WARNING! This post is primarily about bragging on my own accomplishments. Today I woke up and felt good except for the fact that I set my alarm for an hour too early. I woke up at 4:45am, once I realized it I slept for another 40 minutes but my body was ready to get up around 5:35am. I had packed my bag and pinned my bib onto my shirt the night before so I didn't really have anything to worry about there. I filled up a water bottle which I forgot to take with me. Thanks to Patrick Morris for driving at Ferrari speeds to get us down to the race with plenty of time to spare even after a potty break. My usual self, the no-goer in public, sat and waited in the car. I ran a few paces to warm up for the race and with about 5 minutes until gun-time, I jumped in line with the 9:55 pacer. She was cool, I didn't get her name. This was a strategic move since my PR was a 9:56 pace. I figured I would stick with her until about half way through, and if I felt good the plan was to move on ahead and pick up my pace for the second half. The pacer's first mile was about 9:44 and I felt I had more in me. I picked up my pace a little bit and continued from there.
What makes the splits interesting, is that I believe the Nike+ SportWatch pauses the run when you lose satellite signal while in an underpass or tunnel. There were a few along this course so I think the splits might be a bit off, otherwise, a rather amazing fun for me!
My official time is 2h 2m 37s. My previous half-marathon was 2h 10m 15s. I said yesterday my A race would be 2:05:00. Well, suck that 2:05! I beat that by over 2 minutes!
The race course consisted of a lake shore path which weaved through a marina, beach, busy streets, etc. All Community Events did a great job for this race. There were a few bands playing during the course (which was nice since I forgot headphones). I clapped for them during the run and they all acknowledged it. The head nod and saxophone shake was the best. I knew the entire race that I was headed for a PR, which made me crazy when during mile 9 my stomach churned like I've never experienced before. Come on! I've run much farther than this without any issues, why now! I didn't let it stop me. Perhaps I would have been in the 2:01 range if mile 9 and 11 hadn't been at the paces they were.
4 of us went down to Lincoln Park for this race, and 3 of us set PRs! Eric and Patrick set PRs in the half-marathon. Dani ran the 10k but with a volunteer mishap ended up causing the course to be 1.1 miles short. All Community Events really stepped up to the plate to try and make the best of the situation. All 10k runners will be offered a refund for the race entry fee and a $10 coupon for their next race through ACE! Perhaps the race directors acknowledgement of the mishap and taking ownership of the mistake was the best part. As a fairly new runner, and even newer to the racing scene, I know these events wouldn't happen without volunteers. Mistakes happen. For anyone who ran the Hot Chocolate 15k in 2012, knows some race directors don't even acknowledge anything went wrong.
After seeing the 2:05:28 on the gun clock and posing for my finish line photo, I gladly picked up my medal from a volunteer handing them out. Just waiting for photos to be posted once they're tagged with bib numbers. That's a lot of work, glad it's not me doing it. Marathon Goal Time: 4:32:00