It's a big day today if you're training for the Chicago Marathon!
Today Chicago Marathon released corral assignments. The corral assignments are based on where you think you'll finish and establish when you'll be beginning the race on the big day.
I've anxiously been refreshing my screen, and I'm so excited to see my corral assignment. This really makes race day REAL! I feel like I've been so focused on my training runs each day that it's been a while since I've taken a step back and really looked at the overall training process and race day itself.
In this post, I'll share with you an update on my Chicago marathon training and about the marathon corrals that were posted today.
My Marathon Training Progress
I'm happy to report that the training for the Chicago Marathon has been rolling along impressively, even under the sizzling sun of our summer workouts.
You'd think the heat would be slowing me down, but I seem to be just hitting my stride!
There's something incredibly gratifying about seeing progress on the same trails I've been running for years.
Last year, those hill inclines and twists had me panting; this year, I'm breezing through them with newfound ease. It's like meeting an old friend and realizing how far you've come since your last encounter.
That's the beauty of this journey, isn't it?
In the spirit of pushing boundaries, my coach has added more speed work to my training cycle this year. And can I just say, I've been doing a really great job at hitting those paces.
It's one thing to set high targets and another to see yourself achieving them - there's no better adrenaline rush! Last year I had issues with speed work so this has been a confidence booster.
But, of course, it's not all smooth running. I encountered a little hiccup with my fueling strategy during a half marathon I ran in spring.
Those trusty Maurten gels that were my faithful companions during last year's Twin Cities Marathon?
They no longer work for me. Ugh!
Last year at TC, around mile 20, I started to get nausous of the taste of Maurten. I thought that was behind me last year and during training this year I had no problem using the gels, but unforutnatley during a half marathon this year the nausea came back at the thought of the taste of the gels.
I've been experimenting with new gels. eGels by Crank Sports have been my go-to recently. I love the flavors, but they're really thick.
I'm not really able to take one without a lot of hydration, which is fine during training as I run with my Nathan vest but I won't be able to carry that with my at the Chicago Marathon.
Is it worth the risk on race day?
That's the million-dollar question I'm wrestling with. It's a decision that needs some thoughtful consideration over the next few months.
Looking Forward to the Chicago Marathon
I'm starting to get really excited for the marathon and especially now with Corrals being released.
There's just something about getting corral assignments and bib numbers that make the race so real.
I'll admit I've been more focused on the day to day trainings that I haven't really had a chance to step back and look at the bigger picture of race day. But with a corral assignment now I'm starting to think big picture and race day strategy.
My ultimate goal for this race is to break sub 4 hours, something I've never done before. My postpartum PR is 4:46 and my all-time PR. is 4:23, so this is going to be quite a challenge. But my training has been going extremely well and I'm hoping the flat and fast Chicago course will be helpful.
I was placed into Corral H, which puts me in with others that are planning to run 4 hours to 4:10. This is a 9:10- 9:35 mile pace, which is in line with what I'm training for!
I haven't talked with my coach just yet on strategy for race day, but I know that's coming up soon!
Understanding Corral Assignments for the Chicago Marathon
If you're new to running or big races, you might be wondering what corrals are.
Corrals establish when you'll be starting the race. With larger races they're broken into corrals to help stagger start lines and avoid too much congestion.
With Chicago, they take it even further and even have Waves then Corrals within the Waves.
Each wave will have a different start time, then each corral inside of the wave will start at a different staggered time.
This helps keep the course more open than if everyone would go at the same time, plus it helps keep everyone around people going their same pace.
Corral start times haven't been posted yet, but waves are scheduled to start at (in central time):
Wave 1: 7:30 am
Wave 2: 8:00 am
Wave 3: 8:35 am
and within those waves each corral will start at different times, usually 5-10 minutes apart.
How to Find Your Corral
Want to find your corral for the Chicago Marathon?
To find it, log into your race registration and click on registration details.
Your corral assignment will show up!
If there's a problem with your assignment or you have run a faster half marathon or marathon since you submitted your time, you can contact the Chicago Marathon race organizers until early August with proof of faster time.
Here are this year's corral times and how the corrals were assigned:
FAQs about Corral Assignments
I'm getting so excited for the Chicago Marathon and getting my corral assignment is making it even more real! I feel like training's going to really start having meaning as the race reality sets in.
I hope this post has been helpful with Chicago marathon corrals and an update on my training!