Sunday, May 20, 2012

Addicted to Marathons, Addicted to Running

Made the trip to Schaumburg, IL to run in the Chicagoland Spring Full Marathon.  It is a very small race with only 254 participants for the Full Marathon.  This was my 2nd Marathon ever and my 2nd Marathon in the last 4 weeks.  My first being in St. Louis just 4 weeks ago.  It was hot that day.  It was even hotter today.  Temp's close to 90.  I had to plan.  With it being that hot I knew I could possibly run into problems.  My strategy was to go out hard, almost like I was just running a half and then settle into a comfortable pace for the last half of the marathon.  That is exactly what I did.  I ran the first half marathon in 1:44 which was my 3rd fastest 1/2 marathon time ever.  Only thing was I had another 13.1 to go.  I wanted to run the first half at Boston Qualifying pace for me to see what it felt like.  See if I could maintain that pace for a whole 26.2 in different conditions (like maybe 50 degree weather).  Well, you know what.  After today's race I have do doubt I can do it.  I just need the right conditions. 

The second half of the race I knew I had to run a smart race.  I set a pace to where I knew I could finish the race.  In 90 degree temps sometimes you just have to run in survival mode.  I took lots of fluids at every aid station which I believe was key to keeping me going.  Also a goal for me in this race was to not walk.  I accomplished that goal as well.  I did not walk at all in this race.  I had some slower jog time but never walked.  First 15-16 miles went great and then the heat started to take over.  I was prepared for it having just run in these types of temps 4 weeks ago in St. Louis.  I think this made me better prepared for this race because of this.

The last 8 miles or so I averaged 11 minutes per mile but I stayed consistent the last 8 miles until the last mile where I saw I had a chance to go under 4:10.  I pushed hard the last mile and ended up finishing in 4:08:33 which was a new PR for me beating my St. Louis time by over 8 minutes.  I ended up finishing with a 9:29 pace, 73 out of 254 overall, 48 out of 153 for gender, 8 out of 22 in age group. Although it is not near the time I was hoping, with those temps I'll take what I can get.  Just finishing would have been an accomplishment but I got a new PR.  2 Marathons, 2 times temps up close to 90.  Boy do I know how to pick em.  Yep, I'm happy with it, but I will get better.  Give me 50 degree temps and I'll show you what I can do!! 

As soon as I got done with the race I was already thinking of running in my next marathon.  You could say I have the marathon bug now and I'm addicted to them.  Why not pay the extra 10 bucks for a marathon over a half marathon.  You get to have twice as much fun and get great value for your money.

I got home tonight and decided to meet up with my run nerd chic Katie and Zac.  They were planning on doing some speed work at the track.  I was planning on going to watch.  Zac is going to start working with Katie and I on speed work to help get us faster.  They had also planned on running at the nature park before this.  You know how I can't turn down a run, so after I had just ran a marathon I decided to hit some trails with them.  I knew I wasn't going to be able to hang with them the whole run but I would do what I could.  I got to thinking about it and I needed to do 3.8 miles to do 30 miles today.  Now I was on a mission.  At about mile 2 Katie and Zac took off ahead.  I didn't want them waiting on me but I ran 3.82 miles in 8:47 pace.  Not too bad for already doing 26.2 which gave me 30.02 miles for the day.  A new record for mileage in a day.  What a great day.  Over 30 miles and feeling great!!

Mike