The Chicago Marathon is doneski! Months and months of miles and miles to prepare, and it was over in just three hours and forty eight minutes. If you’re keeping track at home, that is a nearly 20 minute PR for the Ole Scott-O…I’ll take it!
The morning started with a 3 a.m. alarm and breakfast. Then off to the ALZ Stars staging location (two of us were running for that charity, two others were running for different charities) where they were nice enough to let us stay warm and
destroy the toilets use the facilities.
And YAY, my old college buddy was able to meet us too. Love me some Rexy!
From there it was a short walk to the start corrals at Grant Park.
And before we knew it, we were off! I felt great. The weather was a bit warmer than we’d like, but at the start it was pretty nice – mid 50’s.
I’d heard the tales of the amazing crowd support, and they were all true. The cheering, the signs, the music, the costumes, the everything was awesome! Chicagoans really know how to support a race! Each neighborhood had their own flair and I loved each of them – drag queens in Boystown, mariachis in Pilsen, dragons in Chinatown, etc. etc. etcetera.
10k in and I was feelin runderful. I ran into a Dallas friend who said she felt the same. Just ahead of us was the 3:35 pace group. I went ahead and passed them. I didn’t feel like I was working hard at all.
13.1 miles in – halfway there and I was at 1:45:43 – that is my 4th fastest half marathon ever – within 3 minutes of a PR! I hoped I could keep it going.
The second half of the marathon is where reality sets in. Miles 16-19 I started to feel it. I tried to push through, but I could feel I would need to start taking some walk breaks soon.
By mile 20, reality had really set in. The sun was up in full force. The temps were rising. Mid-Upper 60’s by now. I was still determined, but slowing. Luckily they had a hydration stops about every mile. I made it my goal to run to each one, then I would allow myself a walk break as I sipped Gatorade/water, before running to the next one.
The 3:35 pace group had passed me around mile 17…then the 3:40 pace group…finally the 3:45 pace group around mile 21-22. I didn’t want any other group to pass me. I picked up the pace best I could and luckily they weren’t able to catch me.
Everyone says this race is “pancake flat”. That’s mostly true, but there is an incline at the start & each bridge we crossed was a little mini hill. That, and I had been warned by several people about a hill right at the finish. Half a mile to go and I saw it. My sister was right to describe it as “dumb & annoying”. It was so dumb and annoying. I was temporarily defeated and immediately started to walk up it. Then I said, “eff that noise.” I ran up that stupid hill and cruised into the finish line!
At the finish line I was pumped when I saw my I had set a huge PR at 3:48! Then even more pumped when my training partner cross shortly behind me. She rocked a 3:45 (she was in a later corral) – a PR by like 30 minutes!!
I’m happy to report that everyone I came to the race with set new PR’s!!!! My college buddy Rexy even crushed a 3:05!!! And she did it in style with the tutu and a finishing brewski!
After a long rest, we slowly started to make our way out. But not before a couple pictures and a few beers at the post race party!
We found a shaded area to park our rears & drink the free 312 beers.
There wasn’t much cell service due to the crowds, so we had trouble meeting up with other friends. That’s ok though, cause we couldn’t walk very fast by this point anyway.
To sum up the race, I felt great the first 30k, then it was more of a struggle. No negative split for me this day, but you race and learn. I hope to be stronger at the next 26.2.
I had my A, B and C goals for this race. A – PR. B – Break 4 hours. C – Run in the 3:30’s. I hit 2/3. I’m pretty happy with that. Especially considering that 3:48 shatters by nearly 20 minutes my previous PR of 4:07 (set at the Disney Dopey Challenge)!!!
Anyway, after a little while we became rungry and rangry. So a few of us ate greasy burgers at the famous Billy Goat Tavern.
The best part about this was all the
beer & fat & carbs marathoners trying to walk down the flight of stairs into the restaurant. Well, it wasn’t funny when we did it, but it was funny to watch the others try to negotiate it…4 minutes to walk down 7 total stairs, seems about right.
I’m still trying to process all that happened, but I had a total blast! All the feels!!!!!!!
How bout you? Any Chicago Marathon memories? Any dumb and annoying hills lately? Go-to post marathon grub (cheezborger)?
Congrats on a great race..for you and your friends! Sounds incredible!
Another marathon in the books. You managed to have fun with it even with a rough start with the forgotten wallet. Congrats on the PR for your group and I’m happy ya’ll had perfect weather.
WOOHOO!! Nicely done. Chicago is great. I qualified for Boston there. With all the crowd support, it was like I forgot I was even running. Sounds like you had ideal conditions! If it weren’t for my ankle, I would have been there too. Congrats on your PR and all your hard work. Keep on inspiring.
YAY PR!!!! Great job! Chicago was my first marathon and I failed so badly at running it! I was an un-diagnosed anemic at the time, and ran myself into an injury that was so bad that I spent a collective 20 minutes at each first aid station from mile 20 on. It’s pretty bad when the lead physio at the first aid tent calls over all the students to “check this out”… and it’s your quad. Yeah. I’m happy to say that Chicago was my favorite run, but it was also my most difficult and painful. I have to go back.
congrats on the huge PR. that hill at the end was the worst. I had to stop.
Afternoon my marathon I ate a burger, fries and beer. And then followed with some gelato. I enjoyed that and maybe will keep it a tradition?! Time will tell since I have only ran one.
You and my friend Sue finished around the same time.
Way to go!!!!! YAAAAAAS!!! When I read that you lost your wallet I was crestfallen for ya. Way to rally! And holy PR! Love Chicago. I’m proud of you Scott! Xo
Congratulations on the PR- that’s awesome!!!!
We’ll done! Chicago is super awesome!
So cool. Congrats on a great race!!
That expression, by the way, is the James Bond expression. You held it for 42k. That’s pretty awesome!
Congrats on that major PR! Awesome and not easy to do on that packed course. So glad you had a good time.
That’s awesome!! Congratulations!!
yayyyy for a PR and a great race!!
Congratulations! So fun to see your journey to and through Chicago.
Awesome sauce!! Congrats on a great race! You’re so serious in your photos, that’s not like you. It sounds like it was an amazing experience!!
Well done on the new PR 🙂 Sounds like you had a great race.
Monster PR and having fun doing it!!! (you’re right, you looked the same the entire way! lol!)
Finally reading your review! Amazing job, PR and everything!! You look really strong and determined in your photos, they are all so good! Congratulations! Sooo, when is the next one? 😀
Awesome PR!! Congrats!! Marine Corp Marathon has a little hill at the finish also and it is a biatch. It’s literally like 200 yards from the finish line and I think it’s the hardest part of the race. I had to shuffle up it this year. I was the same way at MCM, killed the first half but the second kicked my arse! Congrats again!!
Well done, PBC. Well done.
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