Thursday, November 12, 2009

Chicago Down, Tucson Up

In retrospect, I think I may have put the Chicago Marathon on too much of a pedestal. Everything I did for about a year straight was in training for that race. What I always seems to forget is that conditions that are beyond your control often come into play regardless of how well you plan.

Through the first 15 miles, everything was going according to plan. The weather was cold which usually makes for really good running. The course was so flat that with an even pace, every mile is the same to the second. That was weird. But at mile 15, circumstances took over.

The night before and for the 5 days leading up to the marathon, i was fighting a virus. One day I would feel ok, the next i would feel horrible. The night before the race i had to take Nyquil and felt like crap. I felt better in the morning but that was probably adrenaline. Starting at mile 15 i started to feel it again. My last marathon, my last mile was 7:05. For Chicago it was over 8 and when i finished i literally had to lean forward so I would night fall back on my butt.

I've had the last month to recover and I am starting to feel like my old self again when I run. Good ol' Danville Half this weekend so lets see if i can mix it up. Then its on to the Pinehurst Turkey Trot, the Ridgewood Turkey Trot (on Thanksgiving), the Misetletoe half and then ending the year with a point to point, net decline marathon in Tuscon. No idea what to expect for this weatherwise, stamina wise, going down hill a lot, etc. Hopefully all good things. But conditions have a say.

There were some heavy rains this past week so we had to run the alternative course in Danville. This course was a mentally unnerving triple loop (with 3 out and backs each loop) course. Add to that an abusive series of hills in each loop and topped off with an 11am start in the heat of the day and that all equates to a tough day. I tried to go out fast and hit the hills hard which i think i did. Hopefully it helps for Pinehurst this weekend.