24alife Runners of Chicago Half-Marathon

October 2nd, 2015

Three members of 24alife team: Carla, Maja and Andrej have participated at the Chicago Half-Marathon. We've asked them some questions about the run and made this short interview.

To make the interview even more interesting, each of them answered 2 different questions, and at the end all of them answered the last, same question. So, here are the "first-hand" reasons to run a half-marathon.

1. What was the main reason you participated the Chicago Half-Marathon?

Carla: I agreed to run the Chicago Half-Marathon as a challenge from Andrej, of 24alife and my trainer Kasi, of the Rochester Athletic Club to complete a half as my milestone following the use of the 24alife app for an extended period of time. I've always wondered if I could run 13.1, and these two talked me into it! We chose the Chicago Half for its big-city appeal and the beautiful location of the route.

2. What was the first thought when you woke up the day after the run?

Andrej: Ha-ha! Chicago Half-Marathon was an amazing experience and I want to do it all again. The 6-hour ride back home after the run was really hard but the feeling was unforgettable. If you can do that, you can overcome other strains in life, too.

3. What is the best thing that happened to you during the marathon?

Maja: The best thing was a girl with the 2-hour flag, because my goal was to cross the finish line in under 2 hours. And this girl has motivated me to keep the appropriate tempo all the time. Actually, there was no crisis, not even at the end – which was not what I expected. I convinced myself that such distances can be overcome mostly with your mind, not so much with your legs.

4. Was it harder than you thought before the run?

Maja: Actually I thought it was going to be harder. But anyhow, waking up early, coming there 45 minutes before the start, enough time for hydration and warmup that usually don't happen in smaller towns, helped a lot. My body was awake, temperatures were optimal and the organization was a cherry on top. Drinks were available every 1.5—2 miles, at the sides there were quite a few people standing with funny signs that made me laugh a lot. J

5. What is more difficult – preparations or the half-marathon itself?

Carla: I'm not sure one is more difficult than the other. The preparation and event each held unique difficulties. I spent twelve weeks attempting to carve out adequate time every day to complete my training schedule. Some days were tougher than others to train, especially when traveling or poor weather was a factor. The longer runs were tough, but I knew there was great purpose behind them. Actually running the event came with its own challenges, some physical but mostly mental. Knowing my farthest distance had only been 10 miles, those last 3.1 miles mocked me.

6. What is the best advice you've got for the run?

Andrej: This was my first half-marathon. Before that I ran 5 and 10 kilometers long runs, which you can run with a higher HR level. For 13.1 miles it is different. You have to be aware of your heart rate and run in lower zones as fast as you can. Here I've got a lot of help from 24alife app, because the data was available at all times on my smartphone screen.

7. Would you do it again?

Andrej: Yes!!! Can't wait for the next one!

Maja: I will absolutely go to another half-marathon. It took me awhile to get enough courage to overcome 10 km (6.2 miles) run and try the 13.1 miles long half-marathon. I can say that I have done better than expected and maybe with a lot of preparation and time (which I didn't have this time) in a few years I'll run a whole marathon ... J

Carla: Absolutely, YES!!! I experienced such an amazing feeling of accomplishment at the finish line...I want to feel that again and again. And, maybe someday soon I'll run a full marathon!