everything right is wrong again

Monday, October 10, 2005

i came, i didn't train, i kicked chicago's ass

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The first photo from the Chicago Marathon

For my second marathon, I did not respect the distance. In fact, I did everything a person is NOT supposed to do.
1) I didn't do the long runs (14 miles, 8 weeks out, was my longest).
2) I didn't taper (25 miles last week, one of those 10 miles).
3) I tried something new during the marathon (took my first gel ever at mile 13.5).
4) I wasn't mentally prepared (hey, I'll just do half, and support my Team).

However, I did many 2:30-4 hour tris, bricks, and rides. I had put in the same amount of time and distance as my friend in the middle of her Ironman training. Her longest run was 16, and crosstrained the rest. I did something very similar.

I decided I'd do another marathon after three years, so I signed up through Team In Training. Several of my friends were also running, some their first marathon, and also were coaching. So I signed on, and raised over $2200 in honor of my aunt, Jo, a survivor (long-time remission) of leukemia. Thank you to everyone who donated, we raised millions of dollars for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Two weeks out from the Chicago Tri end of Aug., I got bursitis in my knee after 14 miles. I thought it was more serious, got scared, and backed it down, as I really wanted to do the tri. However, I continued to train with the team, doing 10-12 as they did their longer runs, for encouragement. So when we got to Chicago this weekend, I was planning to just go, support the Team, and maybe run half.

That's why I did so well. Because I had no expectations. I wasn't nervous. I had no goal. I just ran comfortably. At mile 7, I looked at my watch: 1:00. Whoa. That's not comfortable enough. I continued under 9mm until mile 11, when I saw my coach. He asked how I was feeling. I said GREAT! I am having SO MUCH FUN! Then I said, I met a guy on the course who's longest run was 5 miles. He was going to finish. So I was going to finish too.

Up until mile 26, I hammed it up with the crowd. Whenever we turned a corner, I got out to the outside edge, threw my hands in the air, and got everyone to cheer the runners on. I thanked all the volunteers I could. I thanked the little boy with the jolly ranchers. I joked with people, I laughed with them, I did what I could to keep us all going. I had a blast.

At mile 22.5, I had to walk. I tried to stretch my quads. I couldn't, my legs wouldn't bend that far. Then I realized running was easier than walking. At mile 23, my time was 3:23. I thought...I have to do this. I'm going sub-4. I CAN DO THIS! I didn't come all this way just to take CTA!

I lived it up until the end, ran up the hill from hell, turned the corner, and there it was. And then I realized how much I severely underestimate my ability as an athlete. I finished for my aunt, I finished for my team, and I finished for me.

I finished in 3:52:19. I had the best time of my life.


At 4:23 PM, Blogger Kell Bell said...

Jesus H. Christ. Ankah for President! You ran a WHAT without following the cardnal rules of marathon training?

WOW. I worship at the altar of Ankah.


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