I can't take credit for the renaming of the Banco Popular Chicago Half Marathon. That belongs to my friend Rich Cancellare.
Here's your quick recap of the Half Marathon. It should be prefaced that it has been raining in the Chicago area since Friday night. I am not sure it ever stopped until just a few hours ago. There's actually some pretty bad flooding pretty close to our condo, so we're pretty lucky. But back to the race...
Tiffany and I got down there early, found a good parking spot and tried to stay dry until the race started. I was shooting the breeze with the guy who was the 1:35 pace leader. He has run 67 marathons and has only 15 states left until he's run a marathon in all 50 states. My plan was to stick with that guy as long as possible and then slow it down just enough to come in around 1:36.
The plan held together for about 4 or 5 miles, which was also when my water-logged Ipod shut down. The rain never stopped and there was some wind that kicked up every once in a while. Somewhere around mile 2.5 I could feel water sloshing out of my shoes with every step I took. There were some pretty good-sized puddles that the runners really couldn't avoid. So by mile 5, I started to slow down a little bit. I also felt a little tightness in my right hamstring a few times throughout the race. By mile 9, I could really feel my toenails jamming into my pruned toes. At that point, the 1:36 was out and I refocused on finishing at 1:38:00. I tried picking up the pace the couple miles and am pretty sure I did, but couldn't finish strong enough and came in at 1:38:34, good for a 7:31 pace. So it was a couple minutes off of my goal, but given the conditions, I was happy with it. Not high-five happy, but happy that I was pretty close and feel like I would have hit it if mother nature was a little more agreeable. It was easily the worst rain I have ever run in. I have a couple small blisters on my second toe (index toes?) on each foot, but have taken care of them so they shouldn't be a problem in a couple of days.
Here are a few pictures Tiffany took from the day:
Me before the race:
The starting/finishing line before the race:
The "Golden Lady" statue in Jackson Park:
And finally me right after the race:
I took an ice bath after we got home and iced down the hammy a little bit. It feels pretty good. I just need to make sure it doesn't turn into something bigger than the slightly irritating feeling that it is right now.
I also took apart the Ipod. I'll put it back together tomorrow and hope for the best. The week ahead is the last big week of training and looks like this:
Tuesday: 11 Miles, 8:05 pace
Wednesday: 12 Miles, 8:05 pace
Friday: 11 Miles, 6 Miles at 7:04
Sunday: 20 Miles, either 8:00 even pace or an 8:20 first half and 7:40 second half
Total: 54 Miles
Have a good week and stay dry.
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