Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Bank of America Chicago Marathon 2015 Recap

Yes, I cried when I crossed the finish line. 
I've only run two marathons. Last year, I ran the 2014 TCS New York City Marathon, and this past Sunday, I ran the 2015 Bank of America Chicago Marathon.
Like I told the man from Tokyo, who asked me at the finish, 
"How was your race?" 
Running the Bank of America Chicago Marathon was painful. 
And when I asked him how his race went, he replied, 
"Same. It was painful." 
Then, we laughed and walked to the bag check together discussing our times. He was off a sub 3:30 by seconds. I was off my goal by one minute. Nonetheless, we were happy to finish. I told him I want to run all six world major marathons. He told me that he has the same goal. We laughed some more through our aches and pains. He told me that he was running Boston next. I laughed and told him I don't know why, but I am too! We shook hands, and hoped to meet up again on April 18th, 2016!
Frank Shorter has a quote:
"You have to forget your last marathon before you try another. 
Your mind can't know what's coming."
I don't know why I would want to put my body through the grueling training, and agony of running another marathon, it's not even for the fact that I am Half-Crazed. 
4:30 AM october 11, 2015:
With NYC painful memories behind me,
I was ready for the Chicago Marathon
Still, I was terrified to run on Sunday. 
I was more afraid this marathon than last year in NYC. I know more about all the things that could go wrong during such a long race. Plus, I have few injuries - I have a few small hamstring tears, and my left achilles and calf are tighter than a wet knot in a strand of wool. Aside from that, I didn't want to let my Coach down. I've been training with Joel for 5 years. Joel has helped me finish 25 half marathons, and one marathon (now two). He knows me. He wanted me to go for a sub 3:30. I was afraid to push that much with the hamstring. I told him I'd go for an 8-minute mile pace, and hoped to come in 3:30. I didn't tell him but his goal pace for me, 3:27, was my secret wish time. Maybe Boston?

The marathon is an extraordinary event. I'm still mystified that I finished, let alone set a new PR. I'm also amazed at all the crazy thoughts that run through the head while running a marathon. The funny thing is that just like my sharing pain and marathon goals with the man from Tokyo - I'm sure you find that you too have the same thoughts while running - and I hope they make you laugh:

Starting Line:

  • OMG. I think I hafta pee again. What should I do? There a sewer plate over there. Maybe those 30 people or so standing around won't really mind? How am I gonna run 26.2 miles with a full bladder? Maybe it's good that it's full - like my extra source of water. Okay, stop worrying, it will all be reabsorbed by mile 16. But what if I pee on myself while I'm running? I drank all that Beet Juice. People will think I'm bleeding. Okay stop! You're getting out of control - it's just because you're cold and shivering.
  • Sssh, ssssh ssh. They're playing the National Anthem. Okay don't cry. Pray for our troops. Thank you God for our troops. Bless them and our country. Home of the Brave! Okay did I just shout that? Ech girl, you really gotta calm down.
  • Okay we're moving up! We're starting. Take off your throw away shirt. 
  • Hope I see those pace signs still at mile18!
  • Start the Garmin! No wait. We're stopping. Stop the Garmin. 
  • Okay go!
Mile 1-13.1:

  • Holy crap there's a ton of people! I hope no one steps on the back of my shoe.
  • OMG! Do I have cotton mouth? Am I really this nervous? Whatever you do don't spit out the gum!
  • Follow the blue line. Rebecca said to follow the blue line - it's exactly 26.2 - not a step more.
  • Oh boy. You gotta keep this pace up for 26 more miles!
  • I can do this, I can do this, I can do this, I can do this, I can do this, I can do this ......
  • I can run this! C'mon. I run my halves faster than this! I can at least do this for 13.1 miles!
  • God bless me, God bless me, God bless me, God bless me, God bless me .......
  • Just get to 13.1. Then start to worry.
  • Okay. Relax. Look at that guy up there. He looks so relaxed. I gotta be relaxed like him. Try running like him.
  • Yes! I am halfway there!
  • I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!
  • Just keep following the pacers and the blue line!
Mile 13.1-20:

