Giveaway for Chicago Half Marathon

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You may have seen one or two bloggers giving away entries to the Chicago Half Marathon on September 9, 2012.  If you haven’t yet won, then here is YOUR shot!  This race is actually filling up faster than ever before so time to either win a freebie or register so you can be on the start line September 9th!

I have fond memories of this race.  First, I love racing in September because the height of both marathon training and TRI season is in the done column.  The September, October and November races fly.  Or more importantly YOU will fly from killing it during summer training and racing.  All the hard work pays off in the fall.  I always run my fastest races of the year at that point and really just love the sport of running and racing so I am thrilled to be able to giveaway an entry to one of my favorite races.

The best part of this Chicago Half is the lengthy amount of time you spend on Lake Shore Drive.  The good, you get to see the elites and fasties barreling back at you on the opposite side of The Drive while you are just settling in and getting started.  The best, the views from The Drive of Lake Michigan and its amazing surroundings. 

Here are a few notes from the race I did in 2008, yes, even back then I was full  of tips and stories…….lots & lots of stories!

The Chicago ½ Marathon (9/14/08)……. Yes, it was raining. Yes, it rained the entire way. Yes, it just kept raining harder. Yes, we were dodging puddles (if you want to call them that) and officials even had to reroute the course due to flooding.

That being said it was a great race. The harder it rained, the further I pulled my hat down to keep my eyes shielded from the pelting rain. I just focused on running rather than the conditions. I don’t mind the rain, actually I prefer it to the heat.  Last year (2007) was so hot that I thought I wouldn’t finish, once I did finish I didn’t feel any better (actually felt really horrible) and wanted to give my running shoes to the first homeless person I saw because I was confident that I wouldn’t be needing them anymore. So bring on the cool rain any day!!

Race tips:
1) Don’t worry that the first several miles of a large race are so slow because of traffic, it will thin out and you will be better prepared to cope with the later miles because of the slow warm up.
2) Figure out some sort of race plan and try to stick to it.
3) Don’t let your friends pull you along at a faster pace than you want to run. I heard a guy trying to talk his friends into speeding up before we even got to Lake Shore Drive (LSD) around mile 4. Well, there are at least 3 miles, if not more, on LSD going north then a turn around to go back south to the finish. LSD is full sun/wind or whatever condition are available for the day.

image If you aren’t familiar with the course then try to keep it relaxed until after the half way mark, then evaluate your situation and speed up if you can. Running a faster 2nd half is always better than running fast out of the gate and dying.
4) Try to enjoy yourself! Race = Reward.

I have wonderful memories of this race, I hope you run this year and make your own!

In order to enter this giveaway for a FREE entry into the Chicago Half Marathon on September 9, 2012 ($85 value), make a comment below (+1).  If you opt to share this giveaway via Twitter (+1), Facebook (+1) or your Blog (+2) let me know when you comment.    Go, Share, Win!

Good luck all!  Giveaway ends and a winner will be chosen via a random number generator on Thursday, July 19th at 9am! 

** Happy Running ** Amanda – TooTallFritz ** amanda@tootallfritz.com

 

Hard Work Hangs In The Balance….

I was looking for something motivational today but I guess that really wasn’t what I was seeking.  I was actually looking for something to express my fears concerns over the upcoming race which I wish were this Sunday instead of next.  As I’ve mentioned before I have been chasing a 1:50 half marathon for quite some time.  I have a knack for selecting races, or allowing races to select me, that bring horrid weather conditions on race day.  I refuse to die in order to chase the 1:50 or a decent marathon time for that fact, so I will do whatever it takes to merely cross the finish line because I’m in it for fun & fitness first and foremost and I fully understand that my finish time is not always going to be a good indication of my fitness even if it is a good indication of the amount of “fun” I had out on the course

This year my race schedule took a few unexpected turns and my half marathon schedule has been cut in half.  Since I only have a few of those races, I really feel as if the pressure is “on”.  It’s now or I wait until September, if not in September, then not until 2013 and another year of age/pounding miles on the body.  So I’m looking to run strong, really strong in Palos but, of course, I’m scared shitless that I’ll come up short again.  My feelings are below.  I’m sure the style of the writing doesn’t fit the rules of a “poem” so I hesitate to call it such but this is certainly a TTF version of a “poem”.  🙂 

Hard work hangs in the balance,                                                                               Depending on factors unknown.                                                                                        Rain, Sleet, Snow or Horrid Heat,                                                                                            Can my pace compete?

Looking toward the same goal,                                                                                           Can really take its toll.                                                                                                              Is this the race;                                                                                                                  Where I can finally hold the pace?

Hard work hangs in the balance,                                                                                Depending on factors unknown.                                                                                            Rain, Sleet, Snow or Horrid Heat,                                                                                   Please let this goal become complete.

I know I can accomplish this goal under decent conditions.  I definitely believe in it. 

I also have the ability and I am confident in the foundation that I have laid.  Now I just have to get though one more week of moderate workouts, then next week will be very low-key so that I am fresh and fast on race day.  I normally don’t taper for a half but I will hit the start line as fresh as possible.  I may even take my iPod for the final 5K push……just wish I had some wireless earbuds!  The wire issue is the biggest reason why I avoid music.  The wires are not worth any added benefit the music might bring since I have lots of tangles and time lost trying to get the earbuds in place midrace.

Note to self:  Race 10 miles, then “hang on” for the final 5K.  Break the race into 2 distinct segments in order to manage it mentally. I know I can nail 10 miles fast. Now just figure out how to race the final 5K. 

Any motivational tips on how to keep pushing toward a race goal?  Do you race with music?  I normally don’t as it distracts me and I can’t focus on the “push” but I expect I may be out of “push” by mile 10 because that’s where I normally top out on speed.  Thoughts? 

Happy Racing,                                                                                                              Amanda – TooTallFritz