Tag Archives: Race Recap

Race Recap: Anchorage Mayor’s Marathon

It’s been quite awhile since I’ve blogged (and more on the reason for that soon enough), but I thought I’d get back in the game here with my Anchorage Mayor’s Marathon recap, which I ran in June of 2016.  Luckily, I log all my runs on another site so I don’t have to just try to remember everything that was going on during the race.  And obviously I have my GPS data for splits.

Anchorage Mayor’s Marathon Expo:

The expo was held at University of Alaska Anchorage, in their fieldhouse/basketball arena.  Nothing too crazy, but a nice mix of vendors.  I asked if I could pick my own number just for fun and they almost let me, but now I can’t remember why they didn’t.  I think the number I wanted was a designated half-marathon number, but I thought 868 was good.  I like even numbers.

anchorage mayor's marathon expo


Considering I’ve only run very large marathons (Chicago, Boston, and Columbus…which isn’t a large marathon, but starts with the half marathon which does have a large field size), the start line area and hype for the Anchorage Mayor’s Marathon was quite different than I’ve ever experienced.

anchorage mayor's marathon start

The full and half marathoners do not start together because each is a point-to-point course and the half start an hour and 30 minutes after the full so runners are finishing around the same time.

Aunt Sonja, Uncle Dave, Hanna, and Jane all came with to the start area, which was the parking lot of a high school, and hung outwith me right up until I had to line up…which was about 3 minutes before gun went off.  I got to meet some of their friends who were also running, use the port-a-potties a few times, and stretch out for awhile.

Miles 1 – 3: 7:36, 7:39, 7:45

This was way too fast.  And I knew that, but I felt like I was moving slow and even though I tried to slow myself down further, it didn’t really work.  Legs were tight, I think from it being chillier and only wearing shorts at the start.

These first few miles led from the high school down a highway – but we weren’t on the road – this is a small enough race that we were on the bike path to the side of the road.  It was a long, straight stretch.

Miles 4 – 10: 7:46, 7:32, 8:09, 7:55, 7:51, 7:45, 7:51

I started making friends with the few people around me.  We chatted, talked about races we’ve done in the past, etc.  So many of the people I talked to were just doing the Anchorage Mayor’s Marathon as part of training for ultra-marathons or Ironman triathlons.  These Alaskans are tough!


The bike trail continued until about miles 5 I believe and then we got onto a gravel trail – what they call the tank trail, which is on US Army land.  I had read a few race reviews/recaps in the few weeks before the race and was nervous for this because so many people said you’d be running over golf-ball and baseball-sized rocks.  Let me assure you that this was not the case at all.  There were a few patches that had more legit rocks than gravel, but I can’t say I felt like I had to be looking down and watching my feet the entire time.  I was trying as much as I could to just relax and enjoy the scenery!


The support crew was at a turn on the trail at mile 9 (where Aunt Sonja took this picture from) and I actually even stopped for a few seconds to grab a sip of a water bottle they had.  I ended up doing this later in the race as well; They didn’t have many official race water stations that I remember, so it worked out nicely that I could take some water from them…and that I wasn’t trying to PR in this race so I could afford to stop for a few extra seconds.

Mile 11: 8:33

There was a steep hill in this mile that I ended up walking up some of.  Just couldn’t muster the strength to get up it.  Chicago is flat.

Mile 12: 7:30

Due to the walking break, I lost the group of people I was running with.  This resulted in my being alone, running through the wilderness on Army land where no spectators were allowed.  It was not particularly comforting and I was sure a bear would come and eat me.  Sooo I’m pretty sure that’s why I sped up.

Miles 13 – 17: 8:51, 9:01, 8:20, 7:34, 8:12

Miles 13-14 I believe were when we got off the Army land/tank trail and onto more of a technical dirt trail.  I came though the half at exactly 1:45 and at this time,  I had caught up with one lady who was in the group of 3-4 I had run with earlier in the race, but I couldn’t stick with her.  The majority of these miles were all running, with a few short walk breaks.

Miles 18 – 22: 8:51, 7:56, 8:12, 8:47, 9:58

There were a lot more walking breaks during miles 18 through the finish.  But I got to see my support crew I think 3 times during these few miles!


