Sunday, January 27, 2013

F^3 Half Marathon Race Recap

(This might be long... ) haha

24 hours later, I am still in disbelief at what happened yesterday. Mainly because I did not anticipate the outcome (spoiler: an amazing PR). 

My morning was the opposite.. like always, I'm doing everything last minute. I was running late, the CTA bus I needed to take to the train station was delayed by 20 mins.. I was better off walking to the station. I realized too late I had forgotten my ipod at home :( but I had brought everything else in my bag (even a banana for my pre-race snack). I wasn't worried, I guess I would have to run with my iPhone.

I was meeting up with Marisa from the UIC Run Club and hitch a ride from the loop to the start line. Once we arrived I looked for Christina (this was going to be her first half!) And we were warming up in the warming tents. I was so glad they had these. I was shaking the entire time, I don't know if it was because I was nervous or really really cold. Christina was able to calm me down a little by telling me I had nothing to worry about. (Which I really didn't, but idk what i was thinking). I had worn 2 pairs of tights, a tank, my Nike zip-up, Saucony jacket, gloves, and a hat. I knew I would warm up once we started running. I also took my first Shot Blok while waiting.

My goal for the race was to run a sub 1:45... I was skeptical. My calves were sore from my 10-miler & fitness drop-in class on Thursday. I had rolled and wore my compression sleeves to sleep in the night before so I was hoping it would help. 

"The cold is good for speed". 

Part of me believed it, I love running in the cold because I can't feel my legs most of the time. All I had to do was trust my legs, believe that I could do it and go through with it.

Me and Marisa lined up right behind the 1:45 corral. Got ready, and prayed for a good race.
Finish Time
Mile 1-3
The first mile and a half was congested (not a surprise) I weaved around alot. Then we got off the paved path and onto mud/snow unpaved (?) road. Are you fucking kidding me.  

Mile 1 (7:58)
I didn't want to sprain anything/fall on my ass/use too much energy so I played it safe. they had warned us about this and I know they tried to keep it at a minimum, since it had snowed the days leading up to the race so I wasn't too pissed. I noticed the 2 mile marker on the side. What the? So I manually lapped this mile.
 Mile 2 (8:08)

The next mile was a little off, I couldn't trust the mile markers and relied on my watch.
 Mile 3 (7:46)

Mile 4-8
I don't remember much from these miles. I just kept looking at my lap pace, and tried my best to keep it consistent. For the most part, I did. I felt great. I wasn't hot and I wasn't cold. Took Shot Blok #2 Mile 4 (7:51)
Mile 5 (7:48)

I had my phone, so I took a picture during the race just for the hell of it.  
Mile 6 (7:56) 

I started to see runners coming back! Pit-stop: Gatorade and another Shot Blok 

Mile 7 (7:56)

I see it! I see it! I switched my garmin over to see my overall pace so far, I was surprised. 7:53 and I had finished my 8 miles in 1:02.
Mile 8 (7:47)

Mile 9-13
I knew I was going to get tired soon. I kept thinking, just one more sub 8 mile.
Mile 9 (7:56)

Mile 10 is usually around the time I start getting a little tired. Come on... one more sub-8 mile. I thought about the marathon, and those last 6.2 miles that are going to kill me. I needed to be prepared for that day.  
Mile 10 (7:59)

10 down, 3.1 to go.. I was starting to feel my calves cramp up a little
Mile 11 (8:03)

I was careful at this point, 2.1 miles.. I had to conserve atleast one more before going all out. My calves were tight and as I ran, I tried adjusting my stride so that I was able to stretch out my calves a bit. At the 11.5 mark, there was an aid station, the last one. I walked, touched my toes and stretched out my hamstrings in less than 10 seconds and gulped down some gatorade. After mile 12 is where I need to give it my all.  
Mile 12 (8:08)

Passing mile 12, I had 1.1 miles. It's GO time! I started picking up my pace. At about mile 12.7ish I switched over my garmin to overall pace and looked at my overall time. HOLY SHIT! It was in the 1:41s. I had about .4 to go. I could do this. What kind of time was I on pace for? I had no idea. So I pushed it.   
Mile 13 (7:53)

I saw the finish line.. my stomach was feeling iffy at this point. I was going faster than my stomach wanted me to. I kept my eye on my watch. 1:42:30. At this point I wanted to try to run a 1:42:59 and I was counting down in my head. I was soooo close. I ran my heart out. I crossed at 1:43:13. I was just in disbelief. I was feeling great!

