Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Chicago Marathon Race Report

As stated in my abbreviated post, the race did not go as well as I would have liked. However, don’t confuse that with me not having a good time doing it. I did have fun, just not as much fun as I would have if I would have been anywhere close to my goal time. Goal time was split down the following: 3:30 – perfect conditions. 3:40 – OK conditions. 3:45 – slowest to be called an OK race. Seems sorta funny now. I'll post pictures later in the week when I get back home. Here is a play by play:

Nick and I got to the starting coral around 7:00ish. The size of the race really started to hit me at that time. The official count of 33,033 people started to get into the various corals. (There were over 12,000 no shows) I was a bit frustrated because I was in the “open” coral where there were no pace groups to speak of. So, I had to try to catch up to a pace group in order to run with it. Little did I know that it wouldn’t have mattered in the slightest!

The race got started at 7:55 with the elite runners. Nick and I were able to get to the start line about 11 minutes later. Not too bad based on some of the 25 to 30 minutes that everyone was predicting. The first 10K or so went ok, however I never did fall into a very good rhythm. I think that this was mostly because of all of the runners. There were so many people there!

Around mile 11 or so the running crowd thinned and I was able to finally start to run my own race. However, this only lasted for the next 5 or so miles at which point I just completely ran out of gas. I think that I could probably blame a number of things, but I’d prefer to just say that it wasn’t a good race. I basically hobbled along watching my 5K times go from a 3:35 overall pace of 25:00 per 5K to an eventual 4:05 overall pace of 35:00 per 5K. Sucky……..

I am not sure why I didn’t do as well as I anticipated. After all, I have been able to run 20 miles at 8:35 pace in the past. The likely contributors in order of factor were:

  • The heat – it was the 3rd hottest Chicago Marathon on record. Official records say 84 by 11:00am.
  • Jostling for space – I wasn’t able to get my stride until half way through
  • Going out a bit too strong at first
  • My foot / lower leg was still acting up

Either way, I will certainly try again. I’m going to try to maintain my cardio fitness via the bike while my foot heals. Besides, I finished 7367 out of 31,401 finishers. Nothing to throw a stick at.


bn said...

Sorry to hear that it wasn't as fun. Sounds like quite a spectacle. I think the crowd would have bothered me as well.