The course was entirely on either a bike bath or a trail until the very very end, when you finished on a road and then on grass.


I was so happy in this picture because I had just seen the crew 2 times in the last mile or 2 already and then they quickly made it to another spot before I got there so it was fun to see them so much!  And I think this was around mile 18-19 so I wasn’t COMPLETELY dead yet…but I was getting there.

Miles 23 – 26.2:  8:47, 8:39, 8:37, 9:52

Finally, the end!  I did manage to catch up to a guy  from the pack earlier in the race – we kept alternating between running and walking and catching up to each other or falling behind.  So that kept me going for the last few miles, but they were rough.  These miles were still on the bike path and in the last mile we were running right next to the ocean.  Then, we had to come up from sea level to the finish area and that was anything but pleasant.  The worst hills of the race, right there in the last quarter mile.  But finally made it to the top and was able to push it in.

anchorage mayors marathon medal

(Sweaty Band = Simply Satin)

Finish time: 3:38:26

Overall, I finished this race eager to do another marathon.  Not having the pressure on myself to meet a certain time goal helped and I chose not to run with music so I could just try to enjoy my surroundings while I ran.  During the race, I did have some thoughts of finishing under 3:35 to potentially be able to run Boston in 2017, but my desire to do so was not strong enough to prevent me from my late-mile walk breaks.

The weather was great for this race – a little on the hotter side, especially at times when we were in the sun, but nothing to complain about really.  The summer sun in Alaska is a tricky thing – even when it says one temperature, it feels soooo much warmer (probably by about 10-15 degrees) because you are so much closer the sun.

Race Recap: Chase Corporate Challenge (24:44)

Last Thursday evening was the Chicago Chase Corporate Challenge.  This was my 3rd time running this particular event – the first 2 times in 2012 and 2013.

The Chase Corporate Challenge is a 3.5 mile race – I think think it may now just be called JP Morgan Corporate Challenge…those banks are always eating each other up and merging and changing names.  But Chase Corporate Challenge has a nicer ring to it, so that’s what I’m gonna go with.  Anyways, it’s a 3.5 mile race on the Thursday night before Memorial Day weekend.  Companies in the Chicagoland area can sponsor a team to compete and usually also offer hospitality tents and food & beverages for employees to just hang out at afterwards.


I was lucky enough to be the team captain for my current company.  It was hard work and time consuming to get all the moving pieces together (registration, ordering shirts, ordering food, getting everyone pumped, etc.), but definitely fun and worth the hassle.

We left the office as a group around 5:15pm and headed over to Grant Park.  Our company had a few volunteers who went to the park before us, after stopping at Jimmy John’s and Walgreens, to stake out a spot for us near Buckingham Fountain.  We arrived with some time to social, stretch it, and take a few photos.


I went for a quick warm-up jog with my friend Steve – about 1.5 miles easy + 4 quick, short strides to get some pick up in the legs.  After a few more team photos, I headed to the start line with Kristie and Jeremy.  We had special red bibs that got us into the first corral, based on the projected time we each entered at registration time.  Stu and Mitch joined us up there as well too.  We had a little while to wait and mainly just commented on the other companies’ shirts and hot and humid it was.  This was gonna hurt…

And finally, we were off!  My goal was to run 6:40 average pace.  I thought this was do-able given the speed of my first 5k during Shamrock Shuffle (about 6:43 pace.)

Well, I came through the 1st mile in 6:22.  And could tell there was no way I was holding that in this heat.  Why does the first mile always feel so easy??  Given that I ran a 6:18 mile race the prior weekend, which was an all-out effort, I should not be running the 1st mile of this race in 6:22.  And so I paid for it hard.

I came through the 2nd mile in 6:55.  Except I felt like I was still pushing just as hard.  I guess not…


(Having cropping issues..but I’m there in lime green!)

Right after the 2nd mile mark, there was a water station.  This was right after coming out from lower Wacker Drive (which felt like the equivalent of a sauna underneath there surrounded by other sweaty, hard-breathing bodies.  I stopped and walked probably 10 seconds to get my water in and re-group my thoughts.  But I basically decided I was just going to kinda coast in at this point because I couldn’t make myself go any faster.  The weird thing was that everyone around me seemed to have slowed down just as much because I felt like I was still around all the same runners during the 3rd mile that I was during the 1st.

