As I mentioned earlier this week, I planned to run the Palos Half Marathon as a training run. When race day arrived, I met up with the FN Runners beforehand and also saw a few Yankee Runners before heading to the starting line.
I've struggled with progression runs in the past, and my coach had offered up the option to run this race as such. The plan was to run the first mile at 10:00 pace and increase the mile splits by 10 seconds. The hardest part about this plan was starting out slow. Everyone was blazing past me in the first mile. It was so, so difficult to keep a steady pace because I wanted to go faster! But I stuck to the plan!
Mile 1 9:52
Mile 2 9:47
Mile 3 9:46
I saw the FN Runner cheering squad at mile 3.5-4 and they gave me a boost! (Thanks for the pics guys!!!)
Mile 4 9:36
Mile 5 9:16
Mile 6 9:04
Because I was so focused on my splits (and obsessively checking my Garmin), these first few miles felt easy. It was hard to keep a steady pace, but once I found it, it was easy to maintain. The sun was starting to come out but it wasn't bothering me. Who is this new runner who is doing well in humid weather? I like her! Once we got closer to the turnaround, I saw lots of other runner friends and cheered all of them on with a wave and a smile!
|My new favorite race photo!|
I saw the FN Runners again at mile 9 which was very much needed. My splits were getting tougher and I really appreciated the support our group gave us! My aunt also surprised me and gave me a high five on the course. It was a great surprise and I was feeling great!
Mile 7 8:55
Mile 8 8:50
Mile 9 8:40
Mile 10 8:29
Right after all this talk and feeling so well, it started to hit me like a ton of bricks. That sun that wasn't bothering me now seemed blistery. My legs were tired. I could feel my heart about to beat out of my chest. My breathing was super heavy. All warning signs that I was pushing hard in this heat--too hard. As I wanted to run this as a training run, I decided to slow it down and take it easy. If I was running this as a race, I would have kept pushing it. However, this was a training run and I shouldn't be spent on a training run. That last mile almost killed me though. I wanted to be done so bad.
Mile 11 9:03
Mile 12 9:07
Mile 13 9:43
|This is my "Please let this be over" face|
After it was over, I couldn't help but smile. I met my goal for most of the race and kicked up to some pretty speedy miles. Overall time: 2:01:49. Not too far off from my PR (1:59:32) and I felt like I could have kicked up much more, if I had been racing it. I am really looking forward to my goal half marathon in July. I'm ready to get acclimated to this heat and have a great race. After crossing the finish line, I met up with more running friends! I knew so many people doing this race so there were lots of post-race celebrations to attend!
|With some of my FN Runner friends (L to R: Susan D, me, Aurelia)|
|More FN Runners! (L to R: Wayne, Susan M, Brian, me, Kevin)|
|Thanks Maggie for the great sign and for coming out to cheer for us!|
After hanging out with the FN Runners for awhile, it was time to head over to another grassy knoll and celebrate with the Yankee Runners!
|With my friendly 10:00 marathon pacers!|
|The Yankee Runner crew!|
This was such a FUN race, not only for the out and back course, great support, but the many local runners that all came out to run this race! I am still on the runners high just from hanging with so many running friends all in the same place! It was easy to find people (as it was a small local race) and easy to hang out and celebrate afterwards! If you live in Chicago, I highly recommend this race! It was such a great time and I can't wait to run it again next year!