It’s been a couple of day since I ran my 3rd and fastest Chicago Marathon on Sunday. I took 25 minutes off my race in 2006 and 15 minutes off my race in 2010. Proving 1… age is JUST a number and 2… I seem to get faster with each pregnancy. That or I just kept thinking that I needed to get out and run so that I could get home and resume “mom” responsibilities. Nevertheless, the weather was picture perfect Sunday morning and I ran fastest and best that could.
I did not run with my phone. While I always train with my music I like to soak up the entire atmosphere on race day so no early morning pre race pics! Except this one which Sara and I took in the hotel before the madness began!
After spending nearing 30 minutes trying to get a Lyft and freaking out that I would be late because I left the hotel sans cash! (BIG MISTAKE)…I hopped in a cab with two great girls who were sisters and running their first marathon. They weren’t starting until 8am and I was starting at 7:30. I had already missed the team picture by this point and just wanted to drop my gear and get to the start line. I felt SOOO rushed after the hectic morning.
Would you believe that I woke up with plenty of time but it was the transportation that threw me for a loop!!
I didn’t really get to appreciate the feeling and atmosphere of race morning. Kind of a bummer.
I got in line at the Port o’ Potties and then made my way to the starting gate and group D. Of course once I lined up I had more then enough time!
I wasn’t confident that I could hold even 8:12 splits for the entire race but had planned to start with the 3:35 pacers. I stayed with a few of them for the first couple of miles but was feeling good so I picked up the speed for about 10 miles. I think I knew deep down that I had to “bank” some time as I knew I would be a little slower in the second half.
I was flying by in that first 1/2! I felt great. I saw family, friends and once again Chicago proved to be the best city ever to run in.
I finished the first 1/2 at 1:46:42 about 45 seconds ahead of the 3:35 pace that I needed.
I’m not exactly sure where the tiredness and wall hit me… probably around mile 18. I kept looking at my pace tattoo on arm for the 3:35 and in my mind I told myself I didn’t NEED 3:35 and finishing with a 3:37 would be totally fine too.
Eventually, I saw my 3:35 pace group around mile 18 or 19 and then I pushed through with them for maybe a mile. I kept running and kept moving but it was taking me over 8:30 to run each mile.
I got a burst of energy at mile 21 when I entered Chinatown but it didn’t last very long. I had to keep telling myself that I was almost there and that I could do this. I knew I had a PR coming, it just a question of whether or not I would get my BQ!!
When I hit mile 25 I knew that 3:37 wasn’t going to be possible but I just kept going. In the final 1.2 miles I just pushed as hard as I could and eventually crossed the finish line at 3:38:43. Just 1:17 faster then my required 3:40 needed to even apply for Boston in 2018.
But is it enough to get into Boston 2018? I’m not entirely confident. Here is why… While I ran fast and beat the 3:40 qualifying time to run the coveted Boston Marathon, further research lead to me articles about runners needing MORE then just their qualifying time due to the popularity of the race. This past year runners needed to be 2:09 faster then qualifying time to get into the 2017 race. And this is what the last several years looks like.
So, I’ll have to wait for another year to find out of this is enough.
It’s OK though because I got my BQ and my shiny new PR and I know that there will be MORE marathons and perhaps even a date with Chicago next year in 2017. I just learned that my time this year guarantees me an entry to next year and registration opens up later this month!!!
For now though, I will enjoy my shiny new hardware!