This week is what it all comes down to. It’s race week!
Monday, May 16
I ran 5 miles—to Wrigley Field and back—at a relaxed pace.
Tuesday, May 17
I took today off. The goal this week is to stay loose with a couple runs but take it easy.
Wednesday, May 18
I ran 3.5 miles today around my neighborhood. Another relaxed day, just getting some time on my feet to shake out my muscles and remind myself what running feels like.
Thursday, May 19
I took today off. It was good timing as today happened to be my company’s quarterly meeting.
Friday, May 20
I woke up early to run a quick 2-mile shakeout run. Megan and I hit the road for Fargo after that. I made sure to stretch out my legs while in the car for long periods of time to help reduce muscle soreness from sitting and being cramped up. We got to Fargo, went straight to the Fargodome to get my packet, then hit up the Olive Garden for dinner with the whole crew for a pre-race carb-load.
Saturday, May 21
Today was the big day—the one I spent the last 14 weeks training for. I woke up at 5:30, had a banana, coffee and PowerBar, took a quick shower, and then we were out the door heading back to the Fargodome.
I won’t go into too much detail because I plan on writing a race reflection later on. I will say that the warm temperature played way more of a factor than I thought it would. I closely monitored the forecast in the ten days leading up to the race. I knew it was going to be warm and honestly, I was excited. Finally, after having trained in snow, sleet, rain, cold and high winds, I would have a sunny, warm day to race. Well, it was a nice day, but warmth isn’t necessarily good for racing. I think a big part of my struggle was having not trained in heat.
I finished in a time of 3:14:47 and placed 45th out of about 1,500 full marathoners overall. (Last year, under much cooler temperatures and with an almost identical number of entries, 45th place was a 3:03:02.) Of the seven full marathons I have done, this one falls right in the median.
Here is a more detailed breakdown of my times and average pace.
I put in some very good training for this race, but I think ultimately this is just how the marathon goes. You can have great training and feel solid but that doesn’t guarantee you will PR. This uncertainty is what I find most maddening about the marathon. It’s a difficult distance because you can’t predict what will happen or how your body will react over 26.2 miles. All you can do is train your best and hope that the stars align for you on race day.
This is my finisher medal in front of the sign it was designed after.
Sunday, May 22
We spent most of the day driving back to Chicago. Surprisingly, this trip was much less painful than I anticipated. I really thought I would be sore and that being cramped up would make my legs tight, but they felt alright.
This is the last of my weekly training recap posts. Thank you to everyone who has followed along for the past several months!