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.
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)
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)
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
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)
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.
Look what I found! Woohoo!