Chicago Marathon: Race Expectations

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The Chicago Marathon countdown clock tells me that in 4 days, 13 hours, 23 minutes and 12 seconds (as of the time I’m writing this) I will be running a marathon. Well, technically add an additional 33 minutes to that since I’ll be lined up the second wave, Corral F. But you get what I’m saying here, the marathon is imminent. It’s feels strange to me going into this marathon without a goal pace. When I was training for my first marathon everyone told me to go in with no time goals. I promptly ignored them and set my sights on a sub-4 for my B goal (mission accomplished) and a BQ as my A+ goal (mission not accomplished).

When I talk to other runners about running Chicago the natural question is “What time are you shooting for?” To which I don’t really have an answer. After finishing the Smuttynose Marathon, I knew that I either wanted to run a spring marathon or be pregnant with our 2nd child. Spoiler alert: it was the second and she is adorable!

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My plan was to run through as much of my pregnancy as I could, but I had to stop running at 14 weeks. It was disappointing, especially when I saw so many other runners continue running through their pregnancies, and I worried about losing the gains I had worked so hard for. A safe and healthy pregnancy was without a doubt the most important thing to me so instead I set the goal to run a marathon a year after having the baby. Fast forward 13 months and we are almost there.

I really don’t have a good feel for what I’m going to be able to run on October 11. My long runs have averaged around 10:15 pace so in the +/- 30 second range of that seems feasible, but a lot can happen over 26.2 miles. I remind myself that my whole goal in signing up for a marathon was to motivate myself to start running again after having our 2nd daughter. When I look back on the last 8 weeks of base building + 17 weeks of training and see that I started at 0 and 1 mile weeks with steady and consistent running since then I feel really happy. I feel like a runner again.  Mission accomplished. 

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7 thoughts on “Chicago Marathon: Race Expectations

  1. Your training looks great after building back up – it sounds like it has gone really well…the charts are great btw! I’m hoping to break 4:00 and will also be lining up in F on Sunday! Just posted my final training summary and we’re leaving tomorrow and super excited!
    Cheers!
    James

    Like

      • I think we are going to try to be there around 7:15 but I’m thinking of checking in with a pace group at the expo so not sure where/when they line up. I’m sure it will in insane at the start!!

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