GOAL: As I mentioned in my last post, my main goal for this race was a sub-1:28, which would indicate that I was on track for a marathon PR (3:05:03) next month. If I could do that perhaps a Chicago Half course P.R. (1:27:53) was in the works as well. I did not know what kind of fitness I had, so I was going to go out conservatively, then open it up later on. I figured a 7:15 to 6:15 progression would be ideal.
EXPO: I paid $25 to park at Navy Pier which was the location of the race expo on Saturday. I found out later they were validating parking for $12, but they did not have a specific validation booth. I guess I should read the informational e-mails beforehand! Oh well, at least I bumped into Jenny, Manny and Eric. Here I am with Eric:
|Eric ran to the expo, thus parking for free!|
Getting To the Race: On Sunday morning, I rode with my neighbor Tad who I now have dubbed the "Master of Parking" as he found a place to park for free about 3 blocks from the start line at about 6:15 am.
Pre-Race: With 45 minutes to spare we milled about, used the facilities and then checked our bags.
Once we parted ways, I made my way over to the "B" corral. While waiting for the gun to sound, Adam introduced himself and we chatted a bit. I purposely lined up way behind the 1:30 pace group. I would make an effort to pass them around mile 8 which would give me something to work towards during the first part of the race.
|Hanging out pre-race|
Miles 4 to 6: We reached LSD (Lake Shore Drive) with beautiful views of the lake. I left my new friends behind as I think they were running even splits and I was slowly starting to negative split. Around mile 6 I finally spotted the 1:30 pace group again and attempted to close the gap between them and me a little more. 6:44/mile.
Miles 7 through 9: By mile 8 I had still not passed the 1:30 pace group even though I was laying down 6:30 miles. I think they were going faster than 6:52 per mile! Anyway, as we got to the turn-around at 31st street bridge, I saw my opportunity to pass them on the up-hill. I floored it up the hill and got by the entire 1:30 pace group by the time we started heading back down the ramp. Unfortunately, I started to gasp for air as it had taken a lot of effort to pass them on the uphill. I thought that maybe I would have to slow down for the rest of the race as I was gassed. 6:27/mile.
Miles 10 through 12: Well, the miracle of 70 mile training weeks became apparent as my "gassed" lungs got a second wind and I was able to push even harder and go faster without a problem. Turns out, the feeling like I would have to slow down was mostly in my head. Had I not put in all the miles during the training, I probably would not have held pace. 6:23/mile.
Miles 13 through 13.22: I spotted Lynton up up ahead by his tell-tale red BRC singlet. I caught up to him, said "hi" and then sped off. I laid on the speed up the last uphill towards the golden "Columbia" statue next to the finish line. 6:04/mile.
Adam was at the finish line, and we attempted a high-five, but I was so winded I ended up missing his hand. Fail! Sorry Adam! Anyway, I made my way out of the chute and grabbed my bag.
|Course PR for six Chicago Halfs!|
I picked up my gear and my second medal for completing the "26.2 Challenge" and headed over to the finish line to watch the runners for awhile.
|At the finish line watching runners|
|Manny, me, Lynton and Jenny enjoying the post-race festivities|
Great race temps, course PR, on track for a good marathon, and catching up with lots of running friends made it a great morning!
Next Up: St. Michael's Oktoberfest 5k with the Wurst Running Club Ever!