Thursday, September 20, 2012

.....And All That Jazz

Please pardon the title, I'm in a Chicago state of mind.

The Chicago Marathon is in two weeks, and you know what that means!
It's crunch time, where I am officially overwhelmed with work and running and physical therapy and keeping up with life in general.

*Cue sad violin music* 

It was around this time last year, before the San Francisco Marathon, that things started to get real, so I knew I had it coming. (See what I did there? Another Chicago reference. I am brilliant.)

 I've already started to analyze the 10-day forecast and predict what the weather will be like. I read and re-read the participant guide and did a Google street view of parts of the course. I began my list of to-do's, such as buy more Gu, order a Chicago-themed Sweaty Band, and finalize race day attire. I start to look back at my training and worry I haven't done enough, and worry I haven't had a strict enough diet.
To add to the mix this year, I have my piriformis to worry about. 

Piriformis syndrome: It's a literal