Monday, October 10, 2011

Chicago Marathon Race Recap

As I type these words I am not sure if I am quite ready to write the race recap.  My body is aching, my mind is sluggish and I have blisters the size of quarters on my toes.  Right now I hate the marathon.  I am sure many of you who ran yesterday can empathize with me- it is a tough event.

The day turned out to be warm, but not nearly as hot as I expected.  There was a cool breeze blowing most of the race.  The first 13 miles flew by- through the loop, boystown, old town and out to the west loop.  A good portion of that half is in the shade and the miles flew by.   I was doing well the entire first half.  Miles 14 and 15 felt pretty good.  And then it started- a dull ache in my hip.  I have been in PT the last several weeks for my hip and thought it was back to normal.  After 15 miles, my body begged to differ.

I plowed through those last 10 miles at the most painful, harrowing 10 minute mile pace you could imagine.  It was a mind game to not just start walking.  Thanks so much to friends who were cheering and supporting me along the way.  Between Chinatown and the last stretch of Michigan Ave is where you get to have a personal struggle between your body and mind..  There is an ugly stretch of frontage road where the crowd is sparse, the sun is beating and you just want. to. be. done.  But you still have 5 miles to go.  

Once I made that last left turn I could start to see the light.  The Nike Cheer Zone was awesome and I am pretty sure many of the spectators were drunk, which makes for loud cheering.  I dug deep and could not even feel my legs on the last little hill towards the finish line.   As much as I hated myself during those last 10 miles and despite the pain, crossing that finish line is a glorious feeling.

There is a reason I call myself a  "triathlete" and "triathlon coach."  Racing in a triathlon is what I love to do.  Yesterday's event was a true challenge for my mind and body but I am not convinced that it made me feel good, like a triathlon would.   Like many others, I said "not next year" about running the marathon again.  I think I will come back and try to get my revenge, but I am going to take a few years off.  This bod needs some cross training and year of dedicated tri training.

Congrats to ALL of you out there yesterday, especially those I have coached throughout the years!  You are a marathoner and you should be so proud!

-Coach A

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