Monday, June 24, 2013

Chicago Womens Half Marathon

1:46:09 a PR by 5 seconds.

21/675 AG Top 3%

140/3429 OA Top 4%

Three words to describe this race: Steamy, Sticky, SMART


Me, Kim, Anne, Maggie, Chris, Christina, Erica



"Lets go Blackhawks!" Can be faintly seen lit up on the building.

The Plan

Saturday morning I ran 6 miles with 5 hill repeats. The point of doing something so crazy like running moderately hard before a race was to have "dead" legs going into Sundays half marathon. Remember, bigger picture. As I sat on my couch Saturday night watching the Blackhawks beat the Bruins, I started researching running in the heat. I've always run in the heat, but never researched it. Some interesting things I learned:

•Sunscreen inhibits the body's ability to sweat. Since this race was at 6:30am & I'd be done a little after 8, the UV index would be low. I didnt wear any sun screen.

•Humidity and dew point affect your performance more than the heat. A neat calculator to see how heat/humidity affects your performance is Here.


Kim and I pre race

Anyways, since I am training for the Fox Valley Marathon, this race was a training run. Per discussions with my Coach the plan was to take the first half easy and progressively split the second half. Spoiler Alert: I pretty much nailed it.


Vicky and I waiting for the race to start.

The Race

It was warm. Very warm- I'd say muggier than Last Years race. At 6:30am we were off! With my music playing, I settled into a nice rhythm. The miles ticked by quickly and my pace felt comfortable.


At each water station I dumped water on my neck. It felt fantastic. At the halfway mark it was time to start pushing the pace a bit- I high fived some kids and started picking off ladies in front of me. The last 2 miles were brutal. No shade and the sun was shining bright.


L was near the finish and snapped this gem.

During this race I kept thinking about the bigger picture of my training. Part of me wanted to "race" and kill my PR from a year ago (confidence builder?) the other more rational side kept reminding myself this was a training run and to not over do it. In my heat research I read somewhere that over extending yourself in the heat can take several months to fully recover from.


Could I have run faster? Sure

Would that have been beneficial to my marathon training? Absolutely not. Monday morning I'm feeling almost 100% normal minus the usual post long run-slightly tight calf.


Final thoughts/ housekeeping

I am happy with the way I executed this race. And this my friends, is the biggest confidence booster- bigger than had I went all out and gotten a massive PR. I ran a smart race which will pay all sorts of dividends for the next 13 weeks of marathon training. I wouldn't change a thing.


Me, Sara and Hillary, Jenny, and I.

Wore my Nike pro shorts, Nike sports bra, newton distance shoes, lulu socks. First race without wearing a shirt and I'll probably never wear a shirt again for a hot race. Was also my first race wearing the Newtons, and I had no complaints.

Pre race- cinnamon crumpet @ 3:40am with 3 sips of coffee. Gatorade prime + salt pill 20 minutes before race.

1 chocolate gu around mile 6.

Carried my green bottle of water and drank 3/4 of it during the race- also got some Gatorade and water at aid stations.


Race thoughts

Thank you volunteers and especially Fleet feet for putting on another spectacular race. It was well organized and had ample aid stations and misting stations along the course. The new course this year was also a welcome change. The medal/ shirts/ head band were also beautiful! I can't wait to sign up again for next year!


Brunch Crew: Marla, Joanna, Vicky, L (photographing), and I

I loved the atmosphere of this all women's race. It was wonderful to be surrounded by so many strong, confident and beautiful women while all sharing in our love for running.

And a big THANK YOU to L for coming out and cheering me on and photographing me at the finish and hanging with the girls again for brunch. (I promise to find some guys for you for our next post race brunch) LOL. Thank you for your continued patience and support. I love you.



- xaar

32 comments:

  1. Congrats!!! You totally executed this race according to plan! And got a PR to boot! Woo hoo! I had a feeling you would be way up in the front and that I would miss you in the turn around.

    Ha! And that is why I don't wear sunscreen when I run. I told Steven I wear it, but not when I exercise. So he said "So you are being unhealthy [by not wearing it] when you do healthy things?" LOL. But it's so true. It makes me feel worse, my skin can't sweat.

    There is a chart about humidity and dew point in in the ACE books I am studying. It's crazy how much humidity affects it! (Although, I was lucky that it didn't feel that awful to me)

    I love the pics that L captured! I wish I could have seen you finish and said hi to him!

    I knew you would be sold on racing shirt less! Hee hee :)

    This race is so well done, and such a cool medal and shirt. Definitely a repeater!

