Chicago Marathon 2012 Training

Summer/Fall 2012

Peak Races:

  1. Charm City 20 Mile - 1:53 (PR)
  2. Executive Stampede 5k - 15:29 (PR)
  3. Chicago Marathon - 2:25:40 (PR)

Summary

I started working as a transportation engineer at a civil engineering consulting firm in the summer of 2012. My dad and I decided to fly out to Chicago for some fast marathoning. For the first time in a few years, he did several weeks of marathon specific training in an attempt to break 3 hours and become a member of a small club of runners who have run under 3 hour marathons in 5 consecutive decades. He came up just short but we did make it into the Guinness Book of World Records for a bit! 

LINK

My training had gone very well and I was on board to chase a sub 2:30 marathon in Chicago. Early on in the race, I noticed a guy just in front of me (Michael Spain) with a pacer designation on him - a rarity for the sub 3 hour marathoners out there. He said he was pacing a female (Renee Mativier Baillie) to 2:26 which would be a bit of a gamble for me to attempt but you don't stumble into these situations everyday! The weather was great and I was in great shape. It was a good day to give up the good and go for the great. The gamble paid off and I finished in a slightly negative split 2:25:40 which was an unthinkable time for myself just a couple of years prior. 

Renee ended up running the 5th fastest debut marathon for an American in 2:26!

Shamrock Half Marathon 2012 Training

Winter/Spring 2011/2012

Peak Races

  1. Cornell Indoor Track 5000m - 15:32 (PR)
  2. Tim Kennard River Run 10 Mile - 53:26 (PR)
  3. Shamrock Half Marathon - 1:09:37 (PR)

Summary

I was a graduate student at Cornell and had just finished the Wineglass Marathon with a 17-minute PR of 2:33:58. My fastest 5k was still around 16:30 (~5:18/mile) but breaking 70 minutes in a half marathon aligned with my recent marathon performance so that was the goal all season. I skimped out on long runs a bit and did more speedwork than I had done since high school. At mile 12 of Shamrock, I had the time goal in the bag so focused on racing the runners around me. I thought I'd smoke them in the last half mile but two masters runners out-kicked me in the last quarter mile... a humbling experience for my 22-year old self! 

I ended up doing the Pittsburgh Marathon 6 weeks after Shamrock and didn't have a good day with a positive split 2:36. Writing this in 2016, I still think that was the closest I've been to dropping out of a long distance race.