Friday, October 19, 2012

Almost 2 weeks out from race day and I'm feeling really good about my time! Rather than dwelling on not hitting my goal, I'm making a plan to DEMOLISH that goal next year in NY.  Positivity people!

I realized I had a bunch of pictures that I never shared.  Chicago is a great little city, lots to see and do between the actual city, the waterfront, all of the parks and the fountains and art all around.  Definetly an A+ for awesome sights to see!

We also ate a few great restaurants:

Yolk for breakfast, great vibe, super busy but well worth the wait!  Get the pancakes!  All of them!

Giordano's for deep dish which we ate like savages a few hours after the race.

Chicago Firehouse for our post marathon fancy schmancy dinner.  So amazing and definitely worth the price!! The waiters were awesome, the food was great and atmosphere was a little uppity, but not stuffy, perfect steakhouse vibe.  We found out that they do a pre-race brunch for all runners which I thought was really nice, they also gave out water on the course.  It's nice to see local business get out there and support the local running scene!

Here are a few pics from the weekend...

On our way to the corrals

On our way to The Magnificent Mile

Finishers gear at Niketown


Loved this sign at the expo

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Chicago Recap (A Million Days Late)

Sometimes I need some time to process....I feel like I'm still mulling over Chicago, the race, the tears... the everything.

To start, I had a 9 minute PR but I missed my 4:30 goal.  My official finish was 4:41:19 and I might still be a little disappointed.  I may have also cried when it was over, twice.  But, to be fair, I'm also really proud of myself and super grateful that I'm even able to run.

This WILL NOT be a whiny post, even though I'm sort of blah about the whole race.   Don't get me wrong, it was fun and totally well organized, but it just lacked something for me.  Maybe I had too much build up going on?  Maybe I knew what to expect already having run a marathon?  Or maybe it was just no NYC Marathon? Because as we already know NY was the BEST day of my life!

To say that I wasn't and am still not bummed is an understatement.  I really wanted that 4:30 finish, I felt ready for it.  I had a lot of little missteps though that were part of it: I think I went out too fast (although I was only just under a sub 10 pace, I should have stuck with a 10:10 pace) with too few walking through water breaks, my garmin was not really working - I had a hard time catching satellite and when I finally did I lost it completely, I had to pee 3, yes 3 times and the last 2 times I had stage fright and couldn't go (WTF!!).

I will say though that I felt AMAZING the first 13 miles, around 14 I started to walk the water stops, not because I felt bad, more because I wanted to conserve energy, by 18 I felt like crap due to the bladder/stage fright issue.  I felt better around mile 22 even while  knowing how far off I was from my goal.  Mentally and physically I felt ok and tried to push those last few miles.  I wish I had the data to see my pace for the end! Damn satellites!  Was it a good race?  Absolutely!  Did I learn anything....absolutely!  I need to lose weight.  I know my 160# frame is holding me back from really hitting my potential. 

This whole training cycle was a tremendous learning experience.  I got through the heat, the tears and 3 20 milers!  I also proved to myself that I'm a runner.  That I want to continue running (remember, I'm a former fat, drinking, smoking, hanging out not even thinking abut running type of gal) and that I'm not too bad at it!

While I didn't quite recreate that best day ever feeling, I felt ok with the disappointment, Ok with my race...OK with the fact that I'm a 2x marathoner who has nothing but time to get better.  So while I cried for a minute, I also cried over the fact that I just finished something that took 16 weeks to prepare for - successfully!  I used to be afraid to set goals for fear of not reaching them, so maybe not running a 4:30 was the universe's way of letting me know that failure won't kill me? 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Marathon Numero 2 Done!

Oh Chicago Marathon, how do I sum you up?

First off my time was 4:41:19 - a 9 minute PR but not a 4:30:00 fiish which was my goal.  I'll take a PR anyday so it's time I get over it! In all reality, I was bummed, I cried but I had an awesome marathon despite not hitting my goal and I still want to go out there and all in all it was PERFECT.

I'll follow up with a real race report tomorow.  I'm pooped!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Happy Is....

Happy Wednesday! I'm officially 4 days away from 26.2 and I'm handling it all pretty well.  Surprisingly I'm not freaking out about my food, the fact that I'm bloated and have gained maybe 3 pounds or the fact that I haven't decided on my outfit yet.  Nope, none of that is affecting me.  I'm still blissfully happy about my weekend.

I had one of those amazing weekends where everything just went right.  My last long run of 8 miles was fast and perfect, the boy caught 2 HUGE tuna on his trip out to the canyon, I ran the Tunnels to Towers and had an amazing experience. Saw some college friends...the list goes on and on...


Running partner and I met up at the park and ran 7 of the 8 together, it was so great to get out there for our last run before the marathon.  She has seen me at my best and worst I'm so grateful to have her as my running buddy!  We cranked out a 9:30 pace which felt comfortable.  I'm still unsure of my pace plan, but I know 9:30 for 26.2 isn't happening!

Sunday I got up bright and early and met up with some friends to drive into Brooklyn for the Tunnel to Towers Run.  Without getting too into the deets, I have never really been interested in running this race, mainly because I have a hard time with anything 9/11.  I prefer to quietly reflect on that day and my experience (I worked close to the towers and saw the first plane hit, ran from burning buildings, ect...) and I knew from others that this race is a really emotional tribute to not only Steven Siller but all the lives lost, but when a friend had an extra bib I jumped on it and I'm so glad I did!

Battery Tunnel

I really feel like I saw humanity at it's best...30,000 people coming together, simply amazing.  I wouldn't really consider this a race, there are just too many people, no corrals, runners and walkers mixed in together, but that's part of the beauty of it, everyone together as one.  I witnessed wounded warriors running on prosthetic limbs for the first time, men and women running in full gear and grown men crying tears of happiness, an old man running (no matter how slow he was running!) with a sign on his back asking us to bear with him as he wanted his first 5k to be in honor of the words!

Mike running in awesome!!

I'm so glad I got out of my own way and decided to run.  It was hard, especially the sea of blue holding banners of fallen FDNY as we exited the tunnel, but it was also really uplifting.  Quite the paradox!

The after part was fun, TONS of food from local restaurants - pulled pork, burgers, ribs, pizza, soup and that's only half of it. We didn't stay for the after party, but I did get a pic with Rudy Guillani which was really awesome, for those who don't know Rudy was the Mayor of NYC and really carried us through 9/11.  I would definitely run this again!!


So with that, I'm going to try not to stress and enjoy my last few days of taper before I kill Chicago!!!