Chicago Marathon Training Week 9 & Emerald City Half Recap

First things first, back to school!
7th and 5th grade. Craziness.

A bit of a drop back week again due to this weekend’s half marathon.

Monday/Wednesday/Friday: 5 easy paced TM miles each day.

Saturday: 5 easy paced TM miles plus 5×20 second strides outside for another mile.

Sunday’s race!
The Emerald City Half is one of our favorites, and I was looking forward to adding one of these lovely medals to my collection! This was my fourth time running. You can pretty much count on it being toasty hot and humid, but that’s offset a bit with a nice flat (ok, so disclaimer here: we may have ONE reader who will disagree with the level of flatness, but don’t listen to her, she just moved here from California) and comfortably uncrowded course. Parts of it run through Glacier Ridge MetroPark which are nice and shaded. There are plenty of aid stations–even more than usual, I’m assuming due to the heat–and the volunteers are always fantastic.

Feeding the giraffes at the Columbus Zoo on Saturday. Thanks Aunt Natalie for a fun day!

This year I used this race as a GMP training run, and also to work on consistent fueling. Somehow this still alludes me. Anyway, specific paces were to be miles 1-2 as a warmup and then the rest at 8:23-8:30. I will honestly say that this was the most chill I have been pre-race. But even knowing I was not racing it, I still stress myself out to some degree. So dumb. That’s something I don’t ever think I will entirely eliminate.

So it went something like this: 8:20 average pace, including the warmup, so nicely under pace. Felt good and finished really strong! It was still relatively warm out, but considering it was the end of August in Ohio, we completely lucked out. Very, very happy with how things went. So now if I can just keep that going for 13.1 more, I should be good, right? 13.24 miles in 1:50:23.

This is my friend Elizabeth, and I am so, so proud of her for rocking her first half marathon! She finished with a smile on her face. Who does this?? Ha!

And more congrats go to this one here who ran a solid race as a training run for Chicago also, as well as her unpictured husband. He only ran a 1:23:59 PR. Yep. That’s a 6:24 pace.

Sweet medal every year.

I finished 81/770 females and 19/209 in my age group. Not too bad for a training run! Both of us plan to be back next year–Kelly was so missed!

34.24 miles total for the week.


  1. I feel quite famous!!!! I look forward to running this one again next year with BOTH chicks! Great training run for you!

  2. WOW! Congrats on a great race, Susan! I’ve done races as training runs in the past and, while I tell myself “it’s NOT a race,” I think that whole race-day environment/excitement definitely gets me going and I still feel a little anxious, too. I’m glad to hear that the weather cooperated and that you had a great run; what a wonderful day!!

  3. Great race! The weather was so nice this year (relatively) that I started to doubt signing up for the quarter. I’m with the ex-CA reader: there’s one loooong hill in the half from 3 to 7.5. But I’m a baby and rarely train on hills. 😉 Anyway, congrats again on maintaining a great pace!

    • Thanks so much, Elizabeth! We really did get lucky with the weather this year, it could’ve been so much worse. And I agree–I had kind of “forgotten” about that long hill:) Hope you had a great race as well!

  4. It sounds like a fun race! And great job to everyone! Wow! Races as training runs are a nice way to break up what can sometimes be monotonous training cycles! Love it!

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