Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Chicago marathon training

Nike Chicago

Last spring, I entered the lottery for the Chicago Marathon. I was so excited when my training buddies and I, got selected. Even though the race is in early October, It didn't cross my mind that my marathon training for this summer was going to be different than previous summers. The last few years, I've run Fall marathons, but they've been in early November, or later. This is a full month earlier!

For most people, this might not matter. In other parts of the country, running in the summer, is the best time to run. In Florida, it is the worst time to run. August and September tend to be the hottest months of the year!

All through June and July, my training was going great. In early August, I had an 18 miler, that was slower than I wanted, but overall, not to bad considering the heat. Then, two weeks later, the dreaded 20 miler was on the schedule. As soon as we started running, at 4:30 am, I knew it was going to be a rough one. My stomach was a little upset. There was absolutely no breeze. And it was HOT! Around 80 degrees. I felt like I was breathing in my exhaled breath. Just nasty. We ran south for 4 miles, then back to the car. I tried a peanut butter hammer gel. My first time trying it. I had hopped it would be similar to the Gu peanut butter, but it was far from similar. It was really gross! I drank a bunch of water, then ate one of my extra nutrition products.
We then headed north, over the Ringling Bridge, towards Ken Tompson park. All I could think about, was the bathroom at the bait shop, that I knew would be open. I had needed to go for a while! By the time we got there, we were about 11 miles into our 20 miler. It all went down hill for me here. I ran for a bit, but then needed to stop and walk. I felt dizzy and over heated. Gina stopped to walk with me and ended up staying with me for the rest of the run. We headed out towards Lido beach. Once there, we stopped to get more water, and then started heading back. I had to walk a lot on the way back. I felt really bad about holding Gina back from her run, but she was stead fast in not wanting to leave me on my own. All I cared about at this point, was getting the miles in, even if I wasn't running them. I was so happy when I was done! But, I felt really down. I questioned my time goals for Chicago. I questioned my training for the rest of the days leading to the race.

Monday night (two days later), I headed out with my training group. I decided to try and push the pace, to help me get out of my funk. I ended up having a great run! The next morning. I stared my 9 miler, thinking I would take it easy, since I ran hard the night before. I ended up having an awesome run. Running faster and faster with each mile! This past week has been a great week of training. My spirits are lifted. I feel like I've been doing something right with my training.

This weekend, I've got a 22 miler scheduled for Saturday. I'm trying not to worry, to have faith in my training. but I've got to admit, I'm a little worried! The heat is back, after a nice little break this past weekend.

All I can do, is try my best. And know, that even if the run turns out to be not so great, my overall training will provide a solid base, for my marathon goal! It also helps to think of CJ, who is one of my inspirations, while running. CJ is a strong  little 8-year-old, who has Cerebral Palsy. He is a fighter and so am I!

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