Sunday, March 18, 2012

Chicago Get Lucky Half-Marathon 2012

Whew! What a busy weekend! The fun type of busy, the best type.

As I mentioned in my last weekly recap, my Business Man & I headed to Chi-town this weekend to partake in the St. Patty's Day festivities and to run a lil' half-marathon on Sunday morning.

We had an absolute blast, and the race was the cherry on top to the weekend. (For me, at least.)

The inaugural Chicago Get Lucky 7km & 21km started at Grant Park right on the lake, and ran down the lakefront path on and out & back course. Who could have a bad run when your view is this?!

The race didn't start until 9am, which would have been pretty awesome for March, weather-wise, but the freakish weather we've been having meant that it was pretty hot. The first 7 miles or so were into the wind and not too bad, but once we turned around with the wind at our backs, you could definitely feel the heat. 

The race was pretty small (for Chicago) - about 375 half-marathoners and 800 7km runners. 

I decided to go out with the 1:30 pace group and do my darndest to break 1:30. (Previous PR of 1:31:26.) I didn't really prep for this race as I would for a PR-race - come on, I was in Chicago on St. Patty's day! The fish & chips pre-race dinner probably wasn't the best idea... and I probably shouldn't have spent the previous day walking around the city in sandals. Oh well, you only live once.

So, I settled in with the 1:30 pace group, and we started the race. It felt pretty easy the first 3-4 miles, but my legs fatigued much more quickly than they did at the Columbus Half Marathon. We had a pretty good group for the first several miles - the miles ticked by quickly as we shared stories & small talk. There were a few little rolling hills, which weren't expected, but they weren't too bad.

I'm in the blue shorts... I really wanted to buy a pair of green shorts just for the race, but couldn't quite justify it. Blue shorts with green detailing would have to do!

Before we knew it, we were at the turn-around, and I was so thankful to not be running into the wind anymore! At this point, I was pretty tired, but just kept counting down the minutes in my head. (Less than 40 minutes of running left! Less than 35 minutes of running left! And so on.) 

Picture courtesy of my Business Man during the race.

It was downright HOT the last 4 or so miles, and I just couldn't wait to be done. The last mile and a half was brutal - thanks so much to Walter & Keith (the 1:30 pacers) who kept me on track! At this point, it was just me & them, and I felt like I had two personal running coaches with me. They were sooo awesome!

Finally, we were in sight of the finish, and I sprinted as much as I possibly could UP THE HILL to finish. Why oh why do so many courses finish on an uphill? To torture us?! Hehe.

Spring up the finish with my two pacers! So much fun.
I ended up finishing in 1:30:14 - so close to breaking 1:30! Gah!! But I am still super happy... over a minute PR! How could I not be? Especially with not tapering at all, and just plowing through with marathon training.

Walter let me keep the pace sign. Do you think my Business Man'll let me frame it and hang it somewhere in the house? ;-)

I was also the 2nd female to cross the finish line! I could hardly believe it. There wasn't an awards ceremony, so I get to wait for a lil' sumthin-sumthin in the mail this week. Super exciting!

Here's the official stats:

Since I hadn't gotten my long run in yet this week, I did a longer warm-up & cool-down today to get my 18 miles in. And to be honest? My legs feel 1000X better tonight than they ever have after racing a half. I guess a long cool-down is where it's at for optimal recovery.

One last shout out to our friends Adam & Sarah and Wes & Whitny for coming out to cheer me on in the race! It was so great to see them out on the course cheering like crazy. Even at mile 1. :-P

Well friends, I've got to go get ready for the school week! It's amazing how fast these weekends fly by. Happy running! 


Alissa said...

Wa! I am so happy for you! Maybe we should have trained for marathons in college - seeing that you have PRed in the half and the 5k! Can't wait to see how the full goes for you! Hope your foot is healing up well.

ambernpayne said...

You're my hero! :) We were praying for you! Maybe on vacay, you can convince me to run a mile with you. LOL ;) Love you!

Running Girl said...

You are amazing!!!! Congratulations on keeping the pace, being the number #1 girl (in all senses of the world) & just enjoying the experience. You are an inspiration. :-)

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