On Sunday, I ran my 62nd half marathon, the Chicago Half Marathon. The last time I ran this race was in 2009. This race is my last one before the Chicago Marathon. The only reason I ran it is because of the CARA Marathon Incentive Program. So now I need to volunteer at the expo, run the Chicago Marathon, apply on December 1 (yes there is an application) and cross my fingers that I get in for next year. Now that I think about it, it does sound really crazy for a supposedly guaranteed entry. I mean, it isn’t really guaranteed because there are a limited number of spots available and once they’re filled, you’re out of luck!
Back to the race. I was told not to race it but instead to use it as a training run. And that is pretty much what I did. I was up very early at 4am, got ready, and drove to the race. Luckily I found parking right away and waited for about half an hour before heading over to use the bathrooms. It was very dark.
I met up with another Chicago Endurance Sports runner (Amy) to run together. The weather was just perfect. No rain and overcast. Definitely ideal running weather.
I do not remember hearing the National Anthem but we were kind of far so maybe we didn’t hear it. Anyway, a few minutes later we crossed the start line.
We settled into a nice and comfortable pace. I had my iPod but ended up not using it. Yep, I ran the whole race without listening to music. I love the course! And I love even more that we ran on Lake Shore Drive instead of the running path. That would have been very tight and a disaster.
I took an Advil at mile 4. My calves were tight and my feet were bothering me since the beginning. The Advil kicked in a few miles later. I wonder if maybe for the marathon I should take 2 of them earlier in the race.
Amy and I got separated after mile 8 but then I caught up to her. I saw the 2:20 pace group and did my best to stay with them but they were running a little bit faster than I could/wanted to. With 2 miles to go I told Amy to go ahead and I did my best to finish.
Throughout the race I had my watch to only show average pace. I was hoping to keep it at 10:55 which is pretty much what it was on throughout the race. However, that number crept up once I took my walking breaks and then I could not bring it down. I then changed it to show just the time. I ended up finishing in 2:24:41 (according to my watch) which is an 11:01 average pace. I am very pleased with my finish time.
Seriously the best medal ever!
A cute shirt and one that I will definitely keep.
One of my friend sent me the picture below. I remember seeing them when I crossed the finish line and thought about waving but did not want to look stupid. But it is still pretty cool!
Overall it was a great race. The course is awesome. There was plenty of crowd support and enough water stations. We lucked out with the weather so it made it an even better experience.