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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Chicago Marathon 2014

I have to admit I am pretty relieved that the marathon is over, although I would be much more relieved if I would so completely sore.  It's Tuesday and still every muscle in body still aches.  I thought this time around I would be less sore, which I was, but it still amazes me how every little muscle gets so over worked and is exhausted.

Picture frame from K's parents for the marathon!

To cut straight to the chase - the marathon went well.  I finished in under 4 hours which was my ultimate goal of doing.  My time was 3:53 - so I really can't complain. And the weather was absolutely perfect.  I mean it really could not have been better even if I picked it from a line up.  It was sunny all morning and a high of 60 degrees.  To some that may have been a little warm, but to me it was perfect.

Ready to go on marathon morning!

I got to the start line around 7AM, and my corral wasn't set to start until around 8:00.  K dropped me off and he really couldn't get very close to the start line, because of all the traffic so I walked about a mile to the start line. My corral was pretty empty still when I got there so I would able to get pretty close to the start.  I talked to a few people who were standing next to me at the start and they are seemed to be from other states which really made me appreciate being able to run in my hometown. The announcer were great and told us a bunch of fun facts about the marathon while we were waiting.

1.5 million spectators
47,000 runners
28 unique Chicago neighborhoods
1 of 6 of the world marathons

Sign that K's mom made me for the race!
It was very cool and definitely got me pumped up to run.  I really didn't want to go out too fast since that is what I did in Nashville and you would think I would have learned my lesson.  I was shooting to stay around 9 minute miles for at least for first have and then see how I feel. Well that definitely wasn't the case.  My corral (wave 2, corral F) started right at 8:00.  The first half miles going under wacker and there were a lot of men stopping to pee on the side of the street - FYI to anyone running this race in the future, watch out for the pee'rs. The next couple miles were completely lined with spectators which was such an adrenaline rush and made me go too fast.  Here are my first few miles splits according to my Nike Plus app --

8:43, 7:34, 8:03, 7:59, 8:00, 8:10, 8:00, 7:59, 8:07, 8:19, 8:15, 7:55, 7:42, 7:44

Nike plus app
Nike plus app
As you can see I clearly didn't follow my gave plan of sticking to around 9 minute miles.  And I just knew that it was going to come back and bite me.  Around mile 15-17 I started to feel it.  Everything started to hurt.  I started thinking maybe I'm not meant for the these long run, maybe I should stick to half marathons.  Half marathons seem to end right when the pain really starts. But I just kept trucking :) I knew I really had a change of being under 4 hours.  I just had to keep my pace below around 9:30 which I was able to do and the spectators and volunteers were AWESOME.  I don't think I saw a single running take a water or gatorade and not say thank you.  After a grabbed water a few times I would pause to stretch and drink and every time a volunteer would come ask me if I was ok.  They were all sooo helpful and really made me love this city even more.

Marathon Medal
Marathon steps according to my Jawbone
The last half mile of the race was completely lined with EMT's every few steps and after I crossed the finish line they had tons of EMT's so if you paused or stopped at all you were quickly whisked off to the medical tents. As expected the finish lines had tons of great goodies.  No spectators were allowed in Grant park so when I walked out of grant park there was a huge group of people waiting for their runners and they were all clapping and applauding.  It was a really cool race to be a part of and I am so glad that I signed up to do it and checked the box.  I can't say that I will be signing up again next year, it just seemed to be so hard on my body and the soreness lasts for days. But I would absolutely recommend the marathon to any marathon runner.

Flowers from my Sister and Nic for the marathon!

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