Everything that could go well did.
That’s what happened.
Well. Except for the wrong turn made on the way. And the wrong turn or two or three on the way back. Considering the race started in south Chicago, this wasn’t the most ideal of situations.
Thank goodness my aunt owns a Prius and gets about 50 miles to the gallon. Or we surely would have been screwed.
But nevermind that. When it comes to the race, everything was peachy.
My morning started with the usual.
Peanut butter toast. One piece already demolished. Also, did you know Friends is on at 4:30 in the morning? I watched Phoebe get married as part of my prerace routine.
I never ever ever stray from this routine. Like ever.
We got down to the race site about an hour early. Considering the wrong turn, this was surprising. My two cousins and I gave my aunt (from out-of-town) the lay of the land to give ourselves some peace of mind and so she wouldn’t be lost and frantic after the race was over.
And then we were off. To our respective corrals. I started in “F”, which was at about the 1:55 group. This was a comfortable spot for me. Going into my “training season” for Chicago Half and ZOOMA (in October), my secret goals was to PR in at least one of the two. However, because I never quite made it over 10 miles for my long runs, my new goal was to finish under 2 hours and face plant into some pancakes afterwards.
The race started exactly on time (woah) and I was thrown into a first mile of dodging and ducking others. The first mile or two is always the worst for this and makes me a bit stabby.
The stabbiness subsided, however, after about the 5k mark when I saw the clock and realized my pace was sub-8:30.
“Hmm. I should chill out a bit before I crash and burn.”
So I zone out a bit, and casually observe my surroundings to keep my mind off of all the running.
Word to the wise- if you must wear running tights that are semi-see through, do not wear neon yellow undies that say “I can do anything!” underneath. Unless, of course, you wanted 10,000 runners to see them. Then it’s ok.
Made it to mile 7 under the hour mark.
“OMG I NEED TO START PAYING ATTENTION.”
Because there was still a wee bit of time to think about things, I started breaking down the math. 8:20 pace. Shit.
That’s when I made the executive decision. Which was “Screw it. Balls to the wall. Let’s just see what happens.”
And 8:20 was the pace I kept almost exactly for the next 4 miles. How? Magic, I suppose.
Then came mile 11. Mental breakdown. A bit past the marker, there was a water station. I took a cup and started a walk. I needed this.
“Come on Amy, don’t stop now.”
“What are you doing, Amy? No walking! Keep going!”
The kids at the water station were yelling at me (our names were on our bibs).
Well fine. If I’m gonna get yelled at. Geez…
At this point, the math in my head (as mediocre as my capabilities are), informed me that I was going to beat my old PR unless slowing down to 10-minute miles happened.
That was a really good feeling.
And so was hitting mile 13. The end was near and I was so spent. However, I like to think that the sweet new laces my friend Laura gave me:
and the recent download of tunes from the Project X soundtrack (thanks to Mary for suggesting that movie last weekend) were my good luck charms that did it.
1:50:21. 155/1583 in my division. 2117/12105 overall.
Killed my old PR by almost 4 minutes.
This took me by complete surprise. My long runs were fine, but nothing seemingly stellar. My pace for all of my mid-week 4-milers and such weren’t anything out of the ordinary.
But I’ll take it.
And since I accomplished my original goal of a new PR, this takes a little less stress off of the ZOOMA Women’s Race next month. A good thing- because I hear the hills on that course are challenging to say the least.
However, I did not accomplish the second part of my goal.
We hit one of my new favorite breakfast spots in the city- The Breakfast Club.
And by the time we were seated and ready to order, I went a non-pancake route.
They had me at chorizo.
But now I kinda want pancakes.
Guess you just can’t win them all…
Anyway, thanks to everyone for all the awesome comments and tweets this last week. You have no idea how motivating you can be- it is very much appreciated.
Much love on this Monday morning,
Filed under: Race Randomness | Tagged: Chicago, Chicago Half Marathon 2012, Chicago running, fitness, half marathon, races, running | 48 Comments »