I think the Allstate 13.1 was the very first race I registered for when I moved to Chicago last October. I registered for that one and the Chicago Half to take on the Windy City Challenge. Well between marathon training injury and recovery, triathlon training and a flurry of other races I sort of forgot about this race! In fact the next day after this race I had the Esprit De She Triathlon. Since the triathlon was my goal race I gave very little thought to the Allstate 13.1!
When I got the pre-race email with packet pickup and shuttle information I realized I had a half marathon to run and I thought why not?
Packet pickup was simple and speedy at Fleet Feet Sports in Old Town. They explained there that the race was far South with little parking so we'd have to take a shuttle to the start. I signed up to take the shuttle at Millennium Park.
Ugh but the shuttle was taking off at 5:30 a.m. so it meant ANOTHER early Saturday morning! I set my alarm for 4 a.m. And easily got to the shuttle on time but since the race wasn't due to start til 7 a.m. it just threw off my fueling/bathroom schedule. Basically we got there shortly after six, went to the porta potty line, went to gear check, back in the porta potty line and then on to the corrals.
Lucky for me my corral had the 2:20 pacer. I figured I'd stick with her for a few miles and then just take it easy. I was expecting a finish around 2:25 but of course I forgot my Garmin (again).
I only stayed with the 2:20 pacer for the first mile after that I just felt like I had to run faster. I figured I'd be seeing her again soon though!
The course starts at the South Shore Cultural Center. I'd never actually been this far south in Chicago so I was excited about that! We ran out from our corrals (that moved super quick btw) and next thing I knew we were in Jackson Park! These first few mile were quite lovely and definitely my favorite.
We hit the familiar Lakefront Path right before mile 4. It was at this point that I passed Jamie and she had told me to slow down! But I'd just taken my first GU of the race and I was feeling GREAT! Gotta love the GU mile!! Lately in races I've been taking GU ever 3rd mile and that's the same that I did in this one.
Now mile 6-8 was quite confusing as I wasn't sure if I hit mile 6 before or after the turnaround. I think mile 7 was turned the wrong way? Or maybe I was just always turning around trying to get a glimpse of the time because I was Garminless! Looking at the course map it appears we hit mile 7 AFTER the turn around. So according to the results my split time was 1:10:22 that's a 10:45 pace if it was at the true half way point.
The remainder of the course up until mile 12 was exactly what you would expect from a Lakefront race. You basically hit the same exact water stations that you hit coming in. The sun was out I think the breeze was minimal. Thankfully that day was cooler than most. I saw a bunch of friends after the turn around and I also saw that the 2:20 pacer was not that far behind me! I figured she would overtake me by mile 8!
By mile 12 and the homestretch I still hadn't seen the pacer past me so I was starting to think I could actually PR! But this is where the race got really annoying! You could tell her you were almost there because of the South Shore Cultural Center and we were back at where we started but NO the race actually ended BEHIND the building. So we ran at least a half a mile in a finishing chute and had no idea when/where it ended! At this point I was just pushing along because I thought it was going to run at any moment!
At the finish line I saw my friend Heather and she said that I came in after the 2:10 pacer but before the 2:20 pacer. I figured that meant a PR for sure! And guess what it was!!!!! 2:15:51 finish time! 10:23 pace over all. 2nd half (assuming split time was in the middle) was a 10:00 pace! Not only did I negative split but I really really negative split! I really really wish I had my Garmin. I need to figure out how I managed that!!!
Post race party had pizza and beer. I grabbed a slice, gulped my beer and then it was back onto the shuttle. After all I still had my first triathlon the next day and had to rush to Naperville to get my packet!!
Would I do this race again? Maybe if the price was nice and I didn't have any other conflicts. But this race landed on the same day as the Ragnar Relay and I think if I get the chance I'd rather do that one next year.