Now…it is officially fall. The leaves are changing, the temps are dropping, and pumpkins are all around. Love it!!!
A friend of mine who is a marathon vet suggested running the last section of the course before the big race. If you are familiar with the Chicago marathon course (which I am not…as I have never even watched the race), then you know that the last few miles are farther south, less populated and obviously when you are feeling the most fatigued. I have been reading some articles about marathon preparation and one suggestion given is to ‘Run the Course’. By this…the author’s recommendation was to mimic the demographic of the course. Some courses (San Francisco for example) are super hilly while others, like Chicago, are more flat. But, since the 26.2 mile course will take runners though 27 different neighborhoods, I think it is a good idea to be familiar with the course, especially the last few miles.
So…for this reason, I packed up my gear last night and woke up before the sun (even the BOY commented that I was ‘crazy’ as he headed to the bathroom) to get dressed in some warm running gear. All of the usual players were present for my pre-run breakfast…black tea, an egg (plus 2 egg whites), and oats.
For this morning, I made some pumpkin overnight oats. Yummy!
I hit the road for the city to meet my friend in her Logan Square neighborhood. I know that texting while driving is illegal and I’m sure the cops would not have appreciated me trying to get pictures of the beautiful sunrise over the city as I was driving east on 90.
I finished breakfast and made it down into the city a little after 7:00.
We walked to the CTA and on the way, swung by a local coffee shop for a bathroom and a drink. I got a Naked Coconut Water. I had never tired it before, but the mango-peach flavor was fabulous! We got on the Blue line and headed south. We made it down to Taylor and Racine, which is right around the 18 mile mark of the marathon course. A quick bathroom break at the Starbucks and we were on our way.
We followed the course through Little Italy and then on to China Town before running through IIT and the South Loop. We definitely got some interesting stares (as if to say we were a week early for the race). I didn’t have my camera with me to get the good city shots that I would have wanted on such a clear and beautiful day. We got lost a few times (totally my fault as I was navigator) and ended up running closer to 9 or 10 miles. We finished at Grant Park to a celebration, we even ran past a marching band, as another walk/run was finishing. I grabbed a snack and we chatted our way back towards the Blue Line. The walk felt good on our tired and stiff legs.
All things considered, I was feeling pretty good after our run! I am hoping that seeing the last few miles of the race will help me stay strong mentally when fatigue sets in next Sunday!
Marathon Countdown: 1 week (Yikes!)
Weekly Mileage: 17 miles (Love the Tapering)
Now that it is October, it’s time to check in with the September Goal. If you remember, I set ONE GOAL for this month and that was to train, train, and do more training for the upcoming marathon. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! As I’m sure you noticed form the significant amount of running posts this past month, I have been hitting the pavement, foam roller, and bath tub as I have increased my miles throughout the month. I was also super conscious of my nutrition, limiting sugars, soda, and alcohol and focusing on good carbohydrates to fuel my runs.
I started September with a 16 mile Labor Day Run.
Followed by my 18 mile run.
And completed my longest training run (and longest run EVER) of 20 miles.
Thanks to my family and friends, I was able to reach my fundraising goal for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital earning my Heroes jersey for race day! If you are interested in donating, please let me know and I can send you the link.
What a successful month!!!
As the marathon articles say, the hard work is behind me and I must trust that the ‘
money miles are in the bank’. It is time to rest up, get plenty of sleep, stick to my plan, and chill out. I think I can do that!
-Run my first marathon and finish feeling healthy
-Eat smart carbs and get plenty of sleep
-Increase my weekly meditation and yoga classes
-Continue to create new recipes with farm share produce and healthy grains