My friend Mitch (who ran a 6:08 mile in the Humboldt Mile the prior weekend) was slightly behind me and I was expecting him to catch up, but even he remained about equi-distant behind me the whole time.  And a girl I know who I was right near coming through the first mile ended up finishing a minute behind me.  So that’s me just rationalizing my extreme slow down.  The 3rd mile was 7:48.  Major yikes.  At least I had that good first mile that was close to my 1-mile race time…I can count that as a speed workout.


I headed back to our base camp area and waited for the others while cracking open a beer.  I got about halfway through the beer when Stu came back (after finishing 5th overall!!) and asked if I wanted to do a cool-down.  So we ran about 15 minutes super easy around the park and back, where I finished that beer and scarfed down some JJ’s.

So kinda a disappointing finishing time, or rather a disappointing extreme slow-down…maybe wouldn’t have been as “disappointing” if I just accepted the heat before starting and adjusted my pacing/goals accordingly.  Oh well, I’m not too concerned over it – it was a fun time with my co-workers!  I did place 64th female overall, which I thought was still great given the size of the race (over 25k+, so I’d guess about 12k or so females.)

And then I walked home and got fro yo.  That’s how most of my stories end.

Chicago friends – Did you run the Chase Corporate Challenge?

Does your company sponsor athletic events?  I also play on a soccer team through work :)  I declined the kickball and softball teams.

Race Recap: Humboldt Mile (6:18)

Yesterday I ran a brand new race – The Humboldt Mile.  Some co-workers and I have been getting pumped for the Chase Corporate Challenge (which is this Thursday!) and one of them was planning to do the Humboldt Mile with some friends from her gym, so she extended the invitation.  A few of us decided it’d be fun and signed up as well.

And it was well worth the $20 entry fee for a variety of reasons!

Concept: First of all, the concept of a 1-mile race is something unique if not on a track…which you usually only get the chance to race during high school or college.  So that was enough to make me want to do it.  I haven’t raced anything shorter than a 5k since college.  I’ve done some 1-mile or 2-mile repeats as part of longer workouts, but not raced.  So I really just wanted to see how fast I could go if I was trying for an all-out effort.

Shirt: Nike Dri-Fit!  This type of race shirt is my favorite, and I think I’ve only gotten them from any of the Bank of America races. (Chicago Marathon and Shamrock Shuffle)  And actually from the Columbus Marathon way back in 2011 pre-blogging days.  I’ve done races that cost $80+ that come with a crappier, no-name brand race shirt.  So this was definitely a bonus for me.

Humboldt Mile Race Shirt

Cause: The Humboldt Mile was put on in conjunction with Hope For The Day, which supports starting a conversation around suicide prevention.  So that was a cause I could get behind.

Pre-Race Organization: I had never been to Humboldt Park before, but getting there was super easy!  Jenn, Danielle, and I just took the North Ave bus straight over, which dropped us off right at the park.  I checked a bag (no line), used the bathroom (no line), socialized, took some photos, and then made our way over to the starting area when they called us over.

Risers at Humboldt Mile

Race: Another co-worker, Mitch, was in the same heat as me, so I found him at the start line and just chatted while we waited.  There were a little over 500 finishers total of the Humboldt Mile and when we registered, you had to choose 1 of 3 heats – the first being competitive and the other 2 being more for fun or walking.  Mitch and I chose the competitive heat (Jenn and Danielle were in the 2nd one) and each were thinking we could come close to 6 minutes.

I ran the 1st mile of the Shamrock Shuffle a few months ago in 6:36, so I knew I should definitely be under 6:30.  But like I said, I haven’t raced an all-out mile, or even really done mile repeats in a long time.  I had done 2-mile repeats recently, but those were at 6:55 pace at their fastest.  And included 3 sets of 2 mile repeats, so not exactly a way to judge my 1 mile speed.

