Chicago Marathon 2012 Race Report

This past Sunday I learned that a strict regimen of undertraining and overtapering can pay off in the most satisfying of ways.  Forget eating your vegetables.  Toss out any thought of early to bed and early to rise.  And the Golden Rule?  Nonsense.  Don’t believe any of it.  The path to success is paved with KIT KATs and excessive tweeting.

Or so it would seem.  I haven’t been a complete slug this year, but I really haven’t done much serious training since the Leadville 104 on August 18-19 (click here for that story).  Oh, sure, I’ve done a few long runs and a little speedwork . . . but nothing remotely supercompensation-inducing.  A “BQ” or Boston qualifer is something that comes easy to the genetically gifted, but I have to work at it.  Hard.  Really hard.  I have certainly not put forth the kind of effort that would culminate in punching a ticket to the Boston Marathon (click for last year’s trainwreck).

But that’s what happened.  This past Sunday the marathon gods smiled.  We all know it can go the other direction . . . quickly and painfully.  This time the weather was absolutely perfect (40 degrees, light winds), I slept great and woke up without a care in the world.  This was not my “A” race for the year . . . that one was in the bag.  I expected it to be a fun day with my good running buddy, Dan, and 38,000 others . . . I did not expect a Boston qualifier.  But, I will take it and know that the spirit of the marathon will be back to claim their burnt offering in a future race.

Dan ran a 4:07 and I clocked in at 3:28.  Here’s the video from before, during and after the race:

Now wasn’t that fun?  Dan, Linda, Tami, Eric, zombies, Boys Town Drill Team, a bright red Mohawked runner . . . the only thing missing was llamas.  Always room for improvement.

Dan was shooting for his first sub-4 hour marathon and was on track with about 5 minutes to spare when cramps took a rather intense liking to his left calf.  Completely ignoring the mandatory 2-week moratorium on race sign-ups following a marathon, Dan registered for Grandma’s Marathon less than 48 hours later.  Running has not always been kind to Dan but you have to give him credit for his continued commitment to the relationship.  Dammit, he is going to make this work!

Linda and Tami were out on the course providing encouragement at seemingly every turn.  It always amazes me the impact seeing a friendly face can have when your body is trying to convince you to slow down or stop . . . another great reminder that so much of this sport is mental.

Speaking of mental, I will be running the Lago Maggiore Marathon in Italy in another 11 days!  Looking forward to a great trip with Tami, Mom, Aunt Fay and Kent (Irish-twin kid brother).  I am hoping I have running shorts short enough to look like a real Italian runner.

Ciao for now!

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Eric October 10, 2012 Uncategorized