Well, I am happy and relieved to say that Chicago Marathon #5 is in the books. While it wasn’t as hot out as last year when the temps hovered neared 90 degrees, it was still quite a bit warmer than I would have hoped. Luckily, people were great about standing outside with their garden hoses to spray people down, and the city opened up some of the fire hydrants, which made the temps in the low 80’s seem not quite so bad.
All in all I had a great run. I didn’t get to the start area as early as I should have, and by the time I checked my gear bag and went to the bathroom, the start corral was pretty packed. I inched my way up as far as possible, but I couldn’t make it much past the sign for the 11 min/mile pace. I didn’t think this would be a huge deal by the time I got going, but it was.
The entire first half of the race, I was trying with difficulty to pass people. We were so packed in it was nearly impossible. I hit the half way point at 2:04, about 15 minutes slower than I would have liked. At this point I realized that I would not PR in this race, so I just tried to enjoy the second half as much as possible.
On the upside, my legs felt great the entire time. By “great” I mean that my quads didn’t feel like they were bursting into flames or being stabbed by daggers every time I slowed down for water. I was always able to start right back up with no problem. I also aced my nutrition plan, and ate everything I planned to. This is a feat in itself, as usually I can’t force myself to swallow much.
I finished right around 4:10, I don’t know the exact time because the Chicago Marathon website keeps timing out on me. I am happy that I was able to hold the same pace from first half to second, and this was probably partly due to the fact that I ended up running so slow in the beginning. I am a little bummed because I know I had the fitness level needed to PR, but it was not in the cards.
I am also not too sore today compared to past marathons. I think my body has resigned itself to the fact that I am going to continue to push it to the edge and sometimes over, so it decided to just get used to it.
With that, race season is over. I plan to do one more 15K in two weeks if the weather is decent, but from here on out the focus is on Ironman. Which means I have to start swimming again. I am actually kinda sorta looking forward to it. I’m sure that feeling will last for approximately 10 meters when I jump in the pool, but for now I will pretend that I like swimming and can’t wait to get back in the water.
Now I think I will pour myself a glass of wine and be happy that I am taking another rest day tomorrow before I slowly start getting back into the swing of things. I am relieved to have some down time, but also excited to take on the next challenge.