i cant believe this weekend is already here. when did i find out about chicago... lets see, i applied for the lottery in march, and got the "congratulations! you have been selected to run the 2014 bank of america chicago marathon" email on april 14th. i remember i was outside on the back deck, hen was taking a nap, and i was texting kristal. our lottery status changed to approved, we both got our emails, and we both freaked out immediately. holy shit. we were going to freaking CHICAGO! (dance party! freak out!)
over the course of the next few (6) months, i had a bunch of good races, a few bad races, a DNF marathon. i also lost my chicago sidekick to a hip injury. ugh. i had many days i didnt want to run but i had to remember what my goal was for chicago and just maintain forward focus. ive had a long, long year. this is the most running ive ever done, and ive had the best year of racing with 7 distance PRs. sunday will mark 41 weeks of training... its like being pregnant, right? all the hard work leading up to the big day. best day ever!
total miles for the year:
highest weekly mileage:
56 (march & august)
highest monthly mileage:
i think back on this year and have so many feelings and emotions that i really cant accurately put into words. marathons are hard. qualifying for boston is very hard. i remember when qualifying time for my age group was 3:40, an 8:20 pace. i never was able to hold that pace for very long, and joked the other day with the bff about how we used to put that speed on the treadmill and think "no way. ever." ive always had "belle of the boulevard" on my ipod and the beat to that song runs me at the perfect pace for a 3:40 marathon (can i listen to one song over and over for 26 miles?!) and after training for the past 40 weeks, my "A" goal marathon pace for sunday is 7:55. i know ive worked hard for this, i just never thought it was possible.
2009- my first marathon
2010 marathon 2
2010 marathon 3
(i packed potato chips and a peanut butter sandwich. i knew it was gonna be a long day)
2011 marathons 4 & 5- marathon maniacs part 1
2012 marathon 6
epic dehydration/overhydration/barf tastic 22 minute mile at 26 disaster
2012 marathons 7 & 8, marathon maniacs part 2.
2014 marathon 9 3:37:08
ive learned a lot over the past 5 years. marathons are a really long distance (yes they are all 26.2 miles). the training is the hard work, the race is the pay day. you never know what the day is going to bring until you cross that start line, and even then its still a long journey to the finish line. ive got high goals and easily attainable goals for sundays race, but overall i want to finish (finish!) the race knowing i ran the best marathon i could run on that day, and finish smiling. and then drink a lot of beer.
lucky for me im getting old (hehe) and for 2016 boston marathon i need a 3:40 to qualify. i could go on and on about what happened last month with registration but i wont because i just dont want to get into it. ive trained hard enough this year to qualify by more than the standards i needed for 30-34 (3:35), so this extra buffer will be nice to have mentally during the race. that being said, im still ok if it doesnt happen because chicago is an early race in the qualifying season for 2016. and that being said, i seriously never want to train like this again! so lets just get it done sunday, right?!
ive spent the last few days hydrating (yay for clear pee!) (and dont worry, ive been replacing with electrolytes too) and now im eating ALL THE CARBS! yum.
carbs AND hydration all in one!
and take it from me, it does zero good to have an app that has a 45 day extended forecast. there were days when the marathon was going to be 80 and sunny! then it snowed in chicago last weekend. actual forecast for sunday as of today is saying cloudy with a low of 45 and a high of 55... omg perfect marathon running weather!
all thats left is to just breathe. oh, and run a marathon. no big deal. (both of those things are important to this whole chicago marathon thing). i have amazing friends and family that have (almost always) fully supported everything ive been working on for this whole year (and then some). and rightfully so i have many telling me that after this i need a break (a few days is a good break, yes?). its good to have people that keep you grounded once in a while (and of course there are those that are already helping me to decide when my next race/races are....)
im going to chicago with a different mentality than i did for maine coast and lehigh valley marathons... im ready, im excited, and whatever happens, happens. im not going to let the nerves get to me (and im NOT drinking anything pumpkin related!). i am confident that my training has brought me to a place where i can run the shit out of a flat, fast course on a cool fall day in a new place with 45,000 of my friends... but im also going to be smart and know what i want to do and not get over confident. its just a race. there will be more. but chicago is going to be mine. i deserve it.