Mile 1: 10:46 min/mile
Mile 2: 10:27
Mile 3: 10:24
Mile 4: 10:32
Mile 5: 10:13
As suggested by others that have run the Chicago Marathon I manually lapped my Garmin watch at each mile marker. Wow, those first few miles were fun! My plan was to stop at every water stop and alternate water and Gatorade. I also planned to walk the water stops because I cannot run and drink at the same time. The water stops were about 1.5-2 miles apart. It seemed that I was constantly reaching a water stop or a mile marker. I planned to fuel with GU gels about every 45 minutes to 60 minutes and drink water with it at the water stops.
For those that are wondering if it felt crowded… yes, it was crowded. I was constantly being elbowed by people. I had to do a lot of weaving to stay at a constant pace. People would start walking wherever they were on the course. We crossed some metal bridges where they had taped down some carpeting. While running over one of the bridges a woman behind me tripped and shoved me hard in the back. I think that I was lucky that she didn’t push me over.
Mile 6: 10:22
Mile 7: 10:02
Mile 8: 10:16
Mile 9: 10:30
Mile 10: 10:50
During my training I had some issues with pain in my right heel. It usually bothered me at the end of my long runs and icing and rolling a ball under it made it virtually go away in a couple days. Near the end of my marathon training the pain was more frequent. This was the only really worrisome thing for me about running the marathon. I wasn’t sure if this would become a major issue during the marathon.
The heel pain started at about Mile 8. Looking back at my mile times I can see where it started becoming an issue. Basically the only thing I could do was try to ignore it and carry on. The miles were still clicking by pretty quickly. I remember reading “the real race starts after the half” and I tried to remember that and conserve energy.
I should make a comment about the Chicago spectators. They are crazy! In a good way. It was a loud race to run and there were very few areas of the course that weren’t lined with spectators. I felt that I drew a lot of energy from the spectators, even if they weren’t cheering for me. My husband waited for me at 2 spots on the course and surprisingly I saw him at both spots! Admittedly, we could have done a lot better planning for the spectating part of the race.
Mile 11: 10:51
Mile 12: 10:36
Mile 13: 10:54
They were handing out some gels on the course and I decided to pick one up. It was not GU but my stomach to that point had never been sensitive (running wise) so I wasn’t worried about it.
Also something that I was not expecting – all the garbage on the course! There were very few garbage cans on the course. Someone later told me that he suspected it was due to safety issues (people hiding bombs in the garbage cans) and I suppose that makes sense. The water stops were littered with empty cups, gel packs, and banana peels at the stops that provided bananas. I tried to at least throw my garbage to the side of the course. I find it very hard to litter, at every other race I always throw my garbage into a garbage can. So I actually found it hard to just toss my garbage on the street!
But the important thing – I had reached the halfway point!