Monday, October 28, 2013

Getting back into it

11/24 am: 3 miles: 34 minutes: 11:14 pace
11/24 pm: 2 miles: 27:09: 13:30 pace
11/26: 9.1 miles: 1:49:17: 12:01 pace

Work has been busy and keeping my from blogging. I'm starting to try and ramp things up again. The Thursday morning run was pretty easy, though we had a brief spell of winter weather last week and the runs were cool.

Thursday evening was week two of the beginning runner's program. I has three runners this time and they seemed to do pretty well.

Saturday's nine miler was up at Skokie Lagoons with a couple of fellow ERC members. I was a bit sore after but was fine the next day.

Skipped boot camp Monday morning, feeling worn out, but am planning six miles tomorrow, probably three on Thursday and then going to do the four mile run to and from boot camp Saturday. I'll also do boot camp Wednesday and Friday.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Catching up

My third pair, these are pretty bright.
10/19: 3.6 miles: 42:23:11:33
10/22: 5.1 miles: 57:23: 11:15 pace

Feels good getting back out there and getting some miles in. I'm trying to take it easy and avoid the temptation for a long run but that may change on Saturday, might head up to Skokie Lagoons and get at least eight in, maybe more.

I am a man without a training plan right now. The next big race is the Schaumburg Half Marathon on Nov. 30. Between now and then I should get a 10 and maybe even a 12 miler in. I'm thinking this week might be the 10-miler and try to get the other one in Nov. 9 or Nov. 16.

I should start breaking in my new pair of shoes. Yes, I bought my third pair of Adidas Boost earlier this month at Road Runner. They were on sale for $40 off and I couldn't pass them up. I' at 265 miles on my current pair and will most likely need the new pair before the end of November.

The other thing I'm doing the next few weeks is volunteering as a group leader for a beginner's running program in downtown Evanston. That was my first run after marathon. I was doing run two minutes, walk one minute for 20 minutes with the group. I'm not sure if I'm going to stick with this group, do the 5K group or something else.

I'm enjoying it, I'm glad I can help other people find some fun in running.

Friday, October 18, 2013

What's next?

My buddy Rob took this awesome photo
just before mile two.
Five days since the marathon and I'm feeling pretty recovered. I'm going to start running again but will ramp up the miles slowly.

I did run a little bit Thursday night. CARA and the Evanston Running Club are starting a beginner's running program and I volunteered to be a group leader. I was doing the level two beginner's, we did two minutes of running and one minute of walking for 20 minutes. I was feeling pretty good with that. I have a four mile run planned for Saturday morning and will get some miles in next week to prepare for my next half.

I have also signed up for two of the three races I plan to end the year with. I am doing the Lincolnwood 10K on Nov. 24 and the Schaumburg Half Marathon on Nov. 30. I also plan to do the Evanston Turkey Trot 5K on Nov. 28. That will round out my 2013 racing year. I'm looking at a couple of half's in January but haven't signed up yet.

With five days since the marathon and a little perspective behind me I am happy to have done to Chicago Marathon and finished. Yes, I had some problems but the most important thing is that I finished. The 24-hours after the marathon I was saying there's no way I will do another full, well, I'm not going to rule it out.

Monday, October 14, 2013

10/13: Bank of America Chicago Marathon recap

Before the marathon.
26.2 miles: 5:44:46: 14:?? pace

I finished a marathon on Sunday, it wasn't pretty but I finished. I need to focus on the positive that I finished and am uninjured but the race did not go like I wanted it to. 

The long training runs weren't easy but I got through them, sometimes kicking and screaming, but I always finished. Even the 20-miler where my ankle was bugging me went fine and I was more or less on pace for what the majority of my long runs had been.

The first 16 miles of the marathon more or less went as I planned, I was a little slower than I wanted to be, 12 minute pace, but then at miles 17 everything went wrong. Both of my calves starting cramping, I would run a little but and then they would fire and cramp up and I would have to walk. This was more or less than last nine miles. I tried stretching out to no avail and I was feeling pretty miserable.

After the marathon.
During a couple of the long training runs I had some minor calf cramping but nothing like what I experienced Sunday. I was drinking water and gatorade and eating the bananas from mile 20 on but nothing seemed to help.

One of my training buddies caught up with me around mile 24 and gave me some salt tablets that helped. I saw another training partner at 24 who gave me a great pep talk that got me through the finish.

The Chicago Marathon is quite the experience, the crowd support was tremendous and I enjoyed the first 16 miles quite a bit. I need to get my head around the fact that I finished and stop dwelling on the problems. At the very least I get to focus on a few days off from running the let my body recover.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Last taper runs

9/8: 6 miles: 1:11:56: 11:58 pace
9/10: 3.1 miles: 35:37: 11:18 pace

Two more days till the marathon and I vacillate between excited and nervous, though the last couple of days have been more excited.

