I’d been toying with the idea for about 6 months, but last night I finally took the leap and decided to add Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago Half Marathon to my 3-Pack Tour Pass for 2015. It will be the second race added to my 3 races on the tour pass and my 4th Rock ‘n’ Roll race of the year.

And after a while it just kind of seemed like a no-brainer. The only cost will be flight, as the race is already paid for from when I purchased my Tour Pass and my dear friend Rebecca can put me up for the weekend. Also, Texas gets hot in July so what better time to escape north to the Windy City?

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It’s one of the first times – the only other times being between the Richmond Half and the Charleston Half, and in preparation for my first 5K, where I literally have one race scheduled. I did exactly one 5K between Richmond and Charleston, but aside from that, my whole focus was on PRing at Charleston. That resulting PR has now stood for over a year and 10 more half marathons.

Will I set my half marathon PR in Chicago? No. I’ve gained about 30 pounds since Charleston two January’s ago, and consequently am a lot slower than I was at one point. My goal is to run a strong race and get back down to the mid-2:20’s.

And in all honesty, after the ups and downs of the spring, I just want to zero in on one race, one structured preparation plan, rather than kind of winging it and having no accountability to a plan if I decide to skip a workout.

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Recent workouts have included a Pure Barre class in Brentwood, TN, two mornings after the Country Music Half Marathon, a short treadmill run that was pretty craptastic, and last night’s almost-5 mile run that was slow as molasses in the humidity and hills of Tyler, TX as well as the upsetting realization as I was finishing up my run, with the intention of finishing fast, that my car was in fact now trapped inside the gated parking lot of the high school, stopping me dead in my tracks.

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It’s been loosey-goosey, but that’s fine. I was so militant stuck to a training plan for the last year and a half, I don’t mind being a little loosey-goosey. And I don’t need to be militant stuck to my training plan – Hal Higdon’s Intermediate Half Marathon 12-week plan that I’ve cut down to 11 since… since we are 11 weeks out from #RNRCHI. If I want to hike when it calls for a 3 mile run on a Saturday, I’ll do it. If I want to just do strength when it calls for a two-a-day – short run plus strength – it’s because I know my body and I know I don’t want to overrun it like I did in training for Marine Corps Marathon.

I still want to be experimenting with new classes and studios in Dallas but may not continue with Class Pass just because it gets expensive to drive all the way to Dallas to work out, as much as I do need a city fix once in a while. My dream is to get Barre Code, Bar Method, or Pure Barre to open a studio in Tyler, but I certainly don’t have the money for the franchising of it. I’ll probably still go maybe twice a month but not enough to warrant Class Pass every month.

So I plan to really focus in on this race and as I see how training is going, set a goal time. I would love to get down to where 2:1X on a flat course is in the cards again, but I’m carrying more weight around than I was a year and a half ago so I’ve just sort of taken it back to the basics. My runs have been super slow, but I’ve been enjoying them. And isn’t that what #runhappy is all about?

Have you ever set a goal race for the dead of summer? Have you run #RnRCHI before? What’d you think? 

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