My training has been going great lately (knock on wood) and I feel better & faster than I have in years. I ran my fastest 5K in almost 10 years last month and have been hitting some great mile repeat times. I absolutely love progression runs and have found that maintaining low 7:00 pace has become relatively comfortable. My goal was to break 1:40 in this race and I knew if race conditions were perfect, it would definitely be doable.
When I left the hotel at 5:15 AM, it was already humid so I knew the race would be tough just from that perspective. I was excited to see my training pay off though and really went out there and gave it everything I had.
Arriving at the start in Grant Park
Todd & I pre-race
Hanging out in corral B right before the start
Oh wait...check out this close-up of the previous photo....please note the guy in the center with his butt cheeks hanging out of his green daisy dukes. Yeah, I got stuck running behind him for about a quarter mile and couldn't handle it
There were about 15,000 finishers but I have no idea how many actually started the race
5K: 23:02 (7:25 pace)
10K: 46:35 (7:30 pace)
10 Mile: 1:15:57 (7:36 pace)
13.1 Mile: 1:40:14
Average Pace: 7:39
Females (25-29): 28/2207
I didn't meet my goal of breaking 1:40 but considering the humid conditions and the lack of gatorade at every fluid station (they alternated between water & gatorade every 1.5 miles so in reality, they only had gatorade every 3 miles), I was really happy with how I did. Since we were running through downtown Chicago and through the underpasses, my garmin got messed up between mile 2 and 3 so I didn't really have accurate splits. My mile 3 split was supposedly 5:54 and beeped well before the actual mile marker. I think this happened to a lot of people because I could hear a lot of watches beeping around the same time as mine. For this reason, I only have my first two mile splits (7:21 and 7:43) and had to rely on the splits from the race. Despite the heat and my dehydration (I already had goosebumps around mile 4), I only went from 7:25 pace at the 5K to 7:39 at the finish. Definitely not a negative split but still pleased with it.
I'm somewhere in this pack around mile 2
Around mile 7 & as I ran by Todd I told him the second half of the race "wasn't going to be pretty" but I still hung on for a decent time
A closer view
Hanging out in Grant Park afterwards
This race was my second fastest 1/2 marathon and 1:02 faster than the half I ran in February with more ideal conditions (1 mile loop course that was completely flat and colder temps). I went from averaging 7:47 pace in February to 7:39 pace on Sunday. I really gutted it out in Chicago and although I was disappointed I couldn't have run 15 seconds faster to break 1:40, I'd say my training is paying off!