In Orange Theory, I do my “All Out” pace at a 6:00 pace, but we never hold the all-out pace for more than a minute at a time.  So I wasn’t sure if I could do it for a full 6 minutes.  But yeah, that was my goal, to just get as close to 6:00 as possible.  And I also wanted to race people!  I don’t really get the chance to “race” in the longer races because it’s more just a race against yourself.  But I did get a little bit of that feeling during some of the shorter races I did last fall, like the Hot Chocolate 5k.

So…back to the race.  Right upon starting, I could tell this was going to hurt.  The first 100m or so (there were no markers) felt rough, like I was sooo not used to that speed.  Oh wait, let’s back up a tad to my pre-race.

I did not do any type of warm-up or strides right before the race, that’s probably why it felt so hard to get moving at the beginning.  I did, however, do a 40-minute run in the morning before getting on the bus to head over to the Humboldt Mile.  Basically so I could get in a little warm-up and have more mileage for the day.  Ok, now back to the race…

The Humboldt Mile course was like a horseshoe shape or a “U”- out for about a third of a mile, across for about a third, and then back for a third.  There were no markers, so I wasn’t sure how far in we were because I didn’t run the course beforehand, which maybe I should have done.  I looked at my watch for the first time when I was at 2:30.  Then some guy’s watch beeped at one point and I figured he had set it for half-mile splits so I checked my own watch and was at 3:04.

I looked at my watch again when I was around 4:30 and just did what I could to push it to the end.  These last quarter-ish is where I really started to race people because there were a few girls ahead of me that I could tell were slowing down and I just really wanted to cruise past, so that’s what I did.  It felt fun to feel like I was racing!

Humboldt Mile Results

I crossed the line in 6:18 and was somewhat disappointed I wasn’t closer to 6:00, but given I haven’t exactly done training for this short of a distance, it was as good as I could’ve hoped!

Post-Race: My only complaint about this race was that they did not have water at the finish.  They did have a water station back where all the pre-race stuff was set-up, but that was probably a 200m walk from the finish line, so I would’ve liked to see the water station right by the finish.

Humboldt Mile Post-Race

Other than that though, there was a coffee station sponsored by Dark Matter Coffee giving free mini iced coffees which was super clutch and a few other sponsors like Kind Bars and Revolution Brewery.  Unfortunately I was not in the mood for beer just yet.  I could not stop coughing after this race.  I don’t think my lungs were prepared for that type of intensity over a longer period of time than I’m used to.  Gotta build up that VO2 max!!

And then we followed up the race with brunch at Feast in Wicker Park.

Have you done a race shorter than a 5k since high school or college?

What is your favorite type of race t-shirt to get?

Race Recap: Hot Chocolate Chicago 5k (21:19)

Yesterday morning I ran the Hot Chocolate 5k in downtown Chicago.  I decided to register a few weeks ago when my friend Rachel suggested we run it – but wasn’t sure if I should go for the 5k and 15k.  I quickly settled on the 5k knowing how my running has been going lately.  I am in no position to do a long race right now.  And I want to work on getting my short distance speed back, so I figured I need to know where I’m at as a starting point.

My goal was to run under 22 minutes, but I was seriously doubting my ability to do so and figured I’d be more in the 22-23 minute range.

Picking an outfit is obviously the most important part of a race and that was tricky given the weather.  It was going to be about 40 degrees at the start, and luckily bright and sunny.  I ended up going with leggings and a long sleeve shirt over a tank and arm sleeves.  However, at the start I took off the long sleeve, tied it around my waste because I didn’t want to lost that one, and put my bib on the tank.

HC Chicago 5k 2015

I was in Corral A and ended up starting pretty close to the front which was nice.  I saw a 7 minute pacer and thought maybe I’d just try to stick with him the whole time, which would put me under 22 minutes, but then I lined up in front of him and forgot about that plan because I was too concerned with debating whether or not I should take the long sleeve off.

The race start and finish lines were in the same location as the Chicago Marathon.  We start going straight north up Columbus Drive but then instead of continue north over the river, we turned left to continue on lower Wacker Drive.  I had not studied the map, so I wasn’t expecting this and was pretty pleased I ditched the long sleeve because it gets a little warmer down there.

