I had the intention of trying to get this post up on Monday; however, traveling was a little extra crazy so I am sorry this recap is finally coming a few days later.
To really look at my husband’s performance in the Chicago Marathon you have to look back at the past year. It’s been a whirlwind with lots of ups and downs but that makes the successes so much more rewarding right?
His last race was Boston in April 2016. If you are a newer reader, it wasn’t the race he had been hoping for. He felt over trained going into it but went out there and gave it his absolute all regardless. He knew that afterwards he need to step back and re-evaluate his training.
His schedule is always all over the place. Some months he is on a normal schedule of 8-5, some months 12 hours shifts 6 days a week, and some months he is working nights. When you want to run at his level that means that the amount of miles you are going to need to get in and the workouts you need to hit aren’t going to change.
There have been many mornings he has woken up at 3:30 AM to get in a run. In his first year of residency, there was a month where he was up at 2:50 AM. He has always just done what he has had to do to get in the training, even when it seemed next to impossible.
Going into Chicago I knew he had completed a very strong training session. If you know my husband, you’ll know he will never really talk much about himself. He won’t say he feels confident, he won’t say how he thinks he is going to do, and he just goes out there and does it. Leading up to a marathon he is very internal about his goals and race execution plan, but he is always very meticulous about doing everything he can to ensure he has the best opportunity.
We arrived into Chicago a little before 9:00 PM on Friday after a 12 hour drive. We were both really exhausted so went pretty much immediately to bed. We woke up bright and early on Saturday morning to get in a short run before picking up my in-laws at the airport.
Wes ran 1.75 miles with strides and I finished out until 2 miles and called it a day. I wasn’t worried about not getting in my long run, this weekend wasn’t about me and I was excited to get things started!
After picking up my in-laws we headed straight for the expo. We always try to get there right when it opens on Saturday and then we are out of there and checking into our hotel in time for lunch. The expo was awesome and I loved walking around.
They had moved it this year to all the way to the back of the McCormick center and we used the beautiful views as an opportunity for a few photos! Ummm…hello belly!
After the expo we shifted our focus to race day preparations. We got some lunch, got a few needed race day necessities, and then let Wes get off his feet for most of the day until dinner. We watched football, napped, I blogged, and then headed to dinner around 4:30.
The night before is pretty tame. I stood back and let him do what he needed to do. We hung around the hotel and were in bed pretty early, around 8:30 PM.
Race morning Wes got up around 4:00-4:30 AM to start eating breakfast. He likes to eat about 3 hours before the gun goes off. He and his dad left the hotel around 5:30 to head to the start line. My mother-in-law and I stayed back to eat breakfast and watch the start on TV.
I am without a doubt more nervous when my husband races then when I do. I think it’s because I don’t have control over it and I know how hard he works for it. We waited in the hotel to see the start and guess who I got to see on TV!? Yep! I was excited!
After the gun went off we headed down to the finish line to wait out the rest of the time. I wanted to make sure I had a good spot to see him finish. I nervously checked the tracking app which seemed to be off for a majority of the 2nd half for me. He was keeping on pace and running a really smart race from what I could tell, but then the ap went a little crazy near the end.
I was watching the live tracking and could see him rounding the corner to Michigan Avenue which means he had roughly 2.5 miles left. Instead of making myself a nervous wreck any more I turned my phone off and waited for him to arrive. Finally, I saw him!
I couldn’t tell what pace he was running or if he was on track. After we saw him and I snapped a few pictures we began to start the trek to go and meet up with him. As he was rounding the corner to turn up towards the finish I heard them announce someone had come in around 2:23 so I knew he was close to his goal! Then finally my phone update the final finishing time – 2:25:29!
My husband’s goal going into the race was a 2:25. It was a 2 minute 30 second PR for him and at his level (and any level) it is really hard to do! His ultimate goal as many of you know is to qualify for the Olympic Trials which would mean he needs to run a sub-2:19. Every minute he takes off is one step closer to fulfilling that dream in the next 3 years, and I am so excited and proud to be along for this journey!
We spent the rest of the time there celebrating, eating lots of food, and just enjoying the city!
This is by far my favorite picture from race day!
I even got in a nice 4 mile run on Monday morning along the water from with him and my father-in-law. It was absolutely beautiful and I am so glad I dragged myself out of bed.
I know this isn’t a race recap for me, but I’m really excited about his progress and hard work. He has kept his head up even when he didn’t think things were going his way, he has persevered through countless hours, constantly changing schedules, and never given up.
Thanks for letting me share his race and I look forward to sharing more in the future (along with of course many of mine!)
It will probably be a couple of years before we are back to Chicago, but I can’t wait to go back!
What is the best race you’ve ever ran?