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Monday, July 17, 2017

rock and roll chicago half

Time for a race recap - this time, in Chi-Town for the Rock and Roll Half Marathon!

I woke up Sunday morning to a lovely temperature of 76 degrees, luckily the temperature dropped a little bit prior to the race. The race time was at 6:30a and at first, I wasn't too pleased about that, but considered the sunrise was at 5:20a or something..it was necessary.

The amount of portapotties was sufficient for sure. I know that was your first question. Overall there were about 16,000 who raced over the course of the weekend (there's a 5k on Saturday, and a 10k as well on Sunday). 

For the record (excuse me while I rationalize my personally average time), I walked 20k steps on Saturday and my right ankle was swollen, though no pain, just visibly..round. 

Thus.. My goal for this race was an overall 8:38 pace which is around a 1:52 finish. If my ankle was 100% and the weather was a bit cooler...I would have pushed it but trying to train smart..

Very quickly, we the Garmin users of the world discovered that our devices did not really function in the tunnels..so pacing became kind of fun, and I had to really utilize my limited math skills at every mile which probably helped make the time go by faster.. Also, the bands at every mile (I think there were more than 13!) helped a ton too - definitely a mood booster!

I was calculating that I was around an 8:30 pace around the 10k mark and as I promised myself, if I felt good at that 10k mark, I would push it a little bit faster, and so I did.

During Mile 9, I had this lovely runner's high where I finally felt that ahhh you are rocking this race and you will finish strong attitude. Hard to describe...but I had that feeling in every race at sea level in the Southwest. So that is a good sign..

Yes, I still pronate like crazy.

The last 5k was along the lake (after a longish tunnel that was pretty hard to see in...) and there was some rocking music that really got me going at least. Also the 10kers joined back up with us, so that's always fun...

Overall I finished in 1:49:31. Yes, the last 3 out of 5 half marathons I have run, I have finished in that 1:49 wheelhouse. The first one I was hurt and did not stop and was just pushing it dumbly (Towpath), the second was Cleveland in May (where I felt like crap mentally and physically), and the third was this one (where I felt strong physically and mentally and had negative splits).  I call that...progress!

Afterwards, I grabbed the usual banana, water and gatorade (couldn't eat all of the peanut butter crackers though..weird), and headed back to the hotel. I didn't actually look at the medal until I got back to the room, thought it was a silly medal considering that's my family nickname :)

Overall, this was my second Rock and Roll Half Marathon (Phoenix was my first) and I really do recommend running one of these races. The bands at every mile are awesome, the shirts are great, the courses are true to the advertised length, and they are very well organized.