For that first stretch down Columbus Drive my legs actually felt really tight and I thought I was really in for it the rest of the race.  After I made the first turn though, I started passing some people and feeling better.  I don’t have the pace/distance showing on my watch and didn’t know my pace until we hit the first mile marker.  I looked at my watch then – 6:51, but it actually beeped for a mile and said 7:00 a few seconds later.  I felt OK with this since that was exactly my goal pace and was feeling great.  Another girl running the 5k and I were pretty much running together at this point.

I didn’t think I picked it up a ton and ended up looking at my watch when it said about 12:30 and before I knew it, I came up to the 2nd mile marker and my watch beeped at 6:26 for that mile – and would’ve been a 6:31 according to the race clock.  I was super surprised with this because I don’t think I’ve ever ran the 2nd mile of a 5k that fast.  Usually I run the first one fast and slow down over each mile (not the best pacing tactic, I know.)

I was still feeling great for awhile, but was beginning to fade.  I looked at my watch around 17:00 and then was just counting down how many more minutes I probably had to go.  At this point, I realized the finish was going to be the same as Chicago, which mean climbing “Mt. Roosevelt” and then a straightaway to the finish (I even saw the 200m to go mark spray painted on the ground, I assume leftover from the marathon.)  There wasn’t a 3 mile marker (that I saw at least), but my watch beeped at 7:02 for that mile.


As soon as I crossed the finish line, I went to the side to just hunch over for a little while.  That hurt.

The finishing area was OK – they had cups of Gatorade and bottles of water.  Then you basically had to walk to the post-race party to get your “finisher mug” which was a bit of a navigation issue because at this time it was only 7:25 and they were on Corral K.  The lowest corral letter I saw was W.  So there were a ton of people walking the opposite direction I was walking as they were trying to get to the start/corral area.

The finisher mug was just a silly plastic thing that I ended up throwing away, but it included a cup of hot chocolate and a cup of melted chocolate with little things to dip in it like pretzels, a Rice Krispie treat, and such.  So that was a delicious treat.

It was easy to meet up with my mom since the post-race party area was not at all crowded yet since I started at the beginning and only ran the 5k, as opposed to the 15k.  So we walked around through Millennium Park, watched a few corrals go off, and stopped at Panera for coffee and a bagel.

Overall, I was very happy and pleasantly surprised with my time.  Definitely some speed to gain, but I think I’m at a good starting place.  I’ll hopefully hit up a few more 5ks to race in the next few months.

Have you ever done one of the Hot Chocolate races?

What is the best post-race food you’ve been given?

Shamrock Half Marathon Race Recap – 1:35:56 PR

I mentioned the Shamrock Half Marathon in my summary of my Boston training, but since I wasn’t blogging at that time, here is a full recap for you…

After 6.5 years, I finally have a new half marathon PR!  My previous PR (1:37:10) was from the Columbus Marathon in 2008, which I ran with 3 other girls from UD.

I told my coworker who manages our events that I wanted to run a spring half marathon as a warm-up for Boston.  So it worked out that I was able to travel to Virginia Beach for the Shamrock Half Marathon.  I worked at the expo for the 2 days previous to the race, which I was a little nervous about because that meant being on my feet all day long.

I managed to get in 2 short runs (on Thursday evening and Saturday evening) of 5 miles and 3 miles. Each one was on the boardwalk along the ocean which was a great change of scenery, but it was also rainy and dreary during each.  Not exactly beach weather.   My 5 mile run on Thursday night worried me because I thought I was going along just fine, but I was struggling to hit a decent pace and ended up with an 8:17 average.  Just did not feel how I should 3 days before trying to PR.  I imagine I was just fatigued from the flight.


Friday was a downpour, so I just got in a mile on the treadmill followed by some arm weights and core work.  Then Saturday evening was a 3-mile shakeout run after the expo ended.

OK, but now for the good part.  I was nervous for the race because it was going to be colder than I planned on, which meant I need to change up my race outfit.  Luckily I brought a long sleeve that worked perfectly underneath my UD shirt and a pair of compression socks that helped keep my legs a little warmer with the shorts.  I threw on an extra “throw-away” sweatshirt and jogged to the start line, still not knowing what to expect as far as how I would feel but was going to go with my race plan I had come up with, which was:

2 miles easy (not “easy” per say, but a more relaxed race pace); 2 miles hard; 1 mile easy; 2 miles hard, etc. til the finish.

