Wednesday, October 12, 2016

My Chicago Marathon Recap!

I am back from all the excitement that was the Chicago Marathon this past weekend and am ready to share. If you'd like to see photos from earlier in the weekend please see THIS POST.


Now on to Sunday which was race day. The morning started very early with a 4:30 am wake up call. 


I got dressed and I was out the door by 5 am to head to the VIP hospitality tent which was a mile away from my hotel. I arrived in plenty of time to have a few cups of coffee and a breakfast sandwich. The race director spoke and told us it was one of the best years for the Chicago marathon’s weather since he has been the director of it for twenty seven years and today would be a great day for a PR.

 Deena Kastor and Joan Benoit Samuelson also spoke saying that it is a great fast flat course but be careful not to go out too fast.  There were also a few other winners from the years past. After they spoke it was soon time to head into our corrals. 

I wanted to find my pace group right from the beginning, but when I signed up for the race (that felt like forever ago) I wrote a time that was above what I wanted now, and the pace group in my corral did not go down to the time I was hoping for.  I felt like I was already behind and the race didn’t even start yet. So I got to the first pacer in my corral which was still 10 minutes and hoped for the best. 
Photo borrowed from MarathonFoto

I started out great like I normally do but knew I was too fast. I was hoping to find the pacer up ahead then I would slow down. But unfortunately I couldn’t find the pacer and knew I had to hold back or I would lose steam. Before the race I found out a way to set my watch so it would alert me if I was going too fast or too slow, and if so it would beep. It kept beeping that I was too fast, so I knew I had to slow down. Also, it was getting very annoying! I finally found a good pace I could hold and set into a groove. My watch wasn’t beeping for a while so I thought I was right in the rage I wanted to be. There was a lady that I came upon around mile 4 and we started running at the same pace for a while. I finally asked her what time she was hoping for. She said anything sub 3:30. I told her my goal was 3:30-3:35 and I wasn’t sure if I was too fast or too slow. She said I may be a little too fast but definitely not too slow. This made me feel good and I was hoping I could keep up with the pace, knowing that there is still a long way to go. 
Photo borrowed from MarathonFoto

There were a few times I wanted to pull ahead and I stopped myself knowing that I wanted to save more energy in the second half.  She stopped at a water stop and so did I and we continued on. We just past mile 9 and I felt my headband slipping off. So I went to adjust it and it fell off. I saw it a few yards back and wanted so bad to turn around, but I knew that would be a disaster and plus I wanted to stay with this lady that was keeping me at a good pace. I thought to myself If I get the time I am hoping for it’ll be worth it ( It was even a cute Run Chicago headband so I was a bit bummed) We were still together at mile 11 when we both stopped at the water station but ended up not finding each other. I knew I was still on pace so I continued on. I was very grateful that I had someone for that long. 

When I arrived at mile 13 I knew my pace and time was still good so I was hoping to maintain it. I was told that Marcia and Wendy were going to be around that mile, not exactly sure where so I took one of my ear buds out just in case they saw me and would yell for me. But unfortunately I didn’t see them with the huge crowds that were spectating. 

 The next few miles were kind of a blur.  I was just jamming out listening to my music and keeping an eye on my pace. I had a time I wanted to get to by mile 20, and I made it. After that, I knew I was on the home stretch and still continued holding my pace. By mile 24 my Ipod died but the energy of the crowd was huge and music was playing so I just took it all in and enjoyed my last few miles.  I kept seeing signs that said 800 yards, 400 yards, 200 yards, then I finally saw the finish line and gave it all I had to the finish. When I finished I knew my watch was about ten minutes behind the clock. But still wasn’t sure my exact time.


 I knew I PR’d but by how much? Did I BQ? I may have, but was I under enough? I received my medal and continued down the finishing shoot to head to the VIP area.  I received my complimentary massage and it felt heavenly! While I was getting a massage my friend came over and congratulated me.  In addition to a 15 minute PR. I BQ’d.....Yay!

 I needed a 3:35 and I came in at 3:332:03. I definitely am not a squeaker; I just hope that it is enough. I guess I will find out in 10 months. Until then I can just enjoy my accomplishment!  

