Monday, June 28, 2010

Chicago Marathon Elites

While I am in countdown and preparation mode for this falls Chicago Marathon, it has just been announced the elite womens field that I will be joining on 10/10/10. The most recent press release from the organizers Chicago Marathon had some great news with the elite field including American greats such as Magdalena Lewy-Boulet, Colleen De Reuck, Tera Moody and Desiree Davila.

With such a deeply competitive American field in a year that many female distance runners are opting out of many races, I'm STOKED that these amazing women will be in my company on race day.

With 15 weeks until the big day, I'm feeling very anxious.

Friday, June 25, 2010

A steamy lesson learned

Yesterday was my first speed training day of my 16 week marathon training program. While I was excited for it, I was also excited about allowing myself to sleep in. By the time I trekked out for my run, the sun was already blazing down with relatively high humidities.

While it wasn't the best workout that I've ever had, I made it through. I managed to run a 4 mile tempo at 7:10 pace in the heat and humidity, and also taught myself a lesson. Lesson learned: during the summertime, it may be best to fight the desire to sleep in and instead get up early and treat yourself to a nap.

Usually my body adapts well to all types of weather, but yesterday did not fall into to normalcy for me. I rarely ever find myself running to the point of making myself sick, until yesterday.

Tomorrow will be the first long distance run for me with a 14-miler. I plan to head out early, and defiantly treat myself to some R&R in the afternoon.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Lightening can ruin your day

Monday was day one of my Chicago Marathon training. That would make today day three, and the day of my first tempo run.

Last night I went to bed at 11:30 and set my alarm for 6:45 with high hopes of being able to get up early. I am not an early riser, nor am I a morning person. I typically rise around 8, and sometimes I sleep as late as 9. Basically I do not like to be rushed out of bed. I enjoy the slow process of waking and laying in bed until my body feels ready to tackle the day. With the intentions of getting up early to beat the predicted thunderstorms, I jet off to bed.

When my alarm went off at 6:45, and I reset it for 8. When the alarm went off again at 8 I got up, let the dogs out, and got ready to go to the gym to lift weights and set off on my tempo run. As I was out walking the dogs, it begun to rain with lightening soon to follow.

I try to keep myself optimistic when it rains and get out for my run anyways. I enjoy the feeling of the cool rain on my skin, and the soothing sound of the rain dancing on the pavement. But when you throw the lightening bolts that are large and close in sight, it makes me second guess about my safety. So this morning I opted to not to go out for my run, and instead I'm currently sitting on my couch.

Sometimes our plans cannot be set in stone and we have to be flexible. When safety can be compromised, it at times may be best to say tata for now to your running shoes.

Hopefully tomorrow will be lightening free!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Soldier Field 10 Mile

Memorial Day weekend has been the host of the Chicago Soldier Field 10 Mile for the past 7 years. This 10 mile race follows the scenic route of Chicago's lakefront, and finishes along the 50 yard line of Soldier Field.

This past year was my 3rd year competing in the race, and hosted 8,345 finishers. Among the finishers was Katie Mcgregor who was the top female who set a new course record of 55:51.

With all of the new technology that has come out in the past few years for new timing methods, this years race opted to use the B Timing system. This new timing technology has a sensor which is connected to the back of the runners bib. I think this is a great idea and I'm enthused about how it allows the runner one less thing to worry about because the bib and chip are married as one. While it is a great idea, for me personally I feel some flaws with this system. Firstly the bib cannot be bent or folded in any way, if so the chip warns that the device may become deactivated. Secondly, I do not feel that the bib allows for the most accurate timing possible.

With a race that is host to almost 10,000 people, it becomes natural for the starting line to become rather crowded. On race morning there was 3 different start corrals. I found myself seated in the first corral which became very compact. I placed myself far enough back to allow all of the faster runners to get out ahead of me as well as for all of the runners who feel the need to sprint like they are on fire out of the gate. When I crossed the starting line, I found myself 25 seconds behind the clock. This remained consistent throughout the 10 miles as I checked my pace with the clocks.

I crossed the 50 yard line at 1:11:55. While I felt that I hadn't run the best race of my life, I also felt that finishing in a 1:11:30 was an achievement. A few days later when I checked the results online, my finishing time proved to say otherwise. My clock time and finish time seemed to be the same. While I know that this is impossible from my placing at the starting line, the timing chip provided other information which becomes indisputable.

While I am well aware that 25 seconds doesn't make much of a difference in the span of a lifetime, I have been rather bothered by this for the past week. My race went rather smoothly and I felt fairly strong and relaxed, I finished 48th out of 4,641 women, and finished 330th out of the 8,345 total runners. But that 25 seconds means a lot to me, and I'll never get them back.

Sometimes its a shame when technology fails us. I'll get over my 25 second error eventually.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

It's National Running Day

Happy National Running Day!

Celebrate today by going for a run and enjoying the depth of your breath, the freedom of your stride, and the feeling of your foot and the earth becoming one each time your foot reaches the ground.