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)?