After my massage, I grabbed some lunch then I had to head back to hotel because check out was soon. After I showered and packed, I checked out of the hotel, but luckily they were able to hold my luggage. My friend and I walked down to the Nike Store because they were doing free medal engraving.


 Afterwards we walked to Ghirardelli for a post-race treat, an ice cream waffle bowl that was delicious! Then it was time to head to airport.  It was a great weekend in Chicago!  There were so many other things I would have liked to do, but not enough time. I’d love to come back when I have more time to enjoy what the city has to offer.  -L

83 comments:

  1. Another huge congrats on your race Lacey. 2:57 should be enough of a cushion to get you into Boston for 2018. It was a great day to race and I'm so glad everything came together so perfectly for you, that is except your music. You might need to treat yourself to a new IPod or Shuffle.

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  2. What an amazing race! Congrats on the BQ and PR...what more could you ask for :) Crossing my fingers that it's enough to get in!

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  3. Way to go, Lacey! Congrats on both the PR and the BQ! It sounds like it really was perfect weather in Chicago on Sunday, and even with the music and headband slip ups, you didn't let it stop you from running a great race. Way to go1

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    1. The weather was perfect. I think that helped alot.

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  4. Congrats on that BQ and PR! Love those letters...What a great finish time!

    I am so sad that we missed you! We were looking for you! We missed a few of our runners.

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    1. I was I didn't see you too. Maybe next time:)

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  5. WOW!!!!! 15PR and a BQ!!!! Congratulations! Sounds like you ran your own race and have so much to be proud of. Congratulations. Great recap too-- totally worth losing the headband.

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  6. WOW Lacey, you did great!!! Big big congratulations on both your PR and BQ - that is just fantastic!

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  7. Congratulations on your finish and time! That VIP tent looked pretty bomb!

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    1. It was really nice. I wish I had more time to spend there.

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  8. Sounds like a great race! All these race recaps are making me want to run that one. :)

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    1. It definitely should be put on the bucket list.

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  9. Oh WOW, congratulations, AMAZING JOB!!!! I hope you treat yourself to a new iPOd now as a reward and I'll keep my fingers crossed you get into Boston!

    I've been iffy about entering the lottery for next year's, but this is tipping me closer to yes. The race sounds so amazing. What kind of watch do you use that alerts whether your pace is too slow/fast? I'm hoping to upgrade mine but haven't decided which to get yet.

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    1. I got the new Garmin Forerunner 235. It has smart notifications as well. It was quite the splurge but well worth it!

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  10. thats so great you were able to find someone to pace with that helps so much! congrats on that giant PR and BQ time!! sounds like you had a fantastic race :)

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    1. Thanks. I was so happy to have find someone to run with that was my pace.

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  11. Congratulations on both the PR and the BQ!! That is amazing!!

    I'm sorry you lost your headband, that really sucks!

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    1. Yes it does, but qualifying for Boston was worth it!

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  12. A BQ!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am applauding you! That's so incredible!!!

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  13. Way to go! I had some friends running with Team Momentum. Great job! I enjoyed your recap.

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  14. Wow! HUGE congratulations on a PR and BQ!

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    1. Thanks Kelly! I think the weather really helped.

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  15. Congrats on your BQ girl!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

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  16. Congratulations for a race well run and the enviable BQ time!!

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  17. Congrats on the huge PR and the BQ! It sounds like the loss of the headband was worth it :) Hopefully you can find another Chicago headband to remind you of this race.

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    1. Yes, it was worth it. I was looking online for some and with the shipping doesn't seem worth it. Oh well!

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  18. congrats on a fabulous race and a PR and BQ! hopefully it will be enough to get you in :)
    I was in chicago all weekend and the weather was fabulous-I so wish I was running!

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    1. Yes it was. Even the race director said it was one of the nicest years for the race.

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  19. That is so awesome!! Congratulations on the BQ and the huge PR :) I hope you engraved your time on the medal- that is a big accomplishment.
    It is great you found someone to pace with for awhile, it is good distraction :)

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    1. Yes I did. Nike was actually doing free engraving after the race.