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  2. Interesting tidbit about sunscreen - everything I've read says it helps you stay cooler! But maybe that's more applicable later in the day? I burn so easily, so I don't have much choice but to wear it, but I wonder if not wearing any yesterday would have helped.

    Congrats on the PR! Looks like you had a great race - those pics L took look awesome! I wish we could have brunched together, I would have been happy to have provided L with a dude to hang out with :)

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    1. I'm sure there are so many perspectives on sunscreen vs none. In the times I've worn it for races, I feel slimy and gross- And since its usually early- the sun isn't put enough to burn me, but I do understand your dilemma. Hehe next time I must take you up on your offering to add a dude to the mix ;)

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  3. BIG KUDOS ANC CONGRATS TO YOU, X! So happy that you nailed your race plan. Big picture training suites you well :)

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  4. I didn't know that about the the Sunscreen! I still looked like a wet sweaty dog when I finished my run Sunday. Those are some solid mental tips, especially for racing during training. Great job with the PR! If it wasn't for the heat, you would sailed by that even farther with that smart running! I see you joined the skins in the shirts vs skins running group! Comfy isn't it!
    Enjoy your day and great job!

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    1. I have officially joined the Skins! Haha it made a huge difference.

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  5. Congrats on the perfectly executed race! Had to be tough in the heat/humidity!!

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  6. Nice job following the plan and feeling great. Nice pace and glad you are feeling great today!

    I hate sunscreen, so I rarely wear it running unless I am running when the UV index is really high. This makes me feel better about that.

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  7. Great job! It was super hot yesterday (and windy in the southern burbs!).

    This race weekend bring so many great races that I'll probably never run this event. I like the duathlon in Tinley Park and the Pleasant Prairie TRI in WI. Seems to be that I can't run them all, or that's what people tell me. :o)

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  8. WAHOOOOO!!!!! Could that have been done any better?!? I don't think so! Congratulations!

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  9. Love that photo of you with the medal! So cute. And welcome to the no-shirt racing club :)

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  10. YEAH! Congrats on the PR! I know you've been working hard lately and I am not surprised that you nailed this one despite the heat!

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  11. Congrats on the PR and beautiful splits (especially in that heat/humidity)! You are doing the right thing by focusing on your goal race and not over-extending yourself too early. Even a half run under ideal conditions can take several days to recover from if you run it too hard. Keep up the awesome work! :)

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  12. Congrats on the PR especially on a hot and humid day! Way to stick to your racing plan!

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  13. Congrats lady, you killed it! I had the same thought after my half this weekend, "yep could have run it harder" but really glad I didn't since I need to get out there today and start running hard again for Ragnar training...look at us, both being smart :). What a great race to kick your marathon training into high gear, good luck!

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  14. NICE JOB!!!! A PR on tired legs is pretty amazing. You rock!

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  15. YOU ARE A ROCK star! Way to go love!

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  16. Congratulations!! :) Love the outfit!!

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    1. Thank you:) now I definitely feel better about wearing what I did!

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  17. What awesome race pictures. You are a total badass!

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  18. I tried a pair of Newtons a few weeks ago at a walk to run training run, and they hurt me so much! I am glad to hear they work for you.

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  19. OH crap..and awesome job!! (need to work more on commenting on what is going on with you vs what is going on with me.)

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    1. Haha no worries! The newtons have taken me 3 months to get used to them. At first I didn't like them, now they don't seem to bother my calf as much.

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  20. Congrats on the PR and running a smart race!! That's interesting about the sunscreen, and also how hard it is to recover.

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    1. Thanks! It was really eye opening to hear a few perspectives on running in the heat & how it affects performance.

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  22. Congratulations on a great race. I am super impressed with the PR and how well you executed your plan.

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  23. Congratulations! That is an incredible time. You are FAST. I am running the Fox Valley Marathon also.:)

    Karen
    tradingheels.com

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  24. i love your photos! how are you editing them?

    you did awesome speedster! excited to chat about it tonight. those conditions were certainly NOT ideal, and you did much better than the rnr half last july which was almost identical conditions. you are on track for an awesome fall mary ;)

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  25. wow, another PR - nice! And looked like your race was perfectly split, love the negative splits!

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  26. You look positively FIERCE in those pictures. SO strong, fluid, calm, and in control, with perfect form. LOVE IT!!! You can seriously put the Kenyans to shame. =) Congratulations on yet another amazing race and PR!!! You've worked so hard and you completely deserve it!!!

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