Finish Time 1:43:13
Overall Pace 7:53
11th out of 56 Female 20-24
60th Female Overall

(2 min 35 sec PR,
2 weeks after PRing during Polar Dash)

I scooped up my medal, downed a clif bar with some gatorade... I still had 5 miles to cover (womp, womp) haha. Marathon plan called for an 18 miler... but I wanted to stick around to see Marisa finish. 

Clif Bars, bagels, gatorade, coconut water.. more than enough for everyone. The Clif bars were delicious and I took 2 since I needed to recovery food for the extra 5 miles and Sundays run. I learned the hard way to always eat after a workout. My muscles needed food.
I ran the 5 miles at an easy pace and Marisa was nice enough to wait for me while I went. By the time I came back to the finish line, there was still enough food! A good perk about running training runs during a half. haha I had gatorade on the course and goodies after the 5 miles. I got more than what I paid for. A good ass race, followed by training run and goodies for both.

Marisa & Me before the race

Once in the car and on our way home, I noticed my tummy hurting/burning. I had chafed. BIG time. All around my abdomen, and my sides. The 2 pairs of tights I wore were tied on too tight, and had cut into my skin, badly. I will not post pictures because it looks like someone beat me up haha. Ofcouse I cursed out loud when I jumped into the shower. But that race was worth it.

Back to reality: 48 days till the Marathon. I'm starting to feel really confident in my training and how hard I've been working. Next week is cut-back week and 13 miles for the long run. After that, the long run will be the 20 miler.. I don't know yet if I'll run a half marathon and then add 7 miles. I haven't looked around to see if there's anything in the area... if I do, hopefully I'll shave those 13 seconds off. :D but no plans or goals yet. 

At the moment, next race will be on March 17. LA Marathon. 

What I thought of the race itself:
-loved the t-shirt
-Interesting medal, something different
-enough goodies and food
-fast gear check
-warming tents (almost a must during the winter)
-great volunteers and even had gels on course
-free photo downloads (still haven't seen them)

I didn't get to check out the after goodies too much or any of the sponsors but I'm very satisfied  with what I saw. Def will be on my to-do list next year.

updated 2/4/13
Look what I found! Woohoo! 


  1. Congratulations on the PR!!!! That is awesome!!

  2. Congratulations on the PR Luz! You are going to rock the L.A. marathon. It was awesome seeing you passing me by on the turnaround (I was like darn you are a speed demon). Im glad I could help calm your nerves. Its just a half marathon. haha. :)

    1. haha yeah but I get really nervous now... for some off reason. LOL it was ironic how I was flipping out and you were all relaxed. THANK YOU! and congrats to you too!

  3. Congrats on the half p.r. and you did it running 10 miles 48 hours before! Imagine if you had been fully rested. Then you ran another 5 miles. Wow! Anyway, I would advise not racing any part of your 20 miler. I am in marathon training and my longest run is 16 slow miles! Oh well, it seems like you could probably handle racing part of it, based on what you did yesterday, so forget my advice! :-)

    1. haha Pete, I'm not sure if I'm doing my long runs correctly since I race somewhat most of them and just add miles :/ oops. I need all the advice I can get at this point lol

      Thank you!

      And I KNOW! I'm curious to see how I'll do when marathon training is over and I can focus on my half marathon time :)

  4. WOw, what a fantastic race! Congrats!!! You crushed that 1:45 barrier! Nice job!

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