Race Recap: Chicago Rock ‘n’ Roll 1/2 Marathon

Race Recap: Chicago Rock ‘n’ Roll 1/2 Marathon

Yesterday I ran the Chicago Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon as a training run, and it was by far, the most fun training run I’ve had. The day started early when I woke up at 4:00a.m. at my Sister’s apartment. I didn’t feel very well on Friday and thought I was coming down with a cold. I was very pleased to wake up feeling good and ready to run.

My Sister’s place is about 20 minutes from downtown Chicago so I hit the road at 4:30a.m. and parked at a surface lot on Wabash. I sat in my car for awhile, ate a Chocolate Chip Clif bar, and tweeted until it was time to go. On my way to the start line I ran into Dave Zimmer who always has encouraging words and then met my friend Jenny to start warming up.

The weather was perfect. Temps in the mid 60’s with lots of cloud cover. Since I was running the race as a training run my coach told me to hold back and stick to my long run pace for the first 8 miles and tempo the last 5. I saw my Mom and Step-Dad cheering for me around mile 7 and as soon as I passed mile 8 I was ready to pick up the pace. I kept the last 5 miles around 7:30 pace and it felt easy. Watching so many runners pass me during the first 8 miles was tough, but starting off slow and passing people at the end was a great feeling.

When I crossed the finish line I felt like I could run another 10 miles. I usually feel awful when I finish a race so this was a big accomplishment for me. Starting off slow really pays off. It has taken me a LONG time to learn this.

Overall, it was a really great day. I loved running the course through downtown Chicago, it was well organized, and I loved the crowd support. It was great to see my coach, Chanthana, and meet some new friends at the post-race meetup. Thanks for everyone who came out after the race. I hope we will have another meetup after the Chicago Marathon. =)

Overall Place: 1164/15259
Females: 268/9480
Age Group: 75/2488

5k: 25:22
10k: 50:53
10 Mile: 1:20:39
Chip Time: 1:43:41


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  1. Awesome time!!! I reallllly want to try a rock ‘n’ roll 1/2 or full marathon some day!!!

  2. Wow great job Sara. That is so funny-I ran a half around 1:43 as a training run and felt like I could run another few miles. It’s sad we don’t live closer-we would be such good running partners! You look so cute in the photo-it looks like you didn’t even run at all! πŸ™‚

  3. I love your honesty! I know that it is very tough to watch runners pass you as you are taking it easy, but it helps in practicing patience. Look at how strong you felt the last 5 miles as you blazed the course! It’s way better to pass runners at the end than in the beginning πŸ™‚ You rock, Sara. I’m so happy to have you on our team. Go Granato Racing πŸ™‚ And of course, it was wonderful to see you on the course and after the race. Best of all, you got to meet Kevin in person – but too bad we forgot to take pics LOL

    • Thanks Chanthana! I’m so thankful you introduced me to our coach. I would have never been able to start off slow & finish strong if it weren’t for him and it was the BEST feeling. Go Granato Racing! We’ll need to take lots of pics before & after CM11. Hope we have shirts by then. πŸ™‚

  4. That was fantastic Sara!! I’m just sitting here in awe at your pace of a 7:30…I can only dream of such a pace right now, lol!! This looked like it was super exciting and you looked great after the race–calm, happy, refreshed, and beautiful. Great job! πŸ™‚

  5. Nice job!!! I’ve never been to Chicago, but I’ve pictured it’s pretty to run around.

  6. Sara! You were amazing! Way to go! I wish I could run a 7:30 pace and have it feel easy. You are one lucky chick!

    You look fantastic and happy. It makes my heart smile. πŸ™‚

  7. Congratulations! I loved reading this recap – I am so happy you had an awesome race!

    I thought about everyone running Chicago this weekend too!

    I think I could learn a lesson or two from you about starting out slow – thank you for sharing your experience!

  8. Great job on finishing your race!! You did an awesome job!

    I hope to run a half marathon one day in my life!

  9. Loved the recap! I can imagine how hard it is to hold back in the early miles seeing everyone passing you. But to execute your race plan must feel great! I plan to do something similar in a half next month, I know it will be hard to not take off and try to run fast.

    Congrats on a well executed race πŸ™‚

    I walked around the fountain for a while waiting for my BF to finish and couldn’t find the meetup πŸ™

  10. Definitely!

    I’m doing the Chicago half on 9/11. Went a bit overboard with Registering for races when I moved here in February. I figured it would be a good way to see the city.

  11. You remind me of my cousin, this being your training run. I had lunch with her (she’s training for the KC marathon in october) and she said she had a 19 mile run that morning… My ultimate goal is a half-marathon! Oh well, a goal is a goal! I’ve got a 10K in September and then i just registered for a 10 mile run (Chicago’s Perfect 10) in November! Have to start somewhere! Good luck with the marathon!

  12. Great job!! It really was a great race – very organized, fun course, perfect weather. It’s been fun checking out everyone’s race reports.

  13. Way to go Sara! Glad you felt better for race day.

    Starting off slower has always been a challenge for me, but over the past few months I have been practicing it on some of my runs and races and it definitely pays off. Crossing the finish line feels so much better. Sounds like it worked out well for you! πŸ™‚
    Congrats on great time too!

  14. Congratulations on a great run – I wish I could run even a mile at that pace!

    My rock and roll 1/2 marathon was a disaster – horrible weather!

    Great job again!

  15. Congrats on the great time!

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