Chicago Marathon Day

I woke up excited to run!! I’ve never tapered properly until this race and I really missed running…a lot.

Temps were perfect for race day!

I bring my banana bread with me for destination races. It’s tried and true, and I enjoyed it in bed with a cappuccino.


Here’s the rest of my race prep. THANK YOU Fleet Feet for the throw away gloves!


Use code: JENCHOOSESJOY (all caps) at to save 10% off your order!

Don’t forget the all important Body Glide!

We bought passes for the hospitality tent. A little pricey but so worth it. We stayed a block away from the tent.

It was a nice warm place to sit down and drink some water before the race. I didn’t get to enjoy their yummy breakfast spread.

But it gave my husband a nice spot to hang out with TVs to watch the race.

The crowds were crazy walking to my corral but I found my 3:50 pacers and we started at 7:36.
It felt like we were running in slow motion. In hindsight I was probably a little too conservative, but I desperately wanted to have a negative split and finish strong.
As promised, the course was flat and the spectators were incredible.
I started my garmin and changed the screen to the clock view. It’s the first time I’ve run by feel. I trusted the pacers for the first half and picked up my pace around the mile 13. I didn’t look at my watch until mile 25.

8:40, 8:26, 8:57, 8:28, 8:37, 8:35, 8:30, 8:58, 8:51, 8:50, 8:20, 8:31, 8:11, 8:30, 8:27, 8:25, 8:20, 8:23, 8:11, 8:21, 8:20, 8:08, 8:03, 8:08, 7:52, 7:42

Gu 15 mins before race, 1 hr, 2hr, 20 mile marker.
This was the most fun I’ve ever had running a road marathon!  Can you tell? 🙂



1st Half: 8:45

2nd Half: 8:15


After meeting up at the hospitality tent after the race, I came back to the room, took an ice bath and shower and I ate pretzels in bed. Guess I needed salt.

After some rest we had celebratory bubbles!

And dinner at Osteria Via Stato


Gnocchi and butternut squash ravioli

And brought a slice of fudgy chocolate cake back at the room!


Did you race this weekend? I’d love to hear about it!!
Have you run the Chicago Marathon?
How do you celebrate after a race?


33 thoughts on “Chicago Marathon Day

  1. Awesome race!!!!!! Also, loveee your blog and you’re truly an inspiration during my running journey. I’m seriously thinking of signing up for a marathon, currently running 8-13 a day w speed/tempo few days a week and long run on weekend but looking for a more structured training plan. Was wondering if you could share yours. Also, trying to figure out how to fuel for long runs pre and during. This last weekend I did 18 w oatmeal and almond butter before and was ok but didn’t do anything during and thinking might have run faster if I did. Thanks in advance for your time!

    Best Wishes, Colby


    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much! Here’s a post from a few months ago that shows my weekly workouts. It definitely sounds like you’re ready for a marathon! I work with Mark Hadley at Maximum Performance Running for my training plans. You give him your goals, schedule, paces, etc…and he creates a training plan. I’m happy to share any of mine if you have questions. For fuel during a run, I carry a handheld with an electrolyte drink for runs over 10 miles. I like Cocogo and Nuun. I make sure to eat a Gu at the 1 hour mark and then every 45 minutes after that. Sorry if I’m rambling. Let me know how I can help:)


  2. Congrats on the race! I think i was running next to you, with the Corral C 3:50 pacers! I thought I recognized you but was not sure. You did great!


  3. First of all – CONGRATULATIONS! What an awesome race and so awesome to have such a strong second half of the race!

    Is your champagne photo from the Trump Tower hotel? We had drinks there when we were in Chicago and loved the view over the river!


  4. Jen, you did AWESOME! I’m so glad you had fun and enjoyed yourself; you stuck to your plan and it worked beautifully! I can just imagine you having fun with that fudgy cake, miss…you are too cute! Congratulations on a great run and I can’t wait to see what’s next for you; have already looked to see how long it would take for us to drive to Chicago next year. 😉 Thanks for all of your encouragement!


  5. Congratulations on a PR! As others have commented it is a great inspiration to see how well-laid plans and dedicated pursuit really pay-off. Thanks for sharing!
    I am interested to hear how recovery goes. Given all your hard training and great fitness (negative split and all 🙂 I am guessing recovery will go smoothly- keep us posted…


  6. Wow. Your time is very impressive. I am not sure how old you are, but I assume that was just a few minutes from a BQ! So awesome! You never said what your goal time was (maybe that is not how you roll:) but you did mention that this is the first time you have “properly” tapered and carbo-loaded. I am wondering – was it worth it? How significant was this PR? I mean, was it a minute off your previous PR or like 10 minutes?! Lol. Did you train differently? I rarely taper properly – I go insane from the inactivity. My fastest marathon was achieved by NOT tapering. My fastest half-marathon happened just two weeks after a previous half-marathon PR. I am not really convinced that tapering works for everyone.

    However, to answer your question about “how long to wait to run after a race” I would say that I am (ironically) a big fan of reserve tapering. I follow the planned taper in reverse after the race for 1 week. And then go back to normal training.


    • Thank you!!! I didn’t really have a set goal. I had never run a sub 4, but it’s been years since I last ran a road marathon. I usually hop on the trails for longer races. In all honesty, I hated the taper/carb loading week. However, I felt awesome during the race. Around mile 23ish, I could tell that my legs were heavy, but overall I still felt great. I never hit “the wall” and I think it’s because I followed the taper rules. I won’t do it for every race, but I definitely will taper for goal races in the future. It sounds like you still run great without a taper!


  7. Congrats on your race! Sounds like you ran smart to finish strong 🙂

    I love racing in Chicago because of all the fun places to eat after the race. Hope you enjoyed your stay!


  8. Pingback: 3,821 Miles | Jen Chooses Joy

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