Last Saturday I joggled the Allstate Life Insurance half marathon. It was an excellent event and I was impressed with the turnout and the level of organization. My time was not a PR (1:41:36) but it was still faster than my goal (1:44) and was a PR for this joggler at age 44.
Early races are tough for me. This one began at 7:00 am which meant I had to be up and out of my condo by 5:00 am. The race was all the way on the South Side of Chicago and with traffic, it’s not always easy to get there. I picked up my friend John Kelly and we took the shuttle to the race. Fortunately, race organizers had arranged shuttle buses that made things easier.
Since I had just joggled a 10 miler two weeks ago and a marathon two weeks before that, I didn’t do much training for this race. In fact, the furthest I had run was a 5 miler about 5 days before the race. I figured it didn’t matter much because I wasn’t really going for a PR. Races are so much less stressful when you aren’t looking to set a personal record.
I started out in the B corral and figured I would just run at the same pace as the people around me. John Kelly started with me and I thought he was just off my left shoulder for the entire race. However, he later told me that I was well ahead of him after about half a mile. In the 10 miler race he finished faster than me. He was a little less prepared for this race. And spending a day at the Cubs game the day before the race didn’t help him either.
I felt great for the first few miles. Since I started a little time after the first corral I wasn’t sure how much time off my watch was with the race clock. One of the challenges of joggling is you rarely get a chance to look at your watch. At the 3 mile mark, the clock said 23:05. I guessed my pace must have been somewhere around 7:45 / mile. I could live with that.
The miles slowly went by while I listened to a lecture about Saul Bellow’s novel Herzog and another lecture on the importance of Darwin in modern society. Both very interesting and they kept me distracted from the pain.
At the turn-around point (around mile 7) I looked but didn’t see John Kelly. The race was less kind to him than the 10 miler. While running always hurts sometimes it REALLY hurts and for JK, this was one of those times.
At the 10 mile mark, I guessed my time was right around 1:16 which is exactly what I joggled the Soldier Field 10 miler in. I was pleased with this time and it inspired me to keep going.
I began to tire before mile 11, then felt really bad at mile 12. But I knew I could get one more mile in even if my legs didn’t turn over so fast so I kept going. In the final stretch I was passed by a couple of runners. This annoyed me and inspired me to muster the best sprint that I had. With 100 meters to the finish line, I streaked passed those runners and even caught a couple more. I threw a bean bag over the finish line and caught it on the other side.
A flawless finish, a drop-free race, and my half marathon goal complete for the year. 1:41:32. Not bad. Not bad at all.
The weather was a bit warm for the run but I like the sun. It also makes sitting around after at the finish line much more tolerable. The pizza and beer helped too. We had special passes so got to spend much of the finish in the VIP tent. We even got to see the winners (who finished nearly an hour ahead of me).
After having a few beers, some pizza, and listening to music, we returned home to enjoy the rest of our Saturday. I felt good and I’m looking forward to doing another half marathon later in the summer. The half marathon is a great race.
Here’s a press release about what happened at the race.
Official race press release
CHICAGO, June 8, 2013 – More than 4,000 runners ran today’s Allstate Life InsuranceSM Chicago 13.1 Marathon® and USRS 5K on a gorgeous and sunny morning at the South Shore Cultural Center. Benard Langat, 30, Valparaiso, IN, completed the half-marathon in 1:05:56. Meagan Nedlo, 30, Salem, MA, completed the half-marathon in 1:22:46.
“This is my first race after being injured and I am getting better and better,” said Benard Langat, the men’s winner of the Allstate Life InsuranceSM Chicago 13.1 Marathon®. “For all the people in Chicago, I love you and am happy this race helps other people.” Langat originates from Kenya and currently resides in Valparaiso, IN.
“I was in town for work so decided to stay and run,” said Salem, MA native Meagan Nedlo, the first place women’s winner of the Allstate Life InsuranceSM Chicago 13.1 Marathon®. “This is my 3rd race in a row in Chicago, and this year was by far the best weather.”
Brett Miller was the men’s USRS 5K winner, clocking in at 19:24. Hayley McMahon was the women’s USRS 5K winner, clocking in at 19:05.
More than 500 runners ran as part of Team Challenge, the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America’s endurance training and fundraising program, raising $1.7 million. For more information on how you can join the Team and help find cures for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, please visit http://www.ccteamchallenge.org/