Chicago marathon # 8 - the weather was totally different from 2010 or 2011 (both warm years) and I was hoping for no wind for a decent run. And it was cold...but calm. No wind!
Having trained well for this race I was looking forward to a sub 3:30 finish. My previous best was 3:32 at Twin Cities, MN in 2010.
In September I went for a week of camping and backpacking at 6,500 to 10,000 feet above sea level and managed to run almost every day I was there. Managed a 7.2 and 4 mile run at Bridgeport (6,500feet). A 6 mile walk, jog, run from 7,500 feet to 9,100 (Rush Creek to Gem Lake) in the June Lake area. A 2.5 mile run at 10,000 feet (Thousand Island Lake) and a good HARD 6 (out) and 8 (back) mile hike with about 38 pounds on my back from Rush Creek to Thousand Island Lake in Ansel Adams Wilderness Eastern Sierras.
Apart from those runs, all my longer runs, 20 and 22 milers, were at a good decent pace. My track workouts were in good shape. All this was well set for a sub 3:30 marathon.
I landed in Chicago on Friday evening, Oct 5th. My Sister, niece and nephew settled into Congress Plaza Hotel which was about 10 minutes from the starting line. After spending three and a half hours getting to and back from the Expo we settled into a late lunch early dinner (5:00PM) and then had a nice evening walk around Buckingham Fountain in the evening.
With Shashvat and Navneet at the Expo
Nandini and Mallika were volunteering at the 2nd water-stop so they left at 4:15AM. I got up at 5:15Am and finally rolled out of the hotel room at 6:50. By 7:10AM I was in my corral! Awesome!! I decided that I would keep in front of the 3:30 pace group for as long as I could and then fold in with them if things went bad. The weather topped off around 44F to 48F during the race and I was feeling fine. Mile 23 I started dropping the pace and the pace group caught up. I stayed with them for a mile and once I got my nth wind I pushed the pace and ran the last mile ahead of the pace group...finishing in 3:29:42. Given that I did not completely go all out I think I still have a minute in the bag...if all goes well I'll give 3:25 a shot in 2013.
Mallika/Rohan Expo'ed' out, on the bus back