Following months of training that included long runs, fast runs, slow runs, hills, diet, yoga, weights, and yes even an occasional massage session, the time has come. There is nothing else I can do at this point to improve my training effort. Now the best thing for me is to relax and attempt to rest as much as possible so I can report to the starting line healthy, rested, and ready to race Sunday morning in Chicago. My journey to and through Taperville is nearly over.
The marathon is a very humbling experience. Despite how one has trained the runner needs to be very prepared and to prepare for anything can happen. I am at a loss for expectations for this marathon. For me the wild card is the course. It is a very flat and fast course. I do most of my running on very hilly routes in Milford and Northville. I do very well with hills, so you would think running on a flat route would be to my benefit. I will let you know how that works out after Sunday.
The Chicago Marathon will be my 9th marathon. After placing first in my age group in the City of Oaks Marathon in 2011, I decided to retire from the event with my win. However over the past 18 months my youngest daughter Alexis has taken up the sport, trains with our group, and completed several half marathons. She decided to make Chicago her choice for her first marathon. We entered the lottery back in December and learned that we each were selected to compete this past April. However she will not be running this marathon as a previous injury has yet to properly heal so I will look for her along the route cheering me towards the finish line.
I have two finish time goals, a realistic one and an optimistic one. Realistically I hope to complete the route in 3 hrs. 40 mins or less. Optimistically, and if all the stars are properly aligned on race day I would be very happy to break the 3 hrs. 30 min mark, which is very possible based upon training and conditions. Hopefully these times will place me in the top 10% of the entire field and somewhere near the top 25 in my age group. My strategy is to start slow, run a very even pace for the first half (1hr 46 min) then continue until somewhere about mile 22-23 where I hope to press the pace and run a negative split (1hr 44 min). This will not be easy, as I said at the start, the marathon can be a very humbling experience.
If you like you can follow me along the streets of Chicago by visiting www.chicagomarathon.com and find the link to “Track a Runner”. From there you can enter my name and you should be able to see my split times at key points along the course. You can also watch the marathon live via the web: http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local/Watch-the-2014-Chicago-Marathon-272105781.html Coverage should begin at about 8AM Detroit time and extend until about noon. Following the live TV coverage the NBC station continues to broadcast the average runners (like me) crossing the finish line. Look for an old architect in a light blue running singlet and shorts. I start in the first of two waves at 8:30 Detroit time.
Regardless of the outcome, you can safely bet that I will be out there “Running Happy”. Thanks for your support and time to view today’s posting. Please check back soon for my marathon report.