Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Chicago Race Report

The wind was bricks, but the moods were high as we walked the mile from out hotel to the race start. My nerves were there, but not running too high which I was thankful for. I had my Pre-Pre-Race mix on as people chatted while we walked. Soon we were engulfed in the hoards of people making their way to the starting line. After some good lucks and good byes I left my crew and made my way to the gear check and then to the Preferred Start II corral. I have to say that having a preferred start was pretty cool. People made small talk as they waited for the start of the race. Soon the cheers went up as the race started and our corral moved towards the start line. You had to watch your step to avoid tripping over the clothes that were tossed aside as runners started their race. It took us only 3 minutes before we were at the start. A final cheer went up; I smiled and crossed the start line of my first marathon.

My goal for this race was to come in under 4 hours. Even better would be to finish in the 3:50, 3:55 range. To accomplish this I stuck with the 3:50 pace group. Well I should say I ran a little ways (10-30 yards) behind the pace group. I figured if I could keep them in my sights I would be just fine. The first half of the race was over in a flash. I was on the look out for Mouse and TriSaraTops, but I never found them in the crowd. I was a little disappointed, but rest of the crowd was great. There were bands playing and people cheering the entire time. Two sighs caught my eye during the race. The first one said “Run Faster Stupid” and the second was “More Cowbell?” for the SNL skit with Christopher Walken.

Up til about mile 19/20 I was feeling really good. I guess for most people it’s usually around mile 20 where things get a little harder and that’s where the race really started for me as well. I was still feeling pretty good at the 20 mile mark, but the body was starting to tire and legs were starting to feel heavy. It didn’t help that I had been running in the cold and windy weather for about 3 hours. I don’t think the temp rose much past 40 the whole day. After the 20 mile mark my legs started to spasm a bit. I figured that sooner or later the cramps would come, but for the time being I just marched on and took down some sports beans. It’s amazing how some as simple as chewing was like a breath of fresh air. Yum yum I heart sport beans.

At around mile 23 I went more into survival mode. I knew that I was going to be able to finish and I just wanted to be done. I tried to keep my pace steady, but I had lost the 3:50 and would kick it towards the finish on my own. A mile later my legs reminded me what I was putting them through and started to scream. By mile 25 I was cramping every other step and was forced to job and shuffle along at times. It didn’t help that I the finish was a bit on an incline and the wind from the lake was smack right in your face. Soon came the countdown signs, 800M, 400M, 200M. By this point my legs had had enough, but I surged as best I could towards the finish. Finally after 3 hours, 52, minutes, and 2 seconds I had complete my first marathon.

To be continued…Post Race


Anonymous Audrey said...

I HAD NO IDEA THIS WAS YOUR FIRST MARATHON!!! Congratulations on your excellent excellent time! Yeah!!

10:32 AM  
Blogger jessie_tri_mn said...

Congrats on pushing through the pain and coming home with a sub 4 hr marathon for your first one! Way to go!

Survival mode...mind over matter. You've got that down :)

10:57 AM  
Blogger Habeela said...

3:52 on your first try?! That's amazing! Congratulations. Too bad the wind made it hard to know if the chill was from success or the lake. ;)

12:43 PM  
Blogger runnergirl said...

Great job! What an amazing time for a first marathon. You rock.

6:37 AM  
Blogger shadoweyes said...

Dude, I told you not to eat an entire pepperoni pizza the night before! Totally should have have had onion and green pepper.

11:44 AM  
Blogger E-Speed said...

I didn't realize this was your first marathon! Great job! Be happy you held the seizing off for as long as you did! It wasn't the best conditions for a good race so being 2 minutes off your A goal is awesome!

2:09 PM  
Blogger Nic said...

Mike! So awesome! That's an amazing time and right where you wanted to be!

I'm so proud of you. Congrats!

8:21 AM  

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