Chi Town Half Marathon: Pacers and Port-a-Potties

New half marathon PR!! woohoo! Sadly the only picture I have for you is the one below for now. Haven't gotten pics from my father-in-law yet. Isn't the shirt and medal pretty though? 
My official time ended up being 1:54:47 (8:45 average)! A PR by almost 4 minutes! Yay! The weather was beautiful. The course was beautiful (up Chicago's north shore). The only thing missing was my sherpa-photographer husband running next to me, cheering me on and infuriating me by not being out of breath at all. Sad smile.

My goal was actually to stay with the 1:55 pace group. I started off with them and kept on checking my watch.. they were going too slow. I almost said something but I didn't want to sound like a jerk "um.. you aren't going fast enough." So I just decided to go at my own speed and if they caught up to me, then I would run with them. I only ran the first mile about 7 seconds faster than the pace group should have and I couldn't even see them when I turned around.

Before the race, I made friends with a lady in line for the port-a-potties. Turns out that she was planning on running with the same pace group! It was her first half marathon so we decided to try to run together. She found me after the craziness of the start, a little after mile 1. Since it was her first one, I think she wanted me to help push her, but she actually ended up pushing me. Since I didn't have that pace group, I'm not sure I would have been able to keep that pace up.
I started kind of feelin' the wall around mile 10 (as you can see my splits slow down). My friend kept going (as she should have, I'm glad I didn't slow her down) but I still tried to keep as close to her as possible. In that last quarter mile or so, I could tell that if I wanted to break 1:55, I was going to have to push it. That's why you can see that the last .16 were a little faster! I think that my watch auto-paused at a water station.. which is why the time doesn't line up exactly with the chip time. I met up with my port-a-potty friend afterwards and we congratulated each other and we are now facebook friends. Oh, I love how awesome the running community is sometimes.

And holy cow, I'm am still pretty sore and tight. Hopefully yoga tomorrow morning will help.

My lil brother did amazing too. It was his first half marathon and he ran a 1:45! I'm so proud of him. My other little brother had a rugby game, so my parents went to that. And my in-laws and brother-in-law and sister-in-law all came to support us. I'm really lucky to have married into such an awesome family. James texted me not long after the race asking how I did. And yep, he's pretty proud of me. :)

Also, according to my brother and sister-in-law, the pace group was a good couple minutes behind me. Moral of the story: don't trust the pacers. Oh, and make friends with people you meet in line at the port-a-potties. They might just help you PR.

<3 Amy


  1. Great job, Amy! Glad you and your bro had a good time and that you met a new friend! :)

  2. Congrats on a great race! It's so cool that you buddied up with a stranger. Runners are the best for things like that! I'm glad you wrote about your experience running a race with a pace group. I'm planning on running with a pace group for my upcoming full, but I probably would have assumed they had the pace situation on lockdown. Now I'll know to be a little more aware of it.*

    1. Thanks Amy! I did have a good experience with a bigger race.. a different Chicago Half Marathon. I went with the 2 hour pace group and their first mile was a little slow because of the crowds (9:30 versus 9:09) but they made up for it and were right on at the finish. I'm not sure what happened with this one. I think as long as you double-check them, you should be fine. Good luck! :)

  3. Congratulations on your race! I found your blog last year while my husband was going through Ranger School, recently stumbled on it again today. Also- I am a massive Doctor Who fan, so I love the below posts.

    1. thank you! and glad to hear you found my blog while he was in ranger school. :) I just looked at your wedding pics and they were adorable btw.


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