A few weeks ago my friend Kate S had asked me if I wanted to buy her half marathon bib from her as she was getting over an injury and wouldn't be ready in time. I figured since My distance would be up anyways from the Get Lucky Half Marathon, why not? Also, my friends Maggie and Nicole were running the race too so I figured I'd at least have some friends to hang out with before and after. As this was my 3rd race in 3 weeks I was dreading this decision for a few reasons. Since the Shamrock Shuffle, my legs have felt very tired as I haven't given them as much rest as I probably should have. Not to mention, it rained the entire way from the suburbs to the city. But when we got to the race, I had a different feeling.
|Running as Kate!|
The storm cleared and the sun was starting to come out. We had met some more bloggers and online friends at the Ben Franklin statue before heading towards the start line.
First I had to gear check my bag. The lines were incredibly long and kind of frustrating. I don't think they anticipated as large of a gear check line so they were a little unprepared. They did have plastic bags to put your bag in just in case it rained which I thought was a nice touch. Maggie and I ran into Nicole before the race too.
When it was time to head to the start, My competitive switch turned on and I was going to try to break 2:10. If I ran less than 10 min miles, I knew it was possible. I started off with the 9:55 pace group but our first mile was 9:22. I was feeling good so I stayed at that same pace. The more I was running, the better I felt.
The two above photos are sourced from here.
The course was an out and back ish kind of course that went north along the lakefront path. It was a change of pace which I welcomed. We went all the way up to Montrose harbor, then circled around another harbor before heading back.
Once I started to see some of the people coming back, I got pumped up. My pace picked up again for the next few miles.
I tried the new Gatorade chews during a training run a few weeks back and absolutely loved them. They were selling them at the Shamrock Shuffle expo as well as giving away free samples so I tried to stock up as much as I could. Four chews come in a pack and I took 2 at mile 7. They are soft and very easy to chew (unlike the shot blocks). With all my stomach issues, I was elated when I didn't have any rumbling during the race!
As I kept moving along, I continued to feel good and didn't know what kind of finish time I was headed towards. Miles 11 and 12 were both under 9 minute pace and I couldn't believe it. (I took the last 2 Gatorade chews at mile 10.) At mile 12 I saw that my Garmin was at 1:50. If I really picked it up for the last mile, I would be able to break 2 hours. At that point, I took off and went as fast as my legs would carry me. We came in through the last turnaround and I kept checking my watch. Last mile was 7:46. I did a full sprint to the finish (chicking 2 guys at the end) and looked down at my Garmin. 1:59:32... I could barely catch my breath and I was talking to myself saying "I beat 2! I beat 2!"
I grabbed my medal, took a finisher photo and headed for the post race snack tent.
There were bananas, an FRS booth, some 5 Hour Energy, some peanut butter sample packs and pretzels. I saw Nicole afterwards and we talked about how we both enjoyed the course and the weather. Nicole ran another half marathon the previous day in Kentucky so she was happy with a better time and less hills. I then went to the finish to look for Maggie and her friend as they were running the race together. I cheered them on as they crossed the finish and also had a great race. It was quite chilly afterwards so we didn't really stay long for the after party.
|Maggie and I with our medals!|
Jelly Bean virtual race!