Chicago Domination

I’ll be the first to admit I’m not good at setting goals and then sticking to them. My most recent case in point is the 3M Half Marathon. Well, I have a new, better example of sandbagging underestimating my abilities. I wasn’t planning on doing any Fall marathons this year, but got recruited by Team VW to run the Chicago Marathon as part of a Volkswagen PR marketing campaign. Well PR I did!

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Time for Business – Week 15 Review [brief]

Alright party goers, this is going to be the last weekly review post for my Chicago Marathon training schedule.  It’s been a long road to this point from getting that initial email inviting me to be part of Team VW.  This final week I took it easy, starting with a rest day Monday.  Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday were all generally easy runs, focusing on staying fresh and recovering from weeks and weeks of pounding.  Next time you hear from me should be my Chicago Marathon race report telling the trials and tribulations of my eleventh marathon!  So as I’ve said here before, the work is done.  The hay is in the barn.

Race Preview: Chicago with Team VW

Well it’s that time.  This Sunday is the Chicago Marathon and I’m all geared up to be part of Team VW!  I’m really looking forward to everything that’s going to happen this weekend.  The Team VW organizers have sent us a few instructions about where to be and when, what to wear, and what to expect.  Oh, and there’s also that whole running a marathon thing going on too.  So here’s a little preview of what to expect between Friday and Sunday.

We’re flying to the Windy City Friday morning.  The plan for the day is to have no plan, meaning just see where the day takes us.  We may go over to the race expo Friday if nothing else strikes our fancy after lunch.  Saturday Team VW wants the whole team to meet at the expo center at 2pm for a group gathering and to meet a special guest.  Gleaning from other emails I realize the I am not that special guest.  Instead it’s like Dean Karnazes, as in the super ultramarathoner who has all kinds of crazy feats to his name (just Google him).  After the Team VW meet up we have dinner plans for some fancy Italian and then off to a good night’s rest.

So yea, after all the Team VW hoopla there’s that marathon business to take care of.  Here are few numbers for you:

  • This is my 11th marathon;
  • I ran Chicago in 2009 and set a PR (at the time) of 3:28:02;
  • My I’ll-be-happy goal for this year’s race is 3:30:00 (8:00 min/mi);
  • My I’ll-be-really-happy goal is 3:28:01 (7:56 min/mi);
  • My I’ll-be-crazy-ecstatic goal is 3:22:33 (7:43 min/mi);
  • Temperatures for the race will be warm (by Chicago standards), starting in the low 60s and getting up to the low 70s
Those “warm” temps actually elevated the race’s Alert Status from Green to Yellow.  You know what I say to that?  The hotter the better.  With Austin’s 90 days over 100 degrees this year I feel prepared for any “heat wave” that might show its face.  I feel ready for the distance and excited for the crowds.  Team VW is going to be set up with a cheering section around Mile 8, so that’ll give a good boost once I get into a rhythm.  The only question now is, what am I going to eat after the race?  Deep dish pizza?  Chicago-style hot dog?  Only time will tell.  See you after the race!

Taper Time. Sort of. – Week 14 Review

Tapering — the time in training that most runners hate.  The end of most training plans feature several weeks of decreased mileage and intensity to give the body time to recover in preparation for the race.  It also leads to pants full of ants and an overall surplus in energy.  Really it’s a silly idea, to build a runner’s endurance up to 50+ miles per week, transforming their body into a high-performance running machine and then suddenly say “now take it easy for a few weeks”.  Well to that I say “psssssssh”.

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Running (Best) Man – Week 13 Review [brief]

We’re back on track folks!  I got all my scheduled runs in last week and had no problems, inside or out.  With travel to Connecticut for Colin’s wedding I had to smash everything into five days instead of six, so obviously I skipped my rest day.  Tuesday’s intervals (four 3/4 mile repeats) were right on target and Wednesday’s 11 mile run to work was on the faster side of normal.