I've read everything I can, gone over the course map repeatedly, watched videos of it and am ready. I visualize myself on the course and the only thing left to do it run it. Getting through the next two work days are going to be tough just because I'm distracted.

My last two runs were good, the ankle is feeling much better and I'm at about 90%. Hopefully the next two off days will give me some more rest, though I fully expect to be limping after the marathon.

I'm hitting the expo Saturday morning to pick up my stuff and drop some cash. I'm also catching up with some college buddies who have run it before.

With the run Thursday morning I hit 1,000 miles lifetime on Nike+. My first run with the app was Feb. 22, 2012 of .7 mile and I had two other runs that month for a grand total of 3.1 miles. Twenty-months ago if you would have asked me if I was going to run a marathon I wold have called you crazy and laughed. But after Sunday I will have run more than 700 miles in 2013 and will likely easily hit 800 for the year.

I will try to write up a race recap on Monday but I'm buried with work so it may not be as quick as I would like.

Monday, October 7, 2013

I have a running problem

I need to stop looking at races in the future and concentrate on Sunday.

I don't know if I'm procrastinating with work stuff -- probably -- but I already signed up for a 10K on Nov. 24, will do a 5K on Nov. 28 and a half on Nov. 30. That will close out my 2013 racing but I'm looking at two half marathons in January too.

Ug, I need help.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

10/5 run - Last long run

8 miles: 1:31:42:11:27 pace

This run was fine, though it's been unusually muggy in the midwest this October, last two runs felt more like July than October.

A week from now I will have completed the Chicago Marathon. Am I going to break any records or set the world on fire, no. But it will be an accomplishment. I'm nervous and excited about the race. I've looked at the course map a number of times, have my strategy and am just hoping to finish strong.

The main thing making me nervous right now is the weather. Temps predictions seem to be pretty consistent between mid-50s and upper 60s, but the wild card is rain. I had one brief rain run on my 18-miler. It rained for about 10 minutes -- a downpour -- but then stopped. I was wet the entire run but it was fine. I just don't know how to deal with the weather if it's constant. I really shouldn't worry until we're two or three days out.

Boot camp Monday and Wednesday, Tuesday will be five and four on Thursday with two days of rest before the big day. I'll pass 1,000 miles all time on Thursday and with the marathon eclipse 700 for the year.

Friday, October 4, 2013

10/3 run - Not great

6 miles: 1:13:11: 12:11 pace

Well, if the goal was to practice my marathon pace I guess I accomplished something, sadly that wasn't my goal. It was a weird, muggy morning, already mid-60s and 90% humidity, which is really weird for October.

The legs were feeling heavy and I was having trouble getting into the groove, I think the deep tissue massage I had Tuesday moved some of my muscles around and it was difficult for me to find my groove. I'm trying not to dwell on how poorly this went.

Last long run tomorrow, an easy eight, and then a total of nine miles next week before the marathon. Planning to do boot camp on Monday and Wednesday.


  • In the last couple of days I've had "Holy crap, I'm running a marathon" go through my head more times than should be appropriate. It's really happening and is only a little more than a week away. 
  • Signed up for Facebook tracking for the marathon. 
  • Made plans to meet up with some college buddies at the expo on 10/12 when I'm picking up my stuff. 
  • Making a list of the people I need to thank with baked goods after it's done. 
  • Volunteering with a beginner's running program that starts on 10/17  and am excited to help people get into running. 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

10/1 run - Feeling stronger

7 miles: 1:19: 11:17 pace

Two good runs in a row, that hasn't happened in awhile. The ankle is feeling a lot better, I'm glad I took a break last week to give it some rest. I would say I'm about 90% and will hopefully be 100% by 10/13 but I expect to be limping after the marathon.

Had my first deep-tissue massage yesterday. My right calf had been tight for a long time, it would eventually loosen up during a run, but a friend suggested getting worked on. I expected it to be more painful -- there were definitely moments of discomfort -- but it wasn't as bad as I thought. It's also a day later and I don't have the same tightness in my calf as before. I'll be curious to see how I feel after Thursday's run.

The masseur said my legs were "complicated." I don't stretch/foam roll nearly as much as I should and have been fortunate to not have more issues. Something else to focus on in the future.

While I have been filled with fear and dread coming up to 10/13 I am starting to get real excited. This video of the course didn't help.

Six miles tomorrow, boot camp and eight on Saturday. Running with the ERC folks Saturday, looking forward to it since it's been awhile.