Friday, August 7, 2009

Marathon Training Round 3 - Update and Chicago Rock 'n' Roll 1/2 Marathon

Marathon training this time around seems hard. It’s hard to focus. My cross training has gone out the window. After the Green Bay Marathon I was all on track and ready to roll – completing what seemed like the perfect recovery plan – lots of swimming for a week and then starting to add runs back in and finally getting started on “Round 3.”

I’ve been getting all of my runs in, but they’re tough. My SI joint has been sucking lately and I’m feeling sluggish and slow. This could be due to the fact that I’ve gained a few pounds this summer and that I’ve spent a lot of time drinking and apparently, I’ve completely forgotten how to get to the Y.

I’ve been trying harder in the last couple of weeks though and have gotten in the pool and have done a little lifting here and there.

This past weekend I did the Inaugural Chicago Rock ‘n’ Roll ½ Marathon as a part of my training schedule.

I went down to Chicago on Friday night and spent most of the rainy Saturday hanging out with Mary in Lincoln Square – there was a “garden walk” which would have been better had it not been raining. We popped into some fun little shops and had a great lunch at Costello’s Sandwich and Sides I had an amazing turkey sandwich and a HUGE pickle…and let’s be honest, nothing gets me more excited than a big pickle (and get your mind out of the gutters, I’m talking Kosher here!).

We met up with Kendra and Jared and went down to get our race packets. We spent some time looking around the expo and I bought a “Stick” which is amazing. And tested out the Power Balance Bracelet which was the most crazy cool thing ever – a guy pushed down on your arm while you were on one foot and I (along with everyone else) fell over but then he handed you the bracelet and you stayed put. It has something to do with a computer chip that works with your electrons or something like that – as he was talking the only thing I heard was “you’ll get a big tumor” – but what do I know?

We had a great pasta dinner at Mary’s – it’s always such a pleasure to carbo load. I don’t eat enough pasta and bread, so it’s fun when you can really go to town!

Race morning we were up by 4:15 am and on the platform for the train a little before 5 heading down to Grant Park. The L got PACKED with people which was strangely fun because almost all of us were going to the same place. And the people who weren’t going to run were oddly fascinated (or totally annoyed) by all of us who were about to run 13.1 miles.

We hadn’t made plans to meet with Kendra and Jared before the race but we ran into them walking into the park! It was a great surprise! We checked our gear at Mary’s running group tent – which made life SO much easier.

The run went by pretty quickly, even though I was 5 minutes slower than I was in Kenosha. It was fun running downtown Chicago and as we came back north on the bike path, running towards the Chicago skyline was breathtaking. The 13 bands that lined the route were all really fun and the people were out in droves. It’s always great to have a big crowd to help you tackle the miles!

After the race I met up with Jared who finished in 1:39 and Brenna who was volunteering at a water station it was nice that they were there holding down a spot for us all to meet! Mary and Kendra joined us and we just hung out in Grant Park – Mary and I changed into new clothes (all a girl really needs after a race is a wet wash cloth and a change of clothes J - who needs a shower?!?), grabbed our beers and laid in the grass listening to Susan Tedeschi . Kendra and Jared joined us after they showered and we then headed through Millennium Park and on to Giordano's for “World Famous” Chicago deep dish pizza. It was truly a delightful afternoon!

I have a 17 miler looming over me this weekend, I am however, running all 17 with my friend Krista so at least I’ll have someone trudging along with me and I’m actually looking forward to it. We’ll see how it goes!