Post Chicago Marathon thoughts + plans

Post Chicago Marathon thoughts + plans

Post Chicago Marathon thoughts:

About an hour after the race, my aunt asked me if I had any regrets. YES —> not putting my name on my shirt! That was my instant response and am glad that was my biggest “issue”.

Would I do anything different in my training though? Honestly, I probably should have added a day of running (I ran 3 times a week) or maybe followed a training plan a little closer. The thing with adding in another day of running (or really any workout) is then it starts to feel like a chore for me. It feels like something I have to do rather than something I want to do. Yes, running is my favorite type of workout, but no that doesn’t mean I want to do it every fucking day.

I was really scared that there was going to be a “what’s next” feeling. Or like I was going to feel disappointed because I had accomplished my goal but wanted more. I’m happy to announce that neither of those are the case! I think honestly it’s because now I can do something else besides marathon training! I can do a leg heavy workout on Thursday or Friday without fear of being sore for Saturday morning. If I don’t want to do cardio at all, I don’t have to. It’s liberating really; I feel like I have so much more freedom now.

Plans:

I told myself that if I didn’t want to run, then I didn’t have to. Here’s the thing though, I want to run. October and November have the best running weather and I hate missing out on it. This type of weather just makes me want to run. So yes running is still going to be in apart of my weekly workouts.

However, when I was really in the heart of training during the 70-80 degree weather, I had to tell myself anything to get me running. And considering how much I didn’t want to be running in the heat, I decided to go 180 of cardio, and bribe myself with strength. If I could get through marathon training, then I could focus on getting stronger after it was done.

So as of right now, that is the plan. I want to start focusing my workouts around dumbbells, barbells, plates, kettle bells, etc. etc. I want to get stronger, because strength training slowed down this summer, and then essentially stopped during the taper. I want to see definition again in my arms. Haha I mean holy shit I feel scrawny and flappy because I really haven’t worked out my arms in probably 2 months?

I was looking at various online programs and schedules and realized that is not what I want to do. I hate following training plans. That shit just doesn’t work for me, because then it starts to feel like something I have to do rather than something I want to do.

The only “plan” I have going into this is that I want to have a leg day, an arm & shoulder day, and a chest & back day. With some running in there and ab work whenever the hell I feel like it. Which would be never, so I should add that to some of my “days” I guess…

AHHH now I’m not sure. Maybe my “plan” won’t have “days” because then that feels limiting?!

Tips for running the Chicago Marathon (or any large race!)

Tips for running the Chicago Marathon (or any large race!)

Shout out to anyone who has a fall race coming up or if you have already completed one! Hopefully after race day, you’re not left with too many regrets or “I should have done this…” situations. Post Chicago, there are definitely some things I wish I would have done (#1!!) and some things that really helped me throughout the race.

Here are some tips for running the Chicago Marathon or any other large race:

  1. Put your name on your shirt! – This is my biggest regret of my marathon, because people all around me were getting cheered on because they had their name on their shirt. Especially with the number of spectators at Chicago (1.5 million+ !!), it would have been so fun to have had my name yelled along the way. I don’t care how you do it; iron on letters, duct tape + sharpie, an old race bib.. just do it!
  2. Get water from the cups towards the end of the table – there are going to be a lot of people who are trying to get water and they stop right in the beginning. Go to the end of the table and you’ll be way less congested.
  3. Have your spectators hold an object taller than everyone else – my amazing aunt walked around all day with a turtle balloon tied to her wrist so I would be able to spot my family quickly! The only tricky part was the wind, because she said sometimes the turtle wanted to smack people in the face… Other great ideas would be an open umbrella, a fat head, or I even saw someone tie a stuffed animal to a yard stick. Hey, whatever will get your attention right?
  4. Know where your family, friends, S/O’s are going to be – if I wouldn’t have known that my family was going to be at miles 4, 11, and 19, then I would have missed them in the crowds!  It’s also really fun to know where they’ll be, because then it gives you something to think about while you’re racing, which can be huge mentally. It is for me at least.
  5. Read all of the ridiculous signs and interact with the spectators – some of my favorite signs from the Chicago Marathon: “smile if you masturbate” “you’re hot… single?” “I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling 26.2” “let’s get drunk”. It is so much fun to not only read all the hilarious signs, but then to laugh and point at them which gets you engaged with the spectators. It’s nice to share a laugh or smile with someone when you’re basically not interacting with people for hours while you’re running.
  6. Wear sunscreen – Yes this is for any race haha not just a large one, but considering I forgot it seems important to add to this list. Now I am sporting a sexy tank top tan. Luckily it’s fall so no one will see…

Ok guys that’s about all I’ve got for you. I’m heading to the IU football tailgate tomorrow and then the Colts-Patriots game is on Sunday night! Have a great and safe weekend, I hope the weather is as gorgeous for you as it is here!

What are your tips for running a large race?

2015 Chicago Marathon Recap

2015 Chicago Marathon Recap

You guys, I am a marathoner!

