Milestone Monday: A SHINY PR!

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Chicago Marathon met the Boss yesterday.

Photo on 10-7-12 at 4.23 AM #3

at 7:05am I met up with RP and we walked in to Grant Park with 45,000 other runners.

  

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We lined up in Corral G and at 8am, we were off and running under this bridge.  It was freezing!! 39* at the start!!  I opted to wear a bunch of layers – including my favorite Lorna Jane Amy tights and excel singlet (similar here) as base layers, along with toughchick sleeves, a running jacket, gloves and a beanie.  Within the first 2 miles, my arms were thawing so I pulled down my sleeves around my wrists, but my feet and quads felt like ice bricks for about the first 7 miles.  Luckily, the energy and enthusiasm of the runners and the spectators on course was an amazing distraction from the cold.

At Mile 4, we ran into RP’s husband cheering us from outside their hotel.  At mile 9.5 my friend Annie jumped out the crowd and gave me a double high-five and just after we ran by the Lululemon store where the employees and ambassadors were in FULL force dancing, cheering, singing and jumping.  {the lulu team were my favorite fans in LA and Boston too – they just might be the most enthusiastic fans on the course in ANY city}

We cruised along through the Half at 1:55 pace (8:49) and were feeling good, but I could sense that RP had a bit more juice and was ready to kick in beyond that pace.  So around mile 14, just after we saw v10k8 I sent her ahead and told her I’d see her at the finish. I needed to run my race and I knew she needed to run hers.

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and then I ran into the Mr. who had just missed me at 13, but ran across a few blocks to find me at 16.

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Couldn’t believe that I spotted ALL of them along the course!

16-26 were a bit of a blur.  Head down, focused and putting one foot in front of the other.  After my disappointment at miles 16 and 18 in LA I took the next 10 miles, mile by mile.  Around 20-21 I began to cramp pretty badly along my right side – hamstring, calf and along the front side of my shin.  I wound up stopping probably once a mile for the last 6 to stretch for maybe 20-30 seconds each time and lightly bobbing through 2 water stops, but never walked.

As I rounded the corner mid way through mile 24, the course led us up Michigan Avenue and I knew it was only a matter of minutes before I’d be hitting that finish line.  I knew I’d lost some time in the second half – I was definitely running slower miles and my stretch stops had added up so I was fairly confident that I wasn’t going to hit the sub-4 mark but I was pretty confident I could hit at least a 4:10.

{oh and HUGE PS right here…. I ran NAKED aka Garmin-less the entire race.  As many of you know, I’ve had some trouble keeping my head quiet during races.  This time around I wanted to run a race based on feel vs. consistently managing to a watch, a pace or a projected time – this might have been the BEST decision I could have ever made.  I never once worried about my split, overall time or pace per mile – it was a HUGE relief and the mental escape I needed in order to relax into this race}

Crazy adrenaline allowed me to pick up speed through the final hill to the finish and I crossed the finish line completely unaware of my time.   It wasn’t until I ran into RP and her husband that I got the text news – 4:06!!! 4 minutes faster than I predicted and a whopping 12 minutes faster than my best time.

A shiny new marathon PR for me and a top 23% finish in my age group!  For a girl who was told ‘you’ll never run again’  and who only started true marathon running and training less than a year ago,  I’m damn proud.

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Nothing tasted better than a PR celebration filled with the Mr. at the finish, tears of joy and an ice-cold beer and the most ridiculously delicious deep dish pizza.

{the Boss aka MF Dre)

PS – RP got a 3:58!! So super proud of her!

PPS – Sub-4, I’m coming after you…someday, but for now, my next big milestone – marrying the Mr. xx

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13 thoughts on “Milestone Monday: A SHINY PR!

  1. Laura @ Mommy Run Fast

    Congrats on running such a smart race! I love that you ran without your Garmin. I know I’m too dependent on mine, and am seriously considering dropping it for my ten mile race on Sunday… Awesome job on your new pr, too!

    • the MF Dre

      I am patiently (not so) waiting for your recap too! Loved the pics so far and I can’t wait to hear the deets! and more importantly – will you do it again?!

      • HA I knew you’d ask me that 😉 I’m HONESTLY not sure. RIght now, I’m so wound up with emotions from that day STILL, two days later. It was both the hardest thing I’ve ever done but also the proudest I’ve ever been. Incredible.

      • the MF Dre

        well maybe we should get a group together a do a relay like hood to coast or ragnar before you plan the next marathon! proud of you too – its a HUGE accomplishment. xx

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