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Chicago Marathon - Run

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Chicago, Illinois
United States
Chicago Marathon
65F / 18C
Total Time = 4h 51m 15s
Overall Rank = 25882/45000
Age Group = F 30-34
Age Group Rank = 1929/3274
Pre-race routine:

Woke at 4:30 a.m., drank some Ensure
Ate one piece of bread and almond butter at 6:00 a.m.
Drank water
Took Zyrtec

Event warmup:

Walking around downtown :)
  • 4h 51m 15s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 11m 07s  min/mile

Such a gorgeous day! Will try to break this down as best I can.

Miles 1-13
I felt great. We were right on 10:40 pace (the closest pace offered) for much of the first half. We had a couple faster miles, a couple slower miles, but I'm guessing they averaged out to 10:40 because we were right with the pace leaders the entire first half. The crowds were amazing, I had no problem seeing my friends, the weather was great, and I ran with three other girls from my pace group. I was overjoyed to be out there.

Miles 13-19.
At about mile 15, my legs started feeling heavy. But there were still lots of spectators and friends and family lining these miles. I was doing OK, but I think my pace probably had slowed a bit by here. Mile 15 and 16 are notorious for giving me lead legs, but usually when I reach 17, the feeling goes away. That held true today. I was hurting, but I was still with my partner and she was tremendously motivational to me. Plus we saw our running club at the mile 18 water stop, and then my family was a little further down the road. It was fun.

Miles 19-21.
I was still running, though slower, but I was starting to get annoyed by everything. The stupid signs mentioning Kenyans. The stupid people pumping themselves up. I was walking through most water stops at this point. There weren't as many crowds. Still was with my running buddy and we were making deals with ourselves: "We can ONLY walk during the water stops, ok?"

Miles 22-25
Horrible. Negotiating with myself for every step,. My legs and back were in a lot of pain. The legs I felt I could handle, but the back was a surprise. It never bothered me once in training. I stopped completely at water stops to do a cat stretch with my hands on my knees. I was a little bewildered about it and unsure what to do. I wanted to stop, but I kept going. Pace had majorly slowed because I was walking through EVERY water stop. At mile 25, my left glute just sort of stopped working for a second. I thought I was going down, but thankfully it kicked back in. Again, total bewilderment. I kept telling myself that the pain was my reward and that I chose to be here. I also kept reminding myself that I was SO CLOSE but that didn't seem to do anything. Finally settled on praying and asking my family in heaven for strength, and that was helpful.

Mile 25-26.2.
And so it goes. Ran. Ran through the water stop, no stopping needed. Just wanted to finish. Ran up the hill. Ran through the finish, elated more than anything to be done!
What would you do differently?:

I most definitely hit the infamous wall, thought I didn't realize that's what the wall was at the time. I am guessing this is a fuel issue. Maybe I should have eaten more during the morning, or had a banana along the route?

My race fuel plan was to do water and gatorade throughout, and gu every 5 miles.
Post race
Warm down:

Passed the finish line and was in pure terror about the amount of ground I had to cover just to be able to sit down. My back was horrible at this point. I grabbed hold of a course worker because I was worried I would fall. The walk back to the CARA compound seemed to take FOREVER. It hurt. At one point I stopped near a tree and put my feet up. Made it to CARA! Found Brian! Ate a banana and a picky bar, drank some fluids, put my feet up, took an Alleve, and had a miraculous recovery.

Headed to Poor Phil's with my family. Drank 2 cokes, 3 waters, ate a burger and fries, and felt pretty good! Stayed there until about 5, came home and had company over until about 7. It's 9 now and I'm still awake! Crazy the difference I felt just a few hours ago, like I could pass out at any second.

Event comments:

I love this city. I could not have picked a better race for my first marathon.

Last updated: 2013-10-13 12:00 AM
04:51:15 | 26.2 miles | 11m 07s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/3274
Overall: 0/45000
Course: Flat, fast, asphalt on Chicago streets.
Keeping cool Average Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
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] 5

2013-10-13 8:44 PM

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Oak Park
Subject: Chicago Marathon

2013-10-15 12:01 PM
in reply to: #4876345

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Subject: RE: Chicago Marathon

Congrats on your finish! Sounds like you went through all of the stages of marathon racing. Glad you had fun. When's the next one?

2013-10-15 12:31 PM
in reply to: doxie

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Oak Park
Subject: RE: Chicago Marathon

Well it's not in 2014, lol! I promised my non-runner boyfriend that 2014 would be "a fun year" with no marathons or training plans that take precedence over vacations. So, maybe a few half marathons next year. Possibly a Ragnar. Plus I'd REALLY like to do the Army 10-miler in DC.  
Then, in 2015, who knows? I would love to try the Portland marathon. 

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