  • Okay. Those pacers are too fast. I thought we were supposed to do 8 minute miles? They said 8 minutes to the end - a nice and easy pace. Where' the hell did they go?
  • Oh no. Maybe my Garmin is off. Oh, God. What pace am I going?
  • Does anyone know what pace we are doing?
    • Other racer: We are running about 7:47' mile pace, but I'm starting to fade.
  • Okay don't listen to him - just because he's fading doesn't mean you are fading!
  • Hey, what time are you going for?
    • Other racer: 3:30.
  • Okay. I think I'm on track. I don't think my Garmin is lying. Where the hell are those pacers?
  • Water, yes, I need water: OMG! What's this woman doing? "Hey, Sister, sister, sister - you gotta keep moving. Grab your water and keep moving!"
    • Other racer: Some people are clueless. There's a really annoying woman up there. She keeps cutting in and out.
    • Me: I know who you're talking about. White shirt?
    • Other racer: Yes!
  • Where'd everybody get those sponges? I missed them again? How come I never see the people giving out the sponges?
  • I'm so glad I didn't wear my name. Every time someone yells Beth, I want to turn and look. I hope this other Beth will either run ahead of me or drop back! This is so annoying. Remember to never, ever wear your name on your clothes! 
  • Okay the blue line is in the sun. To hell with the blue line. I'm staying on the shady side of the street!
  • Take a Gu. Don't swallow your gum. This is gross. Keep the gum.
  • Oh, no. I'm behind this guy blowing his nose, again. Ech. WTF? I don't want your snot on me!
  • Crap. I'm giving some time back. That was 8:09. C'mon girl! You trained for this.
  • Remember seeing Kathrine Switzer talk last monday? Her foundation is 261-Fearless. Run Fearlessly!
  • F-E-A-R-L-E-S-S, F-E-A-R-L-E-S-S, F-E-A-R-L-E-S-S, F-E-A-R-L-E-S-S .....
  • Okay God, You gotta keep me strong! Just please. Keep me strong!
  • John, Carry me through to the end. On the wings of angels!
  • Holy crap, that girl just passed me like I was standing still!
  • Where's the blue line?
  • Take another Gu. Don't swallow your gum!
Mile 21-26.2:
  • When will mile 22 get here? I've been running this mile forever!
  • Ech, I'm giving more time back! Oh no! Is this the wall
  • Take more Gu! My last Gu! 
  • Wow! I can't believe I didn't swallow my gum!
  • Mile 22: Yes! I'm back.
  • Oooh! Stretch dude - Ech poor man grabbed his hammy in pain! Oh God keep me strong. Don't let that happen to me!
  • Gatorade. I need Gatorade!
  • Oh noooo! Sorry mister. OMG! I just knocked his Gatorade out of his hand! And now it's all over him! 
  • Okay. Don't run in the sticky Gatorade. It will slow you down.
  • Where's that line? It's blue, right? Where'd that line go?
  • Holy crap, why is that guy stopping? He only has a few more mile. Just friggin shuffle if you gotta! Didn't he ever hear of that Australian guy, Cliff Young? Just shuffle!
  • If one more person yells only a couple more miles, I am going to lose it!
  • When will mile 24 come? I've been running way more than 1 mile. I don't think this course is marked right.
  • I promise. Just finish and you will never, ever hafta run again. I promise you. If I just finish, I'll never make myself run, ever, ever again!
  • Holy crap, more people are stopping! Why are they stopping? Just friggin' shuffle if you gotta!
  • I'm not stopping. It'll never end if I stop! There's no way, I'll stop! Kathrine Switzer said that she'd crawl to the finish if she had to - so will I - If I hafta!
  • Mile 25! There's Ron and Juliette!
    • Ron: Finish strong. It's just one more mile!
    • Juliette: Go Mommy! Gooooo!
    • Me: This is f@!cking hard!
  • 800 meters: Pretend your on the track with Coach Joel! It's just 100 meter strides, 8 times! Count to 25 for every meter!
  • Have I been counting for a quarter mile?
  • To hell with that line!
  • 400 meters! Is that Sweet Caroline playing in the background?
  • That person doesn't look as fit as me. Younger, yes - but not as fit. I worked harder. I gotta pass her. Kick it in! Pass her! Yes!
  • Keep that fast twitch going! The slow twitch is spent, but you got some fast twitch left.
  • Kick it in!
Holy, Lord! I did it!
I did it!
I finished!
2015 Bank of America Chicago Marathon
Thank you Lord!
I want that medal!
110 minutes slower than Dickson Chumba's time! 
The closest I got to him was at breakfast, the next day! LOL!
Train Smart Today!
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