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Thursday, October 1, 2009

Thoughts on Chicago

Um, 'kay. So let me start by saying . . . you know what REALLY effing hurts? Doing 4 sets of 12 squats with added weight (only 55 pounds, but STILL) for the first time in almost 10 years--amongst various other intense leg exercises--and then attempting to run several hours later. Or well, maybe it didn't hurt so much as feel really, really bizarre. Basically, it felt like I was running with the deadest legs of all time. Somehow, they were even more dead than after either of my two marathons. Yep, it was THAT bad. Amazingly, I made it through the 4 miles I had set out to run without too much trouble. But let me tell you, I was feeling it today. Good golly, am I sore!


And this incident? Well, it has caused me to realize something. During this taper, I have been breaking all the rules. Ever hear about how you are supposed to ease up on the weights/cross training during taper? Yeah, well I am pushing the weights/cross training harder than I ever have in my life. I just don't have a choice in the matter. You get out of NPTI what you put in . . . and I fully intend on getting my money's worth ;) I am thrilled to be running Chicago; don't get me wrong. It's just that my priorities are in other places right now. I'm simply unwilling to dog it at school just to ensure a proper taper for my marathons. My time here is way too valuable for that.

Thus, after a lot of thought and consideration, I've decided to take the pressure to PR at Chicago off of myself. I'd love to do it, and I'm not exactly admitting defeat here. I'm just trying to be realistic so that I don't ruin a wonderful marathon (that I'll be running with a wonderful man) should I happen to fall short of my original goal. There are just too many crazy factors at play right now for me to honestly say that I expect to run a great marathon. Lookie here:

-There's the fact that my training became royally screwed up as a result of my crazy, last-minute racing schedule this summer (I peaked at 20 miles like 6 weeks ago, and I don't think I have run more than 15 miles since then--oopsies) .
-There's the lack of a true taper thing
-There's the fact that I haven't been doing all that much speed training this cycle
-There's also the fact that I have to recover from this race quickly enough to hop back into training for the Goofy Challenge

Wilson and I had talked a ways back about just using Chicago as a training run for Disney. At first I was pretty game for that. Then, I started PR'ing at some other race distances, and really got into pushing for the PR at Chicago. But I've come back around. Whatever happens happens. I simply want to go out and have a blast running around my good ol' hometown, and spend some good quality time on the road with Wilson :) And I might even get to have a little race-day reunion with a friend from WAY BACK whom I just got back into touch with after 10 years, thanks to the wonder known as facebook. This friend is running her first marathon at Chicago, and let's just say that life got a little bit in the way of her training. So there's a chance it could be a long, slow marathon for us should she decide she wants some company (I volunteered Wilson and I to be her running partners since she's really nervous about the race, but I am currently waiting on a decision from her). Honestly, though, I am fine with that. If she decides to enlist our services, I know without a doubt that it will be reward enough just to cross that finish line with her.

And no matter what, I'm going to spend the day with a BIG, GOOFY grin on my face. Because, you guys, I have been waiting 10 years to run this race. I can still remember volunteering back in high school. The idea of running a marathon was so foreign to me. I thought I'd NEVER be able to run one. And now look at me. This is my third . . . with many more to come. My number one goal for this race is to have as much fun running it as I did volunteering ten years ago. For some reason, I have a feeling this race will be just as memorable as the 1999 Chicago Marathon has always been. Sweet Home Chicago, baby :)



On that note, I'm going to go log a few easy miles. Because for some reason or another, I just can't get enough of running as of late :)

15 comments:

The Laminator said...

A marathon as a training run? Really? Wow, I can't even imagine.
Whatever you decide to do with your marathon is the right decision for you because it's YOUR MARATHON. Believe me, no one can fault or criticize anyone for doing with their race whatever they want. The only stipulation is that YOU HAVE FUN! So there...have a great time running your race!

trialsoftraining said...

My vote is - Yes, take the pressure off! for the last few months I've taken every race as a "this is just for fun" moment; I go in just ready to ENJOY the race and the company and the atmosphere. as simple as that sounds, it does WONDERS. Getting PRs doesn't always make such a big difference, having a good time during the run? that's ALWAYS something that makes me walk away smiling.

Relax, soak in your time with GOOD company and *your* city!

also - eff that sounds painful! those legs are going to be bursting with muscle tone ;) haha

Morgan said...

Good for you taking the pressure off girl! Enjoy the day, the experience, etc... Can't wait to meet up! :)

Marlene said...

Sounds like a good plan to me. What you're doing right now is important so running had to take a bit of a back seat and that's okay!

Who knows, you may PR anyway!

lindsay said...

sounds like a great plan :) we definitely need to keep the fun and positives in running and quit sweating the small stuff. (hmmm, am i talking to myself here?) lol.

glad all is going well down in fl!

B.o.B. said...

I can't wait to meet up with you! I am so excited for you guys. Woot woot!

X-Country2 said...

Good luck good luck good luck!

Running and living said...

I think many things need to come together for one to have a good marathon: training, taper, sleep, low stress, homeostasis. I think it is smart to lower the pressure off of yourself for this marathon, because, as you said, priorities have changed, and that's a good thing. You'll get your PR later, now is school time:)

Blasé said...

"4 Sets" is enough for anyone!

Marathonman101108 said...

I absolutely, positively agree with everything you've said! FUN should always be the top priority whenever we run. You seem to be on the same page as me. It's so nice to see you happy and energetic again. The career choice has worked wonders for you. Keep smiling and having fun girl!! :-)

Rachel said...

Go out and have some fun with this marathon!!! I know you are going to rock it!

Spike said...

Go out and enjoy the crap out of that marathon! Plus, I can't wait to meet you and Wilson!

Nitmos said...

Enjoy the race! Chicago is a great time and a great race (as you know.) I can't wait to go back one day. Good luck!

aron said...

no pressure races are always good ones, especially huge ones like chicago! just soak it all up and HAVE FUN!!! cant wait to hear all about it!

sRod said...

Wishing you luck!