This was actually the first time I wore my Garmin in a race I think.  Usually it would stress me out too much…and having to calculate my paces in my head at least gives me something to do while I’m running.  But I figured since I had this race plan, I’d use the Garmin and see how it works out.


 The first 2 miles felt perfectly relaxed.  I was a little worried I maybe took it too fast because it probably just felt easy from the adrenaline of the race, but I think it worked out just fine.  Then my goal was to pick it up to 7:00 – 7:10 pace, so that was perfectly executed.  I was surprised I was able to hit under 7 minutes though, but happy with it.  I just told myself that I was pushing hard for those 2 miles and then I would get some relief.

After running those 2 hard miles, a 7:21 pace mile felt super easy.  But it was time to pick it up again before I knew it.  I hit those paces just as I planned, again a little surprised I was able to get a 6 on the watch (even if just barely…I’ll count it.)  I took it back down for mile 8 and that’s when I started to struggle.  I was doubting being able to pick it up fast again.  At this point we were on a military base, so there were no water stops.  I decided this was a good thing because if there was a water stop during that 8th mile, I would’ve stopped and been mentally really struggling to make myself start running again.


There was finally a water stop right after we got off the base, so I took some water and walked for little while I drank it, but then forced myself to start going again.  I felt much better after this and gave a hard effort all the rest of the way to the finish.  There was no more distinguishing between “easy” and “hard.”  It just felt like I was giving it my all the rest of the way.

I was able to keep pushing those last few miles because I knew I’d be reallyyyy close to a PR as long as I didn’t crash and burn (a 2nd time).  Then I realized I could be under 1:36, so I really booked it in fast that last tenth of a mile.  Woohoo new PR!  And then I pretty much got straight on the plan to head home.

Do you generally try to run even paces during a race? Or just see what happens?

-For half marathons, I usually just go out and see what happens and try to run as fast as I can for as long as I can.  This was the first time I ever made a real plan and I guess that worked out well.

What is your longest-standing PR?

Boston Marathon 2015: Race Recap

I will detail the other parts of the weekend (pre-race & post-race) in Boston, but most importantly, I thought I should start this blogging again with the most important part of the actual weekend – the Boston Marathon!

Angela and I woke up at 5:45am, which is probably around the time we’d have to wake up for a marathon with a normal start time, so it was very weird that this one didn’t start until 10:25am (for our wave at least).  We quickly got ready, each bought a bagel from the hotel lobby, and headed downtown.  We had to bring our bags to the gear check at Boston Commons, but we were not going to be taking the BAA sponsored buses to the start.


Instead, after we dropped off our bags, took this selfie, and answered a few questions from a man working for the Boston Globe, we headed to another hotel to meet the other runners from my training group in Cincinnati.  The group organized a private bus to take us to Hopkinton, which I think helped calm my nerves a bit being around a bunch of girls I knew.


We went as far as we could on that bus, then boarded another bus to take us to Athlete’s village…after getting scanned by a metal detecting wand.  Security was very tight.  Once in Athlete’s Village, our first stop was to the porta-potties and then we found a nice plot of grass to lay down our towels and sit and stretch out for a bit.  Lucky for me, Angela is a physical therapist, so she professionally stretched me.   Maybe I will do her taxes for free next year in exchange for her stretching services.

Soon enough, it was time for Wave 2 runners to head to the start.  It seemed like a somber march…not as much excitement as I’m sure there would’ve been given better weather conditions, but everyone was just trying to stay warm and dry I think.  We used another set of porta-potties, shed our layers, and tucked into corral 7 and before we knew it, it was time to go.  The start felt a little anti-climatic, I think because we were so far back and couldn’t see the actual start line when the horn blew and there was no overhead banner signaling the start line, just the line on the ground, so it came up quicker than I thought.

So that was actually a lot of things to say and I haven’t even gotten to the race yet, so here we go.  Angela split her watch every mile, so that is the data I have, along with the official 5k splits that you all were getting texted (because I assume everyone was getting those).

