Friday, October 11, 2013

Chicago Marathon Training Recap - Last Week of Taper AKA Race Week!!!

By the time you read this I will either be IN Chicago, or close to it  :)
Writing it as I have been, daily, but posting it end of week.
3 miles easy (on the roads) before work
No wind!  After a weekend of debilitating winds, it was so nice this morning.

After work I hit the gym for 1 hour of a bit of cardio (2500m on the rower) along with some walking on the track and some weights for biceps and back
3 miles
Waited until around 6pm to run my 3 mile loop
It was way too nice outside to go to the gym
Typical feeling of oh my gosh this sucks, how am I going to do 26.2?
It happens.  I remember.  So I am trying not to worry too much about how my head is telling me to think right now.
Took the day off!
4.5 miles
Working from home half a day and just stayed in early with my coffee; went to gym after my ONLY conf call scheduled :)
Rest/Travel to Chicago
I have been struggling with a decision about this race for a few weeks now.
I am not sure if I ever noted this, but signing up for this race and doing another marathon was never part of my current life plan.
I was peer pressured into doing this, and thankfully I LOOOOVE JMc to death or else I would be calling her out right now for all this mess!  LOL...
And to say that this has been the toughest marathon training ever for me would be an understatement.
From having to do the training mileage alone, self supported and in a town no more than 6miles wide, let alone that I hadn't seriously trained for much since leaving Houston in the summer of 2012..higher altitude...boredom from the same streets over and over and over...and pre-menopause?  Yeah, it hasn't been pleasant.
And certainly I am nowhere even close to the runner I had become, even early 2012 pre-injury.
However judging by where I think I might be...race readiness is what I mean here, it certainly wouldn't be my longest time out there (which was my first marathon Jan2007 where I was 5:33), but yeah I figure I might not (but could if I have the stars aligned!) be able to go sub5 this time (I havent gone over 5 hours since that first marathon by the way!), having to do run/walk's again after so many years of not doing that! (I'll never forget the first time I ran an entire marathon AND it consequently was my first sub 5 AND my 2nd marathon)...  Well its humbling.  Its hard to go back to that when your last marathons dating back to the beginning were all done running straight through (sans water stops).  But I have slowly come to grips with that.  For now. :)
At least my shorter runs (8 miles and under) are now doing with 7/1's so I'm getting some endurance back, so at least I have that W in my column.  I am also doing much, much better and accepting being uncomfortable when running instead of being a pussy and deciding its OK to walk now....

Hoping to capitalize on that for Houston in January (another post, another day)...
But here comes the bigger connundrum: My running partner for Chicago has not had an easy time of it since mid-August. She went to Iceland for a stage race, got injured, took a few weeks to recover...then did a 50K in horrible conditions and just hasn't had the opportunities to train for the sense that one trains for a marathon that is.

I would add that also JMc has become a bonafide ultra runner in every sense of the word.  She lives and breathes for not only hours on end of being either running, walking or a combination of both, but loves the thought of stage races.

The 'problem', if you can call it that, at least for the Chicago Marathon this year with that the mentality of ultra runners is WAAAAAAAAAAAY different from a marathoner.  Their motto seems to be: Slow is the new fast

A marathoner wants to get out there, get it done, and get it done in the shortest amount of time possible.  That is not to say that ultra marathoners don't think like that, but a LOT less so.   They go out to do the mileages of upwards of 30+ and don't really give a damn how long it takes them.  e.g. JMc's 50K a few weeks back?  Almost 10 hours.  Um.  No thank you.

And what happens is that ultra runners use marathons as training 'runs'.

Do you see where I am going with this?

Several weeks ago, JMc mentioned to me that while we had pinky-signed up to do this race TOGETHER NO MATTER WHAT...that if I felt like I needed to go ahead of her at any point in the race, it would be OK and she would understand.

And I've struggled with the fact that while I am not as trained as I once was...nor am I as fast as I once was...I did train to hopefully do my best.  And I know

Ultra runners don't care.  Very laid back approach.  Knowing that they'll finish when they finish and yes, make the cut off.

So I have struggled internally for weeks, even though during that conversation with JMc, I assured her, no, we will finish together just like we said.

So the struggle within has been do I stick to that, or do I go out there and do the best that I can?  Be selfish and make it all about me; afraid to have a finish time 'beneath' me?  And in doing so, in some way, feeling like I would be letting my friend down?  Gone back on our word we gave the day we signed up?

I am 95% sure I know what I am going to do on Sunday...and obviously 5% not sure.

At the end of all, though...I think if I say 'actions speak louder than words' that might give you some insight as to what I'm figuring will happen.  After all, her friendship and my integrity mean more to me than numbers on a clock.

And I've almost come to peace with that.

1 comment:

Jim said...

Have a great race