Oh my gosh I don’t even know where to start.

I wanted to wait to get this post up because I didn’t want to be completely clouded by “I just ran a marathon and I’m on cloud 9 syndrome”. Although that is still going on pretty strong ; )

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The weather was absolutely gorgeous for the race! It was around 55 degrees when we started and perfectly sunny. Although it was hot when we finished (70-75 degree range), for most of the race, one half of the street would be shaded and the other half would be sunny. So it was nice to take advantage of the shade when I could.

Miles 1-4: We crossed the start line a little after 8:30 which was frustrating, because they told us it would be at 8:10. We were so antsy and anxious in the corral! I totally understand though, there were a shit ton of runners! Waiting that long in the corrals though only heightened my nerves. Once we finally got started, my dad and stepmom were at like mile .5 and after running past them, I was teary eyed immediately. Starting the race and seeing loved ones was just emotional overload for me I guess : ) Luckily, the tears didn’t last long, because hello I was running a marathon! I don’t think that I stopped smiling for the first couple of miles, because holy shit I was actually running a marathon. I was doing it!

5-12: Lol I was still cheesing because I still couldn’t believe I was actually running a marathon. Around mile 9 or 10, we ran past a retirement home, and all of the seniors were sitting by the windows waving and smiling at us as we ran by! They even had a banner up that read, “We couldn’t run this year, but maybe we will next year!” It was seriously the cutest thing and made me so happy.

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Miles 13-16: I put my headphones in at the half marathon point, and turned on my trusty One Direction. Once I hit 13.1 I was mentally boosted, because every step from there on out was towards the finish line, not away from it if that makes sense. After crossing 16 though, my mental game really started to suffer. Like hard.

Miles 17-21: Absolutely the most mentally tough miles I have ever run. I felt so close because I was in single digits of miles left, but I still felt so far away. Getting through 17 & 18, and knowing that I would get to look for my family at 19 was huge and the only thing mentally keeping me in the game. When I saw them waiting for me at mile 19, I dropped “f-this” 3 times. I was going to try and pull my brother into the race with me, because I needed some “you got this kid” motivation, but he was too far back for me to get him. It seriously took everything in me to keep going.

I just kept telling myself that I would be so much more disappointed in myself if I walked rather than continuing running. Walking was not what I wanted to remember from the race. I saw a sign that said, “Will you remember quitting or finishing more?” and that was the kick in the ass I needed. I would have remembered quitting so much more because I would have been so disappointed in myself for not pushing through.

Miles 22-25: Once I got through 21 and hit the 22 mile marker, things just started to lift up mentally. Physically it was a different story haha, but nothing completely unbearable. I was cramping right above my right knee, my feet were hurting pretty bad with new blisters and callouses, and a random part of my arm was chafing a bit. But after hitting 22, I kept telling myself that it was just a 5K, because getting to 25 was basically like I was finished (it’s those mental tricks that keep me going when I race).

Mile 25.2: There was sign that said “1 mile left!” Running past that sign, it really hit home that I was going to do it. I was going to finish a marathon. I really started to tear up here and had to reign them in, so I could try and breathe normally!

Miles 26 – 26.2: Ok so like running a marathon isn’t hard enough, the last .20 miles of the race are on an uphill!! Well just .10 of a mile is the uphill, but still! It is a .10 mile run up the hill, a left, and then a .10 mile run to the finish. And there were so many people walking up the hill, but there was no way in hell I was walking when I was so freaking close to the finish. Making that final left turn and seeing the finish line is a feeling I don’t think I will ever forget. The sense of excitement, pride, accomplishment, and joy is something I have never experienced before, at least not like that.

I feel so fortunate that I never really “hit the wall” physically. I never felt like my legs were really heavy or like they wouldn’t be able to take another step. Besides the cramping from 22-25, my legs felt great! I credit that a lot to the fact that I walked through every water station. I would run up until the person from whom I took water from, drink my water or Gatorade cup(s), and then continue running. I also was running such a controlled and slower pace that I think it really helped save my legs.

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Yes, I could have run faster, but for my first marathon, I really wanted to focus on having fun and enjoying the whole process. I figured there were going to be a lot of more marathons in my future so why make myself miserable for the first one?! And I had no idea the mental hurdle I was going to face from 17-21, and I am so glad that I wasn’t physically hurting, too.

When I crossed the finish line, honestly I was so damn happy just be finished running. It wasn’t until probably an hour or so later that I was like “f@$! I just ran a f@$!ing marathon!!” To say that I am proud, accomplished, proud, excited, and so f-ing proud would really sum it all up nicely. Knowing that I worked so hard towards something and for something long, and then have all of that hard work pay off, is so amazing. Even if you would have asked me last year about running a marathon, I don’t think I would have said yes or thought I could do it. It has made me realize that I am tough, dedicated, and hard-working.

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Chicago Marathon, thank you for a great race, great volunteers, great spectators, and a fucking great first marathon. This will not be the last time we meet.

Official time: 4:52:04 ~ 11:09 pace