Log for September 30 & October 1 – Training for Bank of America Chicago Marathon on October 9th. Goal for the fall and winter marathon season is to break 3:15 for the first time.
- Rest – I took today off since near the end of my 2nd week of taper. If I get my planned mileage tomorrow at the Shelby Bottoms Boogie 15K (with Warmup and Cooldown), then I should be right at 35-miles for the week, which is about right. Next week should be between 12 and 15-miles before the race on Sunday.
- Cross Training – I’m not doing any resistance training with my legs since I’m tapering. Also, it is very hard to do anything upper body with the wounds on my hands. Kind of in Limbo.
- 15K Tune-Up Race (9.3 Miles) + 5-Miles Warmup & Cooldown – Today was the Shelby Bottoms Boogie 15K, which is the first of 3-consecutive races over the next 3 weekends for me (Chicago Marathon, Murfreesboro “Middle” Half Marathon). The goals today included:
1.) Partial simulation of Chicago pre-race routine (food, hydration, warmup).
2.) Get in one last, good tempo run before Chicago.
3.) Stay within myself regarding average pace. If anything hurts…slow down.
4.) If my body allows it, run at a pace that would make marathon pace feel slower.
5.) Build confidence going into Chicago!
This is the 12th year of this race which is held on the Shelby Bottoms Greenway and in Shelby Park. The course is almost completely flat, so it is a good place to prepare for Chicago.
Nathan and I arrived early and did a 4-mile warmup through Shelby Park, starting at an easy pace and slowly building toward race pace. We finished the warmup with 4 x 100m stride-outs to get the lungs going and our legs ready for a faster pace. The only difference with this and my Chicago plan is that my warmup will be no more than 2 miles with 4 x 100m stride-outs.
As we finished the warmup, we finally ran into Dan and Paxton from our running group and made our way to the starting area. I had planned to start out at goal marathon pace (7:26) and then work my way down based on how I felt. However when the gun sounded a pace just over 7:00 min felt VERY comfortable, so I decided to hang out there for a while. The first 7.5 miles is on the greenway, with a turnaround at 3.75 miles.
For the first 3 miles I settled into a pretty smooth rhythm with miles of 7:03, 7:05, and 6:59. On the way to the turnaround I counted about 25 runners who were ahead of me and were already on the way back. After making the turn, I completed mile 4 in 7:01 and was feeling fantastic. Since I was feeling so good, I started to pick up the pace a bit and began trying to pick of the runners ahead of me.
My final 3 miles on the greenway were 6:56, 6:45, and 6:42, and I was able to catch and pass at least a half dozen runners. Once we were in Shelby Park, I could see the lead female runner about 50 yards ahead of me. I decided that I would try to catch her in the last couple of miles. I finished mile 8 in 6:40 and passed several other runners . About halfway through the 9th mile I caught and began to pass the lead female, but she accelerated to match my pace, and stayed within a couple of strides of me for the rest of the race.
Now that I was slightly ahead of her, there was no one else I could see in front of me to chase. I finished the 9th mile in 6:25, and then tried to remain smooth through the finish. My official time was 1:03:39, which comes out to a 6:51 average pace per mile. This was good enough for 12th place overall, and 3rd place in my age group (35 to 39).
I was happy that at the end I felt like I could have kept going and nothing was hurting me. Even though the pace was fast, it felt comfortable and controlled. This is a HUGE confidence boost going into Chicago. I was also happy that the other three members of our running group, Nathan, Paxton, and Dan all placed in their age groups. Nathan was 1st in 25 to 29; Paxton was 3rd in 30 to 34; Dan was first in 55 to 59. We all had a good day, and are ready for Chicago!!