Saturday, May 12, 2012

Race recap- Chicago Spring Half

I got a new PR!! by almost a minute.

Time: 1:47:16  (Avg 8:10 pace)

24/214 AG 11%
67/801 Female 8.3%
313/1486 Overall 21%


I biked over to the start from my house. It felt nice- maybe in the mid/ upper 50's, light wind. Looking south, there seemed to be storms, but the race announcer assured us that we would have some tailwind heading south, then some headwind coming back north- hopefully keeping the storms south of us for the duration of the race. I wasnt too concerned, because Last Year's edition of this race was run in the worse conditions ever! Short version of 2011: 40 degrees, pouring rain, and 40mph headwinds for the last 7 miles. Can anyone say "Hypothermia?"

1:48:07, My 1/2 PR from Rock n Roll Chicago last year. I wrote it on my wrist so I wouldnt forget.

Loosely, my goal going into this race was to run around a 1:50 and stick with the 1:50 pacer as long as I could. After my 5K last week, the pace calculator app in my phone predicted a 1:48:13 for me. Ive been running very consistently for the past 6 weeks, with 30-40 miles each week, 1-2 "speed" workouts and nice slower runs with the CB dog. I really wasnt sure what to expect because the longest ive run in the past few weeks was about 10 miles, really slowly.

Oh GOSH the ominous clouds in the Distance!!

Soon we were OFF and I felt really good running with the pacer. The first few miles were a little congested, but thinned out after a few more miles.

Around mile 2, I took off from the pacer at a water stop and never saw them again. I had brought a gatorade bottle filled with water so I wouldnt have to stop at water stations. I just kept chugging along at a very comfortable pace with my Ipod giving me tunes like Deadmau5, Maroon 5, Pitbull... etc

I took a GU around mile 4 and then it started to rain lightly. Actually felt kind of nice, because this was "gentle" rain, not vicious pouring rain. Another mile later and the lightning started. I remembered back to the announcer before the race saying "Do what you need to do to stay safe." OH GOSH

*the camera effect made my leg look dirty and hairy. FYI

The lightning continued on and with each bolt I saw followed by thunder, I thought "Sh*t! Run faster to be done faster." The rain was also coming down heavier by this point. Made the turnaround and suddenly rain was being pelted into our eyes. Not fun! but I kept motoring along at a nice pace. At the turnaround, I took some mango-electrolyte-salt strips Tribu had given me back in January.

I think it was around mile 9 I took another GU, and realized that I had a great chance of getting a PR. I just tried to stay focused and push the pace a bit- Sorry Dudes, you've been chicked! No, Im not sorry :)  My last mile was clocked at 7:50 per my garmin. I was really trying to hold back tears as I crossed the finish. 6 weeks ago if you had told me I was going to get a new PR in the half marathon, I would have said NO WAY considering all the crap ive been through with my hip.

6 weeks ago I ran the Shamrock Shuffle and could barely hold onto an 8 minute pace for 5 miles. I was running less than 10 miles a week and still dealing with pain from my hip.

6 Weeks later, I ran 13.1 miles and averaged 8:10 a mile.

I felt like I could have kept going.

I felt over the moon happy because I am stronger now than last year.

I felt confidence rush back into me at the finish, knowing that my fall marathon goal of 3:30 might be closer than I think.

I felt like I might finally be beyond this crappy hip injury once and for all.

To sum up this race in a few words: Conservative, Happy, Strong.

Final Thoughts- Housekeeping:

Pre Race:
- ate a power bar berry smoothie flavor on the way to the start while riding my bike
-drank a gatorade prime pouch 20 minutes before the start. MMM berry!

During Race:
-Chocolate Outrage Gu @ mile 4
-Mango electrolyte salt strips @ mile 6
-Right ear phone died @ mile 7 due to rain. Currently working properly :)
- Jet Blackberry GU @ Mile 9
-Drank water whenever I felt the need (only about 10oz total)

What I wore:

-Aspaeris Pivot Shorts and they felt AMAZING the entire time! No chafing even though I was soaked by the finish. LOVE LOVE LOVE these shorts!

- Track and Field Brasil- White Tank top. It was light and even when soaked, did not weigh me down.

-Moving Comfort "Alexis" Style Sports Bra. No show here- Even with the rain! :)

-Nike Lunar Racer shoes, with thorlo socks. Even while soaked, were still light and springy and NO BLISTERS!

Im so pleased with my run today- it far exceeded my expectations for my abilities at this distance after 6 weeks. There is a fire in my belly to keep running "fun", and break all my other distance PRs this year. Im so excited for what this year will bring. :)

- xaar


  1. Congrats on your new PR! Awesome! I love the Aspaeris shorts too!

  2. Awesome!!! Congratulations on the PR!!!

  3. YEAH! Congrats! That's amazing!

  4. Awesome awesome awesome! You are an inspiration! Congrats on your GREAT PR! And to run in those conditions... lightening must be a good motivator! Did everyone get to finish the race or did they have to shut it down?

  5. Wow, what an effort out there! You have been clicking on all cylinders recently, and you really deserved that PR. You are really running well!

    That first pic is amazing with the sun rays poking through the clouds.

    What is with this race and bad weather?!?

    It sounds like you had one of the best days of your running life out there, awesome to hear!

  6. Congrats on your new PR! Great run despite the rain and lightning.

  7. Congrats on your PR! I am over the moon happy for you!

  8. AAAAAHH YAYAYAY so happy for you! You totally deserved that PR.

    LOVE how your last mile was a strong 7:50 and that you could have kept going further :) The 3:30 marathon is going to be yours, no question!!

    So glad this hip injury is finally behind you, sounds like it's been put to rest.

  9. Fantastic! You did awesome out there! You should be super proud! :) And what are these mango salt strips?? :D

  10. Wow to PR in those conditions is amazing. Congrats!

  11. CONGRATS!! I'm so happy for you!

  12. Yay, congrats!!! Im so happy for you!

  13. CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! You should be SO proud of yourself!!! Especially because it sounds like you've finally healed completely from your hip injury - AND THERE IS NO BETTER FEELING THAN THAT! This calls for a huge celebration!