Pete Tanguay

Chicago Marathon 2012

by on Oct.09, 2012, under Races

To have finished this is amazing to me because 3 months ago my leg hurt so bad I didn’t think I was even going to be able to finish.  With the help of Chance and his chiropractic and acupuncture magic, plus some change in diet, I got back to where I could run a good full week the week of 8/12-18.  I was patient and trained when I could and got to the starting line feeling great.  Absolutely no hint of the pain in my glutes, hamstring and knee.

The day was perfect, high 30’s to start, very little wind and cloud cover.  I’d had a couple good night sleeps and was ready to run.  Same plan but a little slower pace – plan to run 8:55 – 9 minute pace for the first 20 miles using “electric” energy and then step on the gas.  I had the opportunity to see Danny Dreyer, the author of Chi Running at the expo and listening to him speak really hammered home some of the key techniques that I needed to use in the race.  Let the bone structure of your body support your weight while you run as you lean forward, lift you pelvis to engage your core and lengthen your spine.  Then see the road go out behind you as you lift your legs.  Everything needs to be moving forward.  Gravity is your friend.  This was my focus for the entire race, but especially the first 20 miles.

The first 9 miles literally flew by.  I was amazed at how quickly the mile markers were coming up.  I had run the last 20 miles of the Chicago marathon before, meeting up with someone at mile 6 and pacing her in.  So the first 6 miles were new and they went so fast.  We went through a tunnel in the first mile and my garmin lost satellite and I had it set on auto stop and losing the satellite made it think I had stopped so when I got to mile 1 my garmin said I had gone .78 miles.  I kind of panicked and then realized that there was race time on every mile marker and I knew we had crossed the start at about 5 minutes and so I could calculate it out.  The Garmin lost satellite a few more times in the tall buildings and so it was hard to know my pace but by then I had a comfortable 8:55-9 pace that I could feel.

All was good until the half, crossed it at 1:57 and felt good.  I slowed a bit after this but didn’t think that I was slowing but my garmin must have lost it again.  I was starting to tire but Curt was running with me and ran a bit ahead and so I could focus on him.  It was great to have him there.  I knew Mary would be at mile 16.5 with the fuel I needed to finish the race strong.  And she was there and after I got it I walked a bit while I drank down the Amino Vital, got my gels in my gloves and ate a few bites of a clif bar.  I had taken some pretzels at an aid station and really didn’t need much to eat so I threw the Clif Bar to the side.  3 miles until the gas could come on I worked to get back to my pace but could tell it was a little slow but focused on conserving energy rather than trying to maintain pace.  It was not time to use any gas.

Mile 20 came and I began to work.  I was not feeling fresh by any means and worked to maintain my pace and begin to pick it up when I could.  Running through Chinatown was good and it was at this point that Curt started to lag a bit.  I hated to leave him but he wouldn’t have wanted me to wait.  I was looking for the bounce in my step, starting to use my leg muscles more, pushing off more and telling myself that this was the moment I had trained for.  I was encouraged that I was not hitting the wall like I did in Little Rock and Hogeye this Spring.  I worked hard in mile 23 to get my Garmin under 9 minutes but could not hold it.  I think the loss in pace was mostly due to walking some aid stations to stay relaxed and get good fluids.  After mile 25 I decided I had enough hydration and I was going to run through them.  I would pick off people that were still running and reel them in and pass them.  Best part was passing the guy with the 3:45 bib on his back and “Drop the Hammer” printed above it.  I felt like I was dropping the hammer and he had dropped his.  I was starting to feel good but really looking for the turn at mile 26 when you go up and over the bridge to the finish.  When it was in sight I gave it all I had, breathing really hard up the hill and down to the finish line.

I’m really happy I pushed so hard because a 3:57:58 is so much better than a 3:58:??.  I already had 2 of those and even though it still would have been the fastest 3:58 I had done, it was nice to get a 3:57, my second fastest marathon.  Curt came in a 4:00:38.  I felt bad for him.  He’s run a couple in the 3:40’s and I felt like he suffered because he ran my race.  But he also met his goal which was to enjoy his race and for us to run together.  Lucky me.

Here’s the Garmin’s story, not sure how credible it is.  I do like the finishing time better!!!

Here’s a picture of me at mile 16.5 when I was to meet Curt’s Dad, Chuck, with my Amino Vital drink, gels and Clif Bar.  This was vital to the last 10 miles.  Mary had this but I didn’t see her.  I panicked.  The picture tells the story.  Ha!!!!

And last but not least, my great running friend Curt, who makes running a marathon even better than it already is!!

And for history’s sake, here is an email that came out regarding the race in Chicago.

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