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  20. AWESOME RACE! You nailed it, and you got all the bells and whistles of race day as well! I wish I had been in town to meet you... sadface

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  21. Congratulations!! You ran a great race and I'm so excited for you that you BQ'd and came away with a huge PR. It's so wonderful when hard work pays off like this :)

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  22. Great job Lacey!!!
    If your planning Boston your cushion might be enough. I read that about 3mintes give or take is the average cushion needed to get in and your definitely right there.
    Awesome job, your an incredible runner I've enjoyed following your race recaps through the years!

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    1. Thanks. I think that will be enough as well. Fingers crossed!

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  23. Wow, way to go!!!! You set that goal and went and GOT IT! Congrats on the AMAZING PR and your BQ!!!

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  24. Awesome job, Lacey! Congratulations!!! You make it sound so easy. Can you please send some of that my way? ;-)

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  25. Congrats!! I agree with the above poster ^^ you make it sound like a breeze (I know it wasn't though, lol). 15 minutes is huge!! Way to go!!
    @hellyontherun

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    1. Thanks! I was overdue for a PR. Definitely earned that!

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  26. Wow what an amazing race AND a BQ! How exciting and you are so speedy! Sounds like just the perfect experience with all of the factors coming together. I know it wasn't easy, but you sure make it sound easy :)

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    1. Thanks Lindsay! It really did all come together. Couldn't ask for anything better!

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  27. Well done on the race - you did great! The post race waffle looks like an excellent choice too.

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  28. Congrats on the PR and the BQ!! Sounds like a great day!

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  29. Wow! That's huge-15 minute pr and a BQ. Girl. You killed it! Sounds like you ran a smart race. A lot of people had a great Chicago race it sounds like!! Maybe I'll throw this one on my bucket list.

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  30. Congrats! The ice cream was well deserved!

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  31. HUGE CONGRATULATIONS, Lacey!!! Way to kill it with the shiny new PR and a BQ!!! You look unbelievably strong and confident in all of your race photos. One would never guess the magnitude of your athletic endeavors, you make it look so easy!

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  32. Congrats on the PR and BQ! I was watching the marathon on TV but they cut away from the broadcast once the elites were finished. I would've loved to see more of runners behind them.

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    1. That stinks that the whole race was not televised.

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  33. WOW Lacey!!!! VIP tent, PR AND a BQ?!?! GO YOU!!!! Congrats!

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  34. Awesome race Lacey! A PR and a BQ!! You are AMAZING!!! It sounds like you ran such a smart race!! I loved reading your recap!

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    1. I was much smarter in the beginning of this race than I was in past races. That is what I think held me together in the end.

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  35. Fantastic! Congrats on your PR and BQ!!!

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  36. Congrats on such a fast race time! You deserve a Ghirardelli treat, a new Ipod and to put you feet up for a few days!

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  37. Congrats on the PR and BQ!!! That is awesome! The crowds in Chicago definitely are amazing and help you keep going.

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  38. Congrats on the PR and BQ!!! That is awesome! The crowds in Chicago definitely are amazing and help you keep going.

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  39. Holy crud - a huge PR and a BQ - you are amazing!

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  40. Loved reading this.
    WOW, congratulations ! HUGE accomplishment. I would have left the headband too !
    (I will be so happy if I finish NY in under 5 hours )

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  41. Awesome!! So excited for you!! Congratulations on a PR and BQ!! Did you turn off the beeping or did you keep within the pace so it didn't beep? I have a Garmin 230. I ran next to someone who had the beeping during a race. I'm wondering if I would find it helpful or distracting.

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  42. Way to go - you had a great race. The weather was PERFECT!!!! And an excellent BQ :)

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  43. I was so glad the weather was perfect too! You are awesome!!! Congrats on the PR and BQ!

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  44. Congratulations! It sounds like you ran this so well! And woohoo on the BQ!

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  45. Congratulations! What a fantastic race and accomplishment. Whenever I read your recaps I want to go run 20 miles. You make it sound so fun! ;)

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  46. So proud of you! PR and a BQ! It was so fun meeting in person :)

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Fairytales and Fitness is a personal blog authored and edited by us, Meranda and Lacey. The thoughts expressed here represent only our own and are not meant to be taken as professional advice. Please note that our thoughts and opinions change from time to time. We consider this a necessary consequence of having an open mind in an ever changing society. Any thoughts and opinions expressed within our out-of-date posts may not be the same, nor even similar, to those we may express today.