A blog by runners. For runners.

Chicago Distance Classic Half Marathon PR

I ran the Chicago Distance Classic yesterday as part 2 of my 3 race season with Team in Training. After my Indy Mini PR of 1:58:20 I had a good head start on my training with 14 weeks between races to see how much faster I could get. The Team in Training Summer program features speedwork, stretching and ab work on Wednesday nights and so I pushed those sessions pretty hard.
Over the last 14 weeks we've done hill repeats, yasso 800s, strides, intervals and pickups around one of Chicago Lakefront's only hills at Montrose harbor. My pace had gradually been increasing while my heart rate was dropping over the same easy runs week to week and I felt really strong.
After studying my runners world training diary and pouring over the Garmin workout logs I decided to start with the 8 minute mile Chicago Endurance Sports pace group for a finish time of 1:45. I started in the first wave as a consequence and left with the first batch of runners. I stuck it out for the first four laps with splits of 7:46, 7:55, 7:46 and 8:02 but realized I was out of my league when I peaked at my Garmin to see a Heart Rate of 175 bpm, a rate typical towards the end of my workouts so I slowed down to 8:13, 8:01, 8:05 and 8:06 for the next four. At that point I hit the gusting wind from the north and was pegged back to 8:17, 8:54, 8:02 and 8:17 for the next four miles. The last mile and change to the finish I had nothing left in the tank and slugged through at 8:54 to finish with an overall chip time of 1:48:38 – another PR!
I'm really excited because it's one day later and I don't feel like I've been hit by a bus and ready for the next 9 weeks of training to take me to the Chicago marathon where, through my time in this race, I have secured a corral start! I'll throw it out there now so I can remember it but the Greg McMillan Running Calculator predicts that based on my half marathon time, my current level of fitness would indicate a 3:49 marathon. That would be 17 minutes faster than my 2006 San Francisco marathon finish and a PR so I hope it works!
Anyone else run it? What did you think of the course, the weather and the organization?