On Thursday night Ev and I landed in JFK and made the drive out to Connecticut near Colin’s apartment.  I met Colin Friday morning on a street corner to embark on our 20 miler and my last major run before tapering for Chicago.  What I wasn’t expecting was actually how humid it was.  I was hoping for cool, crisp Northeast Autumn.  Instead we got foggy, rain* that lasted approximately 2.5 hours of the 2.75 hours that we ran.  Good news is my leg-hip injury is a thing of the past.  It was great running with Colin again, and now he’s all married and stuff!

Now for my least favorite thing, besides the dentist… tapering.

Distance Time Pace Heart Rate
Monday 7.15 Miles 1:01:38 8:37 min/mi 145 bpm
Tuesday 10.01 Miles 1:16:38 7:39 min/mi 157 bpm
Wednesday 11.00 Miles 1:30:01 8:11 min/mi 153 bpm
Thursday 3.56 Miles 31:10 8:46 min/mi 139 bpm
Friday 20.23 Miles 2:44:04 8:07 min/mi 156 bpm
Total 51.95 Miles 7:03:32 8:09 min/mi 153 bpm

*yes, rain!  ugh, Austin is changing me into someone who savors rain

Micro vs Macro

Don’t worry, I’m not going to drop an economics lesson on you.  That would just be boring.  Instead I’m going to talk about my recent streak of ailments keeping me from running.  Exciting!  We’re talking micro as in microorganisms and macro as in macro painful.  Two separate situations arose, both incapacitating me right at the peak of my training for the Chicago Marathon.  One sabotaged me from the inside while the other full-on assaulted me from the outside.  To add insult to injury injury to illness, my injury waited for my illness to subside before busting onto the scene.

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Back on Track – Week 12 Review [brief]

With no new illness or injury Week 12 wasn’t too bad, and “wasn’t too bad” is good enough for me right now. I’ve been a bit discouraged, demoralized, and dissatisfied with all the unwanted breaks in training. Thankfully Week 12 was good to me. My paces

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were unimpressive if not a little slow, but at least there were paces. “Running” and “slow running” are both better than “not running” at this point. I finished the week off pretty well and hope to leverage that going into Week 13. After that it’s just taper for two weeks and then the race! it’s coming up quick…

Distance Time Pace Heart Rate
Wednesday 9.15 Miles 1:18:06 8:32 min/mi 146 bpm
Thursday 8.00 Miles 1:05:56 8:15 min/mi 147 bpm
Friday 1.03 Miles 09:30 9:14 min/mi – bpm
Saturday 17.10 Miles 2:22:54 8:21 min/mi 158 bpm
Total 35.27 Miles 4:56:26 8:24 min/mi 152 bpm

Road to Recovery. Not. – Week 11 Review [brief]

After returning from Vegas and getting over my sickness, Week 11 was positioned to be something of a comeback week.  Still a high volume week totaling 52 miles, I decided to skip one midweek medium long run of 12 miles to avoid doing too much too soon.  After a great interval 9 miler on Thursday I was really looking forward to a tough 18 mile marathon pace.  Well, Friday after an easy recovery  a non-running injury (more to come in another post) left me sidelined for an unknown amount of time.  Things aren’t looking good so all we can do is keep our fingers crossed.  A trip to the doctor might be in order if things to get resolved soon.  The Chicago Marathon is coming up in less than 4 weeks…

Distance Time Pace Heart Rate
Monday 12.00 Miles – min/mi – bpm
Tuesday 8.27 Miles 1:09:03 8:21 min/mi 144 bpm
Thursday 9.00 Miles 1:09:37 7:43 min/mi 154 bpm
Friday 5.00 Miles 44:22 8:52 min/mi 140 bpm
Saturday 18.00 Miles – min/mi – bpm
Total 22.27 Miles 3:03:03 8:13 min/mi 147 bpm

Bleh – Week 10 Review

bleh.

That’s how I felt during Week 10 of training.  What should have been titled something awesome like “Run the Tables! – Week 10 Review” or “Runs in Vegas Stay in Vegas – Week 10 Review” ended up anticlimactic when I came down with some sickness that essentially incapacitated me for over a week.  Week 10 was supposed to be the training week of this whole training plan with a total of 55 miles and some intense efforts.  Instead I ended up with under 20 miles and nothing but slow but not easy miles.

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