Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Hello Race Month.

Well friends, here we are...October is finally here.  Months of training, hundreds of miles logged, and now we have reached the taper.  Normally in taper time I get super ancy and want to go out for a long run but not this time.  Hanson's sufficiently kicked my ass for 20 weeks and I am LOVING this low mileage right now.  Taper does bring its own set of mental battles.  Did I train hard enough?  Should I have done just one more long run?  What is that phantom pain I'm feeling?  I don't care how many times you've done it, the doubt still tries to creep its way in.

Looking back at my training logs I am kind of blown away.  Regardless of what happens on race day, I can say that I have never pushed myself so hard.  I've never run SO many miles because quite frankly I never believed I could do it.  I have learned so so much about myself and about my ability throughout this process that actually sticking to and finishing this training is something to be very proud of.  I run all of my runs solo and having to motivate myself to get up every single day (schedule had me running 6 days a week) and get my butt out the door wasn't always fun, but it had to be done.  I wrapped up the bulk of my training last week and then completed September yesterday with 190 miles logged.  In one month.  That.  Is.  Insane.

A few days ago my long awaited participant guide showed up!  Something about this just makes things so real.


Getting a bib number is kind of that official moment that reminds you, holy shnikes you're about to run another marathon.  Not only is 26.2 about to happen again, but I am so blessed to be able to run another marathon major!  For those who don't know, there are 6 World Marathon Majors.

  1. Tokyo Marathon
  2. London Marathon
  3. Boston Marathon
  4. Berlin Marathon
  5. Chicago Marathon
  6. NYC Marathon

Chicago is expecting to have roughly 45,000 participants.  I haven't participated in a race this large since I ran the NYC Marathon in 2010.  I can tell you that is A LOT of runners.  Big races bring a whole new level of excitement to the experience.  (They also bring a lot more chaos but that just comes with the territory.)  The big races also bring in the elite field and if you've never witnessed it before, watching elites tackle a course is so incredible.  They run a pace that I can't even fathom all the while making it look effortless; it is truly a spectacle to watch.  The 2014 Elite Field consists of several runners from the Hanson's team, including my coach Mike Morgan.  He will finish the entire marathon at about the time I pass the halfway point...true story.  We're planning on a brief meet up on Saturday so I'm looking forward to saying thank you in person, and wishing him luck.

Now that the training is starting to wind down I can focus on the other fun part of this trip, getting to explore Chicago for the first time!  If anyone has any "must-see" activities or places to eat please let me know.  I'd also like to know what the good pubs are in town for us to try out some local brews...after the race of course!