I ran my second half-marathon of the year over the weekend! The Chicago Half Marathon is the second race in the Chicagoland Half Marathon Series 26 Challenge. I signed for the 26.2 mile challenge in January (I think) and it's part of my training for the Chicago Marathon. We got awesome double medals for finishing both the Spring and Fall half-marathons.
I was nervous going into the race because I really wanted to PR. My best half-marathon time was 2:10 at the first half-marathon I ever did in 2012. Since then my times have only gone up. The Spring Chicago Half was the first drop I've had in a while, to 2:13. My goal this time was to get 2:08 or better.
In the week before the race I only worked out twice, both times at Orangetheory, and I only ran a couple of miles each time. I wanted to run Friday but I never made it out the door. My legs had three days of rest when I entered my corral on Sunday morning. From the moment I started running I knew I would beat my time. I felt great and I kept up a 9:30ish pace for most of the race. My pace didn't start dropping until I hit Mile 9, when I stopped for water and had a tough time speeding up. I kept telling myself I didn't train all summer to NOT beat my time. It was around this time that I saw one of my group marathon training coaches and she asked me how I was doing. When I assessed myself I realized I was doing just fine. I did start to struggle mentally around Miles 11 and 12, but then a funny thing happened: My Spotify app randomly changed the song on its own, to "Run the World (Girls)" by Beyonce. It was just the motivation I needed. Another song that inspired me was "The Greatest" by Sia and Kendrick Lamar. I repeated it a few times and even got a little emotional when it was on. I was so happy when I crossed that finish line!
The medal this year is the best I've ever seen. First, it's huge. It also contains the Roman numeral for 20 (XX) and it spins! The second medal I got for finishing the series has Chicago landmarks. I love both so much.
Check out my video of the race on Youtube and subscribe if you enjoyed it.