The Chicago marathon, what can you say about our beloved city's marathon. On a cold and supposedly windy day I will toe the line for the Chicago Marathon a 3rd time. The weather called for rain/mixed with snow, cold, and predicted winds of 15-30 mph. That is what the weather man said anyway. So what does he know. Yes it was cold, mid 40's, windy, with a little rain, but the day turned out pretty well, not as bad as predicted.
So around 5:45 my wife drove me downtown near the start to meet up with some fellow TRI members who was also running. We were going to wear a pink ribbon this day to think about, and let her know we are thinking about our fellow teammate, BIKECHIK, One tough lady,
after a couple of days finishing IMoo she learned she had to fight breast cancer for the second time in her life. Even with all the treatment she has been going through the past couple of weeks, she had the energy to volunteer this day at the Chicago marathon at one of the water stations. A truly tough BIKECHIK.
So after a brief warm-up, I headed to my wave
designation. So after awhile the "HI GUY" was sitting near me. This runner I have seen in several races along the years. His special running style was to run in flip flops. Flip flops you would wear at the beach with a little more padding on the bottom. How you can keep your feet in those flip flops while you run I will never figure out. Then Rick came guy and started to talking to "HI GUY". What made Rick so special is the he is actually known as "BAREFOOT RICK". Yeah, I saw it for myself he was running the marathon barefoot. What a sight. It was really funny hearing all the remarks while people saw him running.
So a crazy start as always, when you have 30,000+ runners it is just a sea of people the entire race.
I knew that this would be a tough day for me. I was consistently running over the past several weeks since IMWI. But I had really no marathon training plan and my long runs consisted of two 13.1 runs. Because after IM, I wanted to relax a little bit and if I could not get the miles I needed I would be fine with that. No set schedule and family time was the theme for the past couple of weeks.
I actually ran fine the 1st 13.1 miles of the race, but sometimes you know how your body will be. Started cramping on and off the rest of the way. Instituted the 2 mile water station rule. Just to get there was the goal for the rest of the way. Thankful for some salt tabs, I think that alleviated some of the cramping.
I had worn my IronMan cycling jersey for the race , people came up to chit chat about the IM race, some along with me would be there for IMWI '07. Crowds yelling "GO IRONMAN" help me pick up my shuffle to a jogging pace. It was inspirational just hearing those words. But I realized I good not walk to much. A walking IronMan not a pretty sight.
In the last 2 miles or so. I heard "GO Ironman". Kinda of waved and heard "RUN BUBBA RUN", looked over and it was the awesome TRiSaraTops, she had flown to support and run with her friend during her 1st marathon. What a friend in deed.
She was totally motivational for me because I was just totally slacking the last 5K, So with her inspiration, she help me pick up my tired and cramping legs and get me to the finish
So finishing time was 4:12, not great, but it is good enough for me. It has been a crazy, long year, but somehow seems all a blur right now. The season finally over for me. I think my race times have been getting slower so I think my head will finally listen to my body for once.
Sore and tired after the marathon, I read this article and really liked this comment from Scott Tinley:
"Sometimes I like sports because they hurt. If they were entirely comfortable they wouldn't feel so good when you're done for the day"
I think I can relate to that. But for now I will leave this post with thoughts and I think these words to sum up my 3rd year:
"The Miracle isn't that I finished. The miracle is that I had THE Courage to Start" (John "The Penguin" Bingham)
And start I did. I think I'm tired now.