Although my time at the Chicago Rock n Roll Half Marathon wasn't great, I still consider the race a good one because I felt great throughout. This alone makes it a huge success in my book :)
All smiles after the race!
Half marathons have been my problem distance for awhile. Last year, I raced four consecutive bad half marathons that included massive cramping, dehydration, injury and worst of all, a DNF.
Even though I was assigned to Corral 3, I decided to move back a few corrals to start at a slower pace. I think it ended up being a smart strategy. I felt great throughout the first five miles - even breathing, strong legs and good form.
As we turned back on to Michigan Avenue, I felt a bit nervous because this is where my race really started to deteriorate last year. This year, however, I couldn't believe how relaxed I felt! I considered pushing harder but held back in fear of falling apart. It's funny, I'm not afraid to go all out during a 5k but when it comes to half marathons, my confidence just isn't there yet.
I decided to kick in the last mile so it was fun counting down the miles til it was time to go. I focused on increasing turnover during the last mile and was looking forward to seeing the finish line. I ended up launching the last bit of my kick a tad too early and was really struggling in the final bit of the race. Ouch. But it was well worth it :)
Here are my results:
Pace: 8:24 min/mile
Overall Place: 1,566/13,968 (top 12 percent)
Gender Place: 458/8,391 (top 6 percent)
Age Group Place: 101/1,611 (top 7 percent)
My confidence is still a bit shaky it comes to racing half marathons, but I'm feeling better about the distance. I know I can run faster with more consistent training (read: no injuries!) and am actually excited to see what types of times I'll be able to post for this distance in the future. My old 1:46 PR is super old - as in first year of running old - and it's time for it to be crushed!
As for the rest of the trip? It included plenty of eating, shopping and more eating! A few highlights:
Enjoying the lovely weather
Believe it or not, this was the petite frites cone!
Finally got my macaron fix at the French Market!
Mom and I can't stop shopping!
Lots of deliciousness at Frontera Grill
So now a few questions for you:
1. Has your running confidence ever been shaken? If so, how did you get it back?
2. What's your favorite distance to race and why?
I think a giveaway to celebrate is in order! Stay tuned for the details next week!