Chicago Marathon 2003 Race Report

This is a post-dated race report, but it’s all I’ve got. Funny that back when I wrote this I was so focused on the miles themselves and not the actual event. I didn’t even think at the time to make notes about the huge expo, crowds, and all the great support I got. ūüėČ

Finish time was 3:57:22. Very happy with this for a first marathon effort. Four hours was the goal, and I hit it. Having used the Hal Higdon beginner training program, it comes highly recommended!!! The furthest I’d ever run before I began training for this race was a 10k.

Here’s the breakdown of what happened mile by mile:

  • Mile 1–9:24, Sort of what I expected at the start, made a mental note to NOT try to make all that¬†time up early
  • Mile 2–9:00, About what I wanted to run for the first few miles, so I was really happy and¬†comfortable
  • Mile 3–9:09, Some bottleneck slowed us down, but still no problem. Chris was nursing a hamstring¬†injury. On this mile he tripped, got up and said, “Not my day” and stepped off the course. I felt¬†really bad for him.
  • Mile 4–9:10, Same as above, but starting to worry a little about the pace–Inexperience.
  • Mile 5–8:29, Probably pressing too soon to make up time…I know that now anyway.
  • Mile 6–9:41, Jon stopped to use the restroom. I decided to take as much fluid as I could and wait¬†on him. Hurt timewise, but I figured the extra fluid would pay off. If I’d only known!
  • Mile 7–8:20, Stupidly evened out the last mile to 9:00. Starting to worry a little because my¬†splits are all over the place. I need to settle into a comfortable pace.
  • Mile 8–8:30, Didn’t slow down as much as I’d have liked, but at least I slowed down
  • Mile 9–8:42, THIS is the pace I want
  • Mile 10–8:22, What happened here? I don’t remember, but I think we spent a big part of this mile¬†jumping ahead to try to find space to run.
  • Mile 11–8:45, Got it back.
  • Mile 12–8:56, Long water stop, so that was okay.
  • Mile 13–8:32, Settle down!!!
  • Halfway–1:56, On pace for 3:50, can run a couple of minutes faster on the 2nd half and make it¬†perfectly.
  • Mile 14–8:35, Don’t pick it all up at once! Turned around to look for Jon. He was about 10 yards¬†back, and when we caught eyes he pointed for me to go forward without him. Realized that I’d been¬†the one doing all the talking ¬†or the last few miles. I felt bad leaving him, but we’d decided¬†before the race to meet at the beer if we got seperated…he had all my stuff in his car.
  • Mile 15–8:33, Okay, this is faster than I wanted to go, but I feel fine, right? Take your time¬†with water at the next stop and keep it up!
  • Mile 16–8:59, No idea what was going on!
  • Mile 17–8:44, Settle down, you are going to RACE the last 10k.
  • Mile 18–8:59, Race starts in 2 miles. Eat a Gu, settle down.
  • Mile 19–8:57, Am I just resting for the final 10k, or am I slowing down? I can’t even tell.
  • Mile 20–9:10, Uh…I AM slowing down. Change of plans…I’ll race the last 5k instead of the last¬†10k.
  • Mile 21–9:22, Losing 10 seconds a mile. It’s going to hurt tomorrow whether you go or not, so GO,¬†GO, GO!!!
  • Mile 22–9:10, See, you can do this!
  • Mile 23–9:30, Uh-oh…change of plans again…that’s okay, just race the last 1.2m instead of the¬†last 5K.
  • Mile 24–10:08, Right calf wants to cramp really bad. I know I can go faster than this, but every¬†time I speed up it gets right to the verge of cramp and I have to slow back down. Got lots of¬†fluid and bananas and try to get this ¬†fixed, but knew I didn’t have much time to go. Just then I¬†saw a guy collapse and smack his head on the pavement. Don’t panic!
  • Mile 25–10:18, Bonified cramp…that’s what I get for pushing harder than I needed to. Ended up¬†costing me more time because I had to stop and rub it out. Change of plans again–race the last .2¬†instead of the last 1.2…oh well.
  • Mile 26.2–11:47, I DID race the last .2m, and I’ve never hurt and felt so good at the same time¬†in my life.

Made my way through the finisher area through the food and to the started circling around the beer looking for Jon/Sandra/Collin/Shawn. Saw Jon about 5 beers later as he finished about 30 minutes behind me. He grabbed a  beer, and we had to leave immediately so he could meet his family and give me my stuff since they were having lunch.

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