Monday, September 9, 2013

9/8 run - Chicago Half Marathon

13.1 miles: 2:30:40: 11:30 pace

Before the race.

This was a much better half than the rock n roll in July where I felt beat and dejected. The conditions were better, cooler though still muggy but overcast which kept the sun from beating down. It was also pretty much entirely along the lakefront so there was a decent breeze for the majority of the race.

I traveled down with some friends from the Evanston Running Club, which was good because logistically this one was a bit tough. We parked at the Museum of Science and Industry and it was just packed. Getting out was even worst.

The course was nice. It winded around Jackson Park and then on to Lake Shore Drive for the final eight or so miles. The concrete street was a bit tough on my feet but not too bad. There were more than 13,000 runners and it was a packed course. I found myself bobbing and weaving more than other races I've done recently.

My strategy for this one was to try and keep a steady pace and then walk through the aid stations. It went pretty well, I would have broken 2:30 if it wasn't for having to take a bathroom break around mile six.

I also had negative splits -- sort of. My first five miles were at an 11:24 pace, my 10 mile split was 11:35 but I was able to bring it down to 11:30 for the last three. My watch had my last mile at 10:33, also my fastest mile of the entire race.

After the race. I don't
look dead!
I'm planning to use this same steady pace/walk though the aid station strategy during the 20-miler I have coming up in two weeks and the marathon. I also mixed up my fueling -- I was taking three shot blocks every five miles but instead too two every three miles. I didn't bonk and the stomach was fine.

I also feel pretty good the next day. My ankle is a little sore but nothing out of the ordinary. I do think my boot camp program has given me a nice base to work with and has helped with recovery.

The plan is to try 10-miles tomorrow but the weather and recovery might make that more like seven or eight. Boot camp and speed work Wednesday, Thursday around four and then 16 on Saturday where it might be in the 50s when we start, come on fall weather! If all goes well I'll also pass 600 miles for the year with my next run.

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