I had a friend who was running the 10K for this race. We also ran the Race to Wrigley together last week. After that race we headed over to Universal Sole to pick up our packets for the Chicago Spring Half. It was a slight hike from Wrigley Field over to Lincoln Ave. I was still riding a high from my 5K PR though. In the days after the 5K it took me a couple days to find my legs again, they took a pounding never having run that fast before. The week was spent mostly running slow junk miles hoping to get the legs churning properly again.
Race day came and was much earlier than I liked. I'm certainly not used to getting up at 5AM, but that may be the new norm for awhile as my schedule at work has changed. I got ready and headed to the bus stop. The first thing I noticed was the humidity. Jennifer's new friend Courtney showed up just before the bus came. I mentioned the humidity and she looked at me like I was strange. She also just moved here in January from Florida so I guess you could say she's used to worse. A few stops later Jennifer got on the bus and joined us. We took the bus downtown then walked to Lakeshore East Park.
I must admit I've never been to Lakeshore East Park before but it was gorgeous there. I apologize for the lack of pictures, but it looks like Zach from Zach Runs Chicago took some. My only thought was that it was a little crowded, and there was a long line for the bathrooms. Normally I go to the bathroom before the race as a nervous habit. The lines were far too long, so I met Jennifer and Courtney over at gear check then headed to the start line. The start line was a little was away from the staging area but that was ok. The corrals seemed a bit crowded, but I made my way up to the 8 min pace corral and tried to get near the 1:50 pace group. My plan was to try and hang with them and hopefully pass them later on.
I hit the halfway point at almost the exact time I wanted, 55:03. My legs finally loosened up a little and I picked up the pace a bit as you can see from the splits. Eventually the sun finally caught up to me and I faded a bit over the last 2 miles. The temptation was there to walk, and I did for about 15 seconds to get some gatorade into my system. I wasn't giving up though, I still had some fight in me and I kept going. I crossed the finish line in about 1:49:13. I was really hoping to break 1:49 so I could move up a corral for the marathon, but today wasn't the day. That said I still managed to lower my PR by 3:45 and even ran a negative split by almost a minute. I have now set a PR in every race this year, and I will get an automatic one next week as its my first 10 miler. Its nice to know that the training and effort I've put in is paying off.
After the race there was a hot breakfast, but I was far too hot from running to eat anything. It didn't help that my shoes were making my right foot(arch) very sore and my ankle was starting to swell and stiffen. I haven't run a half in my Brooks Cadence since Monster Dash and I don't think I was used to them for that distance. They were great for the 5K though. After a shower, food, icing, and a nap I'm finally able to walk again.