First of all, I just have to say that I’m so happy this race was on Daylight Savings, that extra hour of sleep was a God send.
Alright back to what I came here to write about. Since I live in the city now getting to the start line entails walking to the T station to meet up with my parents near the start line. This was a nice warm up in addition to some dynamic warm ups. I found the group I wanted to start out with shortly before we started, the 13:00 Galloway pacer (run, walk, run). We started a few minutes late and it was pretty humid at the start. I stuck with the pacer until about mile 3-4, the group was just going to fast for me so I got into my own groove doing 90:30 run walk (90 secs run, 30 secs walk). That seemed to work really well for me.
Around mile 4.4, the exchange point for the relay, I got a text that said I was going at a 13:06 pace which is just amazing for me. As I got closer to mile 5 a woman in front of me tripped and fell so I stopped to give her a hand and make sure she was okay and then saw my parents cheering for me shortly after that. By the time I got to mile 7 it started raining, at first it was just a drizzle, then it started to get heavier. I hate running in the rain but it felt good at that point to cool down a little. I had done so many runs in the rain over the summer and I knew I only had a couple of miles left so I didn’t let it bother me.
I got to the 15k mark and I could hear the thunder as the rain started to get heavier which made me pick up the pace. I got to the final stretch and could see the finish line and one of my running group friends was cheering people on and it was so awesome to have people who already finished come back to keep the rest of the group motivated. I finished in 2:19:18 with a 13:56 average pace, my time last year was 2:27:40 so I got about an 8:22 minute PR. I’m always excited about a PR because it means I’m improving but this was especially important since I didn’t PR in Chicago after putting so much time and effort into that race. Today was a huge victory for my ego and I’m glad I could end the year on a high note.
One of the officers on the course said to me as I ran by her, “Keep going, you’re what makes Pittsburgh great!”
Congratulations to all the runners out there today, whether you ran in Pittsburgh with me, in NYC, Disney, etc. You’re all amazing. Keep going.
Till next time.
Coming to you live from Chicago for this weeks post. I’m currently enjoying a matcha latte and kombucha at The Goddess and the Baker, this place is so cute, check it out if you’re ever here.
Alright, so back to what you’re all here for…a recap of my marathon weekend. I landed Thursday night and enjoyed dinner with my parents so not too much excitement. We went to the expo on Friday and ended up spending like 4 hours there, seeing all of my favorite companies: Vital Proteins, nuun, Brooks, Honey Stinger, and of course Nike to get some official marathon gear. Friday night my little sister flew in and we went to the team dinner for DetermiNation (American Cancer Society). It was beyond inspiring and emotional to hear and see why people chose that charity and who keeps them going.
Saturday morning was the Chicago International 5k, and if you ever want to bring people together from all walks of life, this is how you do it. There were so many people from different countries and it was amazing to see people come together for a common goal. I didn’t race this 5k, it was simply a shake out run and it was very enjoyable. Chicago has some seriously stunning views. After attempting to nap for a little bit, my dad and I took a bus tour around the city. We went up to the John Hancock Tower for the 360 view, I still can’t get over how beautiful that was, afterwards it started pouring so we headed back to the hotel. I enjoyed my last carb load at Pizano’s which wasn’t that great but it got the job done.
Now, onto the big day. Sunday morning I didn’t need to get up until 6 since my corral didn’t close till 8:10. I was a ball of nerves as usual but you kind of learn to use that as fuel. I enjoyed my usual pre race PB&J with my parents before heading out to the corral. After some dynamic stretching and making friends with some ladies in corral L, we finally crossed the start line at almost 9 am. We were suppose to go out at 8:35, so that was a little annoying but what are you going to do? I started off pretty strong, holding onto a 14:30-14:45 pace. The wheels fell off for me around miles 12-14, the heat became too much to push through. No matter how much Gatorade and water I drank I never felt like I was properly hydrated. At that point I abandoned the time goal I had and the only goal was to finish. I met a lot of first timers along the way and gave them some advice for recovering, helped them to push through, and really enjoyed the remainder of the race. I cried going over the last bridge, partly because the view was so beautiful but also because this wasn’t the time I had trained for. I ended up finishing 10 minutes slower than last year and I’d be lying if I told you I wasn’t disappointed but I finished and really that’s all that matters at this point. I’ll get that time I was training for eventually but in the meantime I had such a memorable weekend in my favorite city.
I’m really looking forward to a month off from running to spend with my puppy, family, and friends. I have some things planned for the future but I need to process everything that happened on Sunday before I make any crazy decisions.
Until next time Chicago…