Chicago Marathon 2016 Race Recap!

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!



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13 Responses to Chicago Marathon 2016 Race Recap!

  1. Pam says:

    Congrats on your PR and BQ. You ran a fantastic race and clearly you are so excited with the results. Don’t even get me started on the whole Boston standards and runners being “squeaked out.” The number of bibs given to charity runners and sponsors is high and therefore, qualified runners don’t get a spot. When I qualified for 2015, I was lucky to have more than a 6 minute cushion. However, several people in my running group did not get spots this past year due to the stringent numbers. For 2017, they have less spots for qualified runners. Several runners analyze the registration and it is interesting to read their stats. If you are interested in a FB group for squeakers email me. It is a fun and supportive group.
    Pam recently posted…Logistics for running the Disneyland Paris racesMy Profile

  2. Laura says:

    Congrats again!! That is truly amazing how much time you hopped off your last two marathons. Plus a BQ- woohoo!! Absolutely worth celebrating regardless of what happens with Boston. Hope you are recovering well!

    • Laura says:

      Thanks! Congrats on your amazing new PR!! Hope your recovery is going well!!! I’m doing lots of walking which I think is helping big time!! Can’t wait for my next marathon!!!

  3. Congrats! When we saw you at mile 13, you looked so strong! I have a great pic of you if you are interested.
    Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home recently posted…When Running Rubs You the Wrong WayMy Profile

  4. Congratulations, Laura! You looked awesome at Mile 13. Your training was solid and you ran a great race. I hope you’ll get in for Boston 2018!

  5. Debbie says:

    Gosh, your excitement is quite contagious. I smile when I read this.
    So happy for you.
    Way to go & I do hope it’s a bq.
    When I got mine, nothing was better.

    • Laura says:

      It’s definitely a BQ but the question remains if it’s enough for Boston to say… yes you are in!! Come join me next year for Chicago’s 40th!!!

  6. Lauren says:

    Way to go! I had a PR & BQ day at Chicago too! Last year I qualified by seconds and this year I have a +7 min cushion so I’m fairly confident I’ll be Boston Bound. The weather was just perfect this year. You can do it if this year isn’t your year!
    Lauren recently posted…I DID IT! {Chicago Marathon 2016 Initial Thoughts}My Profile

  7. I feel proud when joining this kind of event,tired but worth it.
    Chris Bernstein recently posted…Football Betting Code ReviewMy Profile

  8. Congratulations, Laura. You look so amazing, and it make me want to join a marathon race like that. Hope you’ll get in for Boston 2018 and maybe I can meet you there 🙂

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