Saturday, September 23, 2017

chicago half marathon updates

Hey guys! The weekend is already flying by. Tomorrow is the Chicago Half Marathon and it looks like it's gonna be pretty rough weather-wise. Hot and humid and sunny. Woof.

Lucky for us, Chicago Half is preparing for the day and will have misting stations, along with ordering extra ice and water for us all to keep us safe. Race Guards will be on site (and racing) checking on all of the runners. They are always so awesome, and though I've never had to use them (knock on wood), I appreciate them being out there looking out for us all.

Chicago Half as updated the EAS (event alert system) and we are currently starting with a yellow flag. It's likely to jump to red, but hopefully we'll stay within the yellow/red and never jump to black (which means race cancelled). Keep an eye out at aid stations for the EAS flags so you know what's going on. You'll want to slow your pace a bit as well, so your body can cope with the higher temps and humidity. I've heard it's about 30 seconds slower per mile for every 5 degree temperature increase above 60F. So that can be 1–2 minutes tomorrow depending on what we are starting out/ending with. 

Play it smart. Play it safe. Listen to your body. Drink that water (and electrolytes! Gotta replenish what we are losing through sweat). I personally am brining my own hydration pack so I can drink as much as I want/need. I'll stop at the aid stations for water to dump on my head.

I made it through Disneyland Half in 100 degrees, so I know I can finish, it just won't be my original game plan. With how training has been, I thought I might be able to PR without pushing myself too hard. I do have Chicago Marathon in two weeks, after all. Now I know there'll be no PR, and I'll just run how my body is feeling. It'll be slower, and I might have to walk more than I want, but it's about finishing upright and not exhausting myself too much.

I'm excited to see my Oiselle Volée teammates at Cowbell Corner around mile 8 or 9, and am hoping to meet up with fellow BibRave Pros Frank and Zenaida beforehand. Frank is doing the half as well, and 

Tips for running in this heat:

  • Slow down your pace; about 30 seconds/mile for every 5 degrees above 60F.
  • Don't wear a hat. You lose a lot of body heat off the top of your head and covering it up will prevent this. I recommend a visor (and sunglasses to protect your eyes)
  • Dump water on your head. The evaporation helps cool you down, and it feels really good.
  • Wear light colored and loose fitting clothing. Tech material is a must in my opinion. 
  • Does it look like a runner nearby you is having some issues? Give a helping hand. Ask if they are ok and if they need assistance from a Race Guard. Look out for one another.

This is a great race. I've been running it for the past... five or six years (I really need to look back and keep a record of when I did races haha). Running on Lake Shore Drive is really cool (though not very shaded... you've been warned) and since you are on wide streets, congestion with other runners is minimal. Though I am on the slow side, so maybe there is more crowding in the faster corrals, I wouldn't know haha.

During hot races, my mantra is to live to run another day. I won't go balls out and I'll be listening to my body. If it feels tired and overheated, which can happen quickly for me, or feel nauseous, I'll take it even slower. Hopefully not so slow I get put on the SAG wagon. The nice thing about this race is they keep the finish line open a little longer. You are supposed to keep a 16 minute mile pace, but if you go below it, they can push you over to the Lakefront Path and you can still finish if it's before 11:30. The party afterwards finishes at 12. They have pizza and beer at the finish line, but I know usually after this race I'm pretty hot and tired and can't stomach eating anything.

Good luck + some reminders from Chicago Half Marathon (via their Facebook page):

Be safe out there and I hope you have a great race! Remember to say hi if you see me – I'm nice, so don't be shy ;)

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