Sunday, October 9, 2011

October 9, 2011: Chicago Marathon (minus 8.2 miles)

"I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed."
~ Michael Jordan

The day.   The race.   4 solid months of training leading up to today.

After a typical night of restlessness (maybe 5.5 hours of sleep), I was up at 5:00 am to down my usual bowl of oatmeal with peanutbutter, cherries, raisins, and half a banana.   After an hour of resting, listening to relaxing Tibetan Wind Chimes, then a half hour of last minute gear assemblage and an FRS (lowcal Berry), Monica and I were making our way to the start.

Stress!  They are rigid about getting into your corral at the start(10 minutes beforehand).   I actually had to jump a fence to enter the C corral, then make my way up through C, B, and A before getting to where the sub-Elites start.   This gave me two minutes before the gun went off.

Mile 1 5:10.   Felt great.   The first mile seems to drop a little, and significant time is spent under overpasses in a tunnel (where it was really warm).   Massive group with/around/behind... that being said, I was a little fast, but there was a slight downhill.

Mile 2 5:22.   Elapsed time 10:32.  More like it.   Got into a really nice groove, and considering the slight climb, felt like I was right on the money.   Took a vanilla GU, mainly because I felt like it had been 2 hours since I'd ingested any calories.  This might be something that affected me later.  

Mile 3 5:18.   Elapsed time 15:50.  Perfect.  mindless.  effortless.

Mile 4 5:16.   Elapsed time 21:05.  Perfect.  smooth.   felt great.   still plenty of company.

Mile 5 5:15.   Through 5 miles in 26:20 (my goal was to be here in 26:30-26:35).   Felt like I needed to back off just a little bit.

Mile 6 5:19.   Elapsed time 31:39.  Perfect.  Later rolled through 10K in 32:51.   Definitely in a stone cold groove at this point.   Very deliberate in pooring water on my head and chest at every water station.   Getting a little warm, but not alarmingly so.

Mile 7 5:12.   At this point, I actually drifted off and away from the nucleus of guys (and a couple of ladies) running with the 2:19 group.  There was some downhill, but this mile felt a little short.

Mile 8 5:33.   Elapsed time 42:25.  Definitely long.  If I backed off on this mile, it wasn't by more than 5-6 seconds.   Mile 7+8=10:45 (or 5:22 pace)  Took a roctane GU here after the water station.

Mile 9 5:20.   Elapsed time 47:46.  Running with a group of 3-4 guys, maybe 40 feet behind 2:19 group.   Feeling comfortable.

Mile 10 5:18.   Elapsed time 53:04.  (my goal was to be here in 53min)  Felt great.  Ran with some guy from Phili for much of this mile and the next 2.

Mile 11 5:15.   Elapsed time 58:20.  Ate a little into the gap between us and the mob ahead.

Mile 12 5:17.   Elapsed time 1:03:37.  Running well, feeling good... getting warm.

Mile 13 5:20.   Later rolled through the Half-Marathon in 1:09:35.   Perfect!   feeling really good.

Mile 14 5:18.9.  Elapsed time 1:14:16.  got a water bottle from JC and Jesse Williams picked me up here.   feeling good.   took another Roctane.

Mile 15 5:23.   Elapsed time 1:19:39.  Beginning of the end.  This mile felt good, but near end my abs tightened up considerably on both sides.  Leading up to this mile, I'd been sipping a little gatorade at each of the previous 2-3 stations.  Not a good idea.

Mile 16 5:30.   Elapsed time 1:25:10.  Trying to relax, but acid reflux reaction has me spitting up gatorade/gu combo.  I told myself, it's ok to have a rough spell...there is plenty of race to be run and my legs still feel great.

Mile 17 5:33.   Elapsed time 1:30:43.  Desparately trying to relax, but at this stage, tightness has spread from my core to my legs.  Smoothness is gone.  Jesse back up and running with me.   Getting warm!

Mile 18 6:01.   Elapsed time 1:36:45.  Basically, this was a jog.  Felt really lousy too.  After running 5:30 pace the last two miles and basically have my rhythm in a nosedive, this seemed like the right call.

2.5 miles back to the finish line.

Disappointing, but on another level slightly encouraging.   I trained my tail off to get to this day, and it didn't go well.   Because of the warmth (I won't call it heat, because it was under 80 degrees, unlike many other years in recent history here), I was concerned about my mineral intake.   Sipping gatorade, and taking my feeds a little early hurt me(my normal pattern is first one at 6 miles, 2nd one at 12 miles, 3rd one at 18 miles.  Today I'd had three by 14, plus some gatorade)  The really sad(but encouraging) thing is my legs felt great.    After cramping up, my breathing was really labored over the 16th and 17th miles.   Not only was I able to jog 2.5 miles back to the finish line, later in the day I ran a mile and a half to get some tickets:  far from shattered.   I most definitely believe there is a sub 2:19 in these legs sooner as opposed to later.   

I've got 8 weeks to find out.


  1. Very smart thinking, Jerome! I'm excited about 8 weeks from now. I think you're smart about it all.

  2. As stubborn as runners can be, it takes courage and wisdom to know when to call it quits. So Chicago was a "dress rehearsal" for the another shot at sub 2:19. Nice blog, thanks Jer.
    -Joe Anderson