Gurnee, IL
Subject: RE: Chicago Marathon

Awesome Matt!     Though not as awesome as your Fantasy Football team did this weekend  160 points  woah.     

I like you that you ran after the marathon.    Nope no time for medal, chips, gatorade, heat blanket.   Ok I need the medal,  but I don't need anything else, oh wait Beer  yes I need the beer,  can you put that in a "to go" cup?   I gotta Run!!!    




2012-10-20 4:44 PM
in reply to: #4446290

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Extreme Veteran
Highlands Ranch, Colorado
Subject: RE: Chicago Marathon
Late to the party here but way to go Matt!  Friggin marathoner!  I don't have to tell you to be proud of yourself.
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