It’s time to run the Chicago Marathon.
The reality has finally set in. I am less than a week from running in Chicago.
In complete honesty, I wish I felt more confident going into this race. We all have off training seasons, we all have great training seasons, and you just have to learn to roll with the punches.
As my husband has told me several times this week, come to peace with where you are and be confident. I may not be where I originally set out to be for Chicago, but I need to still be confident that I’ll give it my all.
I sat down last week with my husband and decided it was time to make the final race plan. I think I’ve been putting it off a bit longer because I was scared. That’s why I’m glad my husband is there with me because he has seen my training and can help make honest evaluations, since sometimes my emotions and lack of confidence in this cycle can get in the way.
The Race Plan
I always like to set a race plan ahead of time and make sure I stick to it. I am extremely guilty of going out too fast and bonking around 15-16. That is one of the biggest things that made me successful in Kiawah, I had a plan and I stuck to it.
We believe from my training that I’m in shape to run somewhere between a 7:35-7:45 marathon pace. Of course, nothing is certain but that’s my best guess.
After much deliberation, here’s my game plan for Chicago.
- Stay somewhere between the 3:20 and the 3:25 pace groups for majority of the race.
- I am hoping to start out at 7:45 for at least the first half of the race. As I shared in my Chicago Links post from Friday, the first half can be deceptively fast so I want to make sure I start out a bit slower to ensure I have something left in the tank for the second half.
- Around mile 10 I’ll start to evaluate how I feel. I could slowly start to pick it up, but very slightly.
- Around mile 13-15 is when I will decide if I want to take it down to a 7:35.
- If I am still feeling good around mile 22-23 then I would consider taking it below 7:35.
Of course, a lot can change on race day but going in with a plan is always ideal for me.
Just like my previous marathon, I have several goals.
When it comes to running marathons, the training is always the hardest part. The race is the FUN! If I can’t go out there on Sunday and have fun then it isn’t worth it. This is always my number one goal.
Boston Qualify for 2017
I’d love to go re-qualify for Boston in 2017. It would take the pressure off for Boston 2016 and would allow me a little more time to re-set and re-focus during the coming months. This means I’d need a 3:30 or less most likely to get in.
PR (Less than 3:29:45)
Let’s face it. I want to PR in Chicago. While I feel I definitely am in better shape than where I was in December, you never know what can happen on race day. A PR is always a great thing!
Run a 3:20 marathon.
If you’ve been following this journey from the beginning, you’ll know my original goal was a 3:15. It was a 15 minute jump, doable, but a lofty goal. After about half my training I realized for my own sanity and health a 3:20 was a bit better goal this time around. It’s still a bit of a stretch, so I’m not overly focused on this.
Going into this marathon I feel a lot different than Kiawah. I didn’t have an ideal training season, I made some mistakes in the off season, but regardless I have to go in confident with where I am.
I have many many years ahead to continue to improve and for me it’s more about knowing that I gave it my all. My plan is to hopefully run more off how my body is feeling and less obsessed with getting that elusive time. Of course, I’m all in for it and I will give it everything but I know my limits.
Here I come Chicago! Look forward to seeing what you have in store.
Do you create a race plan?
Have you ever run the Chicago Marathon?
Good luck on race day! The best thing you can do is set out to run your best race given the conditions of that day. I know you’ll do awesome!
The Chicago Marathon is on my bucket list. I’ve run a few half marathons in Chicago and had a blast! It’s an amazing city to visit and run in.
It’s a great race though I have never had a good race there. Hopefully that will change this time. Thank you!! 🙂
Good luck, Sara!! When your feeling the inevitable pain, don’t forget to smile and remember how lucky you are to be able to run!
So true Hayley! Thank you 🙂
Good luck on race day, Sara! You’ve definitely put in the hard work and like you said, this weekend is your chance to enjoy it and have fun. Can’t wait to hear how it goes!
Thank you Natalie!
Best of luck out there. Sounds like you will get some nice running weather. Enjoy!
~ Run with joy!
Thank you! 🙂
Good luck, Sara – I think your goals are awesome and your hard work will pay off for sure.
Thank you!! Fingers crossed!
I think it is great that you have a plan. I do so much better when I plan what I want to do. That quote your husband said really is quite well said. Good luck and I cannot wait to hear how it goes.
Thanks so much!!
have a fantastic race. Best wishes.
I love your racing plan. You are a smart runner and I am sure that, if you’ll stick to it, you’ll end up doing great. The good part is that Chicago is not a very technical course, so it will be easier to execute the plan you have in mind with no major hills to take into account (it will be a whole different story in Boston 😉 ). Go, have fun, and run for those who can’t (me!)! STICK TO THE PLAN AND GOOD LUCK!
Thank you! That is such a great way to look at it 🙂
Good luck for race day!
I think having a clear race day plan in your head helps to keep focus and drive to succeed. You have improved so, so much from your first marathon, I have no doubt that you will continue to better your times even further still!