Going in to Chicago, I was pretty excited. I wasn't as excited as before Columbus (my first marathon), but I was still looking forward to the experience and ready to bust out a huge PR.
First up: the expo!
|Speedy friend Karen!|
|Hashtags are annoying, but hey, this was cool. I guess.|
So Karen and I got our packets, bought expensive Nike tops, and headed back to the hotel for a pasta buffet dinner and some good ol' college football. I wasn't really nervous when I went to bed, but when I woke up...
|Grape race nails + Mizuno Sayonaras = race ready!|
I tried to get up toward the 3:15 pace group with limited success. I was pretty close to 3:20, so I wasn't too worried. I was warned that my GPS watch probably wouldn't get a signal for the first 5 miles or so, so I wanted to stick with the pace group(s) so I wasn't too far behind.
Not. A. Problem. Quite the opposite, actually, as the 3:15 pace dude was a kamikaze marathoner and was a bit fast. I realized this (eventually) and backed off the pace. I was doing ok for a while, but I wasn't feeling awesome. I rolled through the half in 1:38 and it felt Hard. I was worried. At this point, I knew that Chicago wasn't going to be my big PR race, but I could probably still manage a small PR and still hit a BQ time.
Wrong! Somewhere between miles 15 and 17, my calves started cramping up pretty badly. Cory passed me at mile 17 and I told him I couldn't do this. I've never been so negative during a race before, but it was hard to stay positive when a.) my legs were seizing up and felt worse than anything I had ever felt before, b.) my chance at a PR was totally shot and the BQ pace group for my age just passed me, c.) the previous 4 months of hard work seemed like a total waste of time, money, and effort, and d.) I was crying as I was pushing again a tree trying to stretch my stupid, stupid legs out.
I was pissed that my body had basically imploded and I was trying to figure out in my head how long it would take me to walk the final 4 miles. I walked through every aid station from 35K to the end, managing to run about a mile before things got too bad.
I am proud to say, however, that I crossed the finish line of the 2013 Chicago Marathon with a smile on my face.
It's taken me a little while to get to this point where I can be mostly upbeat and positive about the general experience. Yes, I finished my third marathon and yes, a 3:40 is a time that tons of people would kill to run, but that's not what I set out to do and that's not what I was training for. I appreciate all the people that tried to cheer me up post-marathon by saying stuff like that, really I do :) I know they were just trying to help!
|Post-race with my Fleet Feet crew - all smiles!|
|This dynamic duo is pairing up again for Boston 2014 - we're going to have a GREAT race|
So remember the Saucony poster - the further you go, the bigger the sundae? Late Night Snack - my pity party ice cream. Caramel Hazelnut Fudge Truffle - the "I just ran a marathon" diet plan. Denali Chocolate PB Moose Tracks - because I was still angry/upset/bummed about my race when I went ice cream shopping and decided that if I was going to be fat and lazy, I was going to do it right, gosh darn it!
I ran a grand total of 10 miles the week after Chicago...and I didn't run for TWO WHOLE DAYS after the race. I just didn't want to. I didn't want to run yesterday either, so I didn't. I did, however, get a Jerry Scott massage on Friday. His verdict is that I am a giant ball of muscle knots and he's surprised I even finished Chicago. I guess I'll be buying massages instead of ice cream for the next few months!
This week, I'm just trying to rediscover my passion for running. I made it 10 miles today with a few aches and pains, so tomorrow I'll take it easy (and maybe push a fartlek run to Friday instead of Thursday).
There's only so much you can do to prepare for a marathon. Some days, you're unstoppable, and other days it feels like you should just quit now before you kill yourself doing something stupid. I guess that's why I'm looking forward to marathon #4 - you have to take the good (marathon #1, mostly) with the bad (marathons #2 and #3).
I'm tired of lazy and ice cream. The running bug is nibbling my toes :)
So this beautiful post showed up in my Feedly (RIP Google Reader) feed this morning. That far-out goal? That Homer Simpson meme? The love of (possibly faulty, at the very least, it's sketchy) math to prove whiners WRONG? Love it, love it, love it :)