Miles 1 – 6:  7:59, 7:49, 7:42, 7:29, 7:43, 7:33

These first few miles were fairly relaxed – getting going, checking out the scenery.  Right when we hit the 5k is when it must have started raining, because I remember saying that to Angela as we passed the 5k checkpoint.  We were dry up until then…cold, but dry.  The amount of men stopping off the side of the road within the first quarter mile of the race to pee was entertaining.  I don’t remember anything too eventful during these miles.  The route was more rural than I expected at the beginning, because I was told there were people lined the entire way, so I assumed that meant the first few miles as well, but that was not the case.  There really weren’t any people until about 4-5 miles in I think…rain being a huge factor in that too I’m sure.  And I’d rather have no people in the beginning if that means a lot throughout the rest of the race, which there were.  I remember thinking the 5k and 10k splits were slightly slower than when we ran the 2013 Chicago Marathon, but I wasn’t too concerned.

Miles 7 – 13:  7:37, 7:37, 7:32, 7:36, 7:40, 7:27, 7:34

There was quite a mix of feelings regarding running during these miles.  After about an hour of running, Angela said it seemed to have gone by fast and felt like only 10 minutes, but I did not agree so that worried me a little.  I took a Gu at mile 7 (or wherever the water stop was around that point – somewhere between 7 and 8).  I don’t think I had even taken water up until this point…something you don’t think about when it’s cold, even though I’m sure my body was dehydrating itself.  But I never felt the sweat or felt thirsty like I do during hot runs.  During miles 7-9 I was doubting my ability to make it to the halfway point at this pace and thought I might need to slow down.  But then the Gu must have kicked in and given me energy, because 9-13 felt easy again.

Half Marathon: 1:40:18

After we passed the halfway mark, I was feeling good and half jokingly/half seriously asked Angela if she was ready to negative split this bad boy.  I had wanted to be between 1:38 and 1:40 for the first half and expected to be because I always have a tendency to go out fast and was told that the Boston course lends itself to a fast first half.  But I guess we controlled ourselves appropriately.

bm2015(Photo cred to Aunt Sonja, who took this one around mile 22.5)

Miles 14 – 22:  7:35, 7:47, 7:32, 8:01, 8:09, 7:57, 8:13, 8:30, 7:57

My feelings towards gunning for a negative split changed rather quickly, probably around mile 15 or so.  The rain was worse around this time I remember and my quads were completely numb, part from cold and part from running I believe.  But I thought maybe it was better that they were numb as opposed to feeling pain.  I took another Gu around mile 15, and that again helped once it kicked in.  Dianne told me that the worst hill was one of the first in Newton, right after a fire station.  So after I passed that fire station, it was quite a struggle to get up that hill, but at the top I told Angela what Dianne had said and that made us feel more confident that the worst of it was over.  Of course, we still had Heartbreak left, but I wasn’t as concerned about that.  Angela and I got separated somewhere around mile 19-ish I believe.  She was getting water through a water stop and I lost her for a few miles…I was too afraid to stop and wait because I thought I’d never get started again so I just kept on going assuming she’d catch back up.  Heartbreak Hill was bad, but I think I had built it up in my mind so much that it wasn’t as bad as I thought.  And I wouldn’t let myself walk while going up it because that’d just be so cliche.  I tried to take another Gu right after Heartbreak Hill, but my hands were too numb for that to happen.  Instead, I just made sure I got in a lot of Gatorade.  From about 20-22, I was feeling pretty confident I could fly through the rest and there’s no such thing as hitting the wall.

Miles 23 – 26.2:  8:40, 8:00, 8:22, 8:21, 1:57

But then the wall came.  And it came very hard on my poor legs.  I stopped to walk through a water station (the first time I stopped running) around mile 23 and Angela came cruising by.  This was much different than in Chicago, when I stopped to walk through probably 5 water stations from mile 18 to the finish.  The last 3 miles were just a fight to stay with Angela because she was rocking it now.  She definitely could have gone faster, but waited for me to catch up so we could finish together :)

Finish: 3:26:20

Angela ran a PR!  I was a few minutes off of my Chicago time, but given my training, the tough course, and the weather, it went just about as well as I could have hoped.


And then we were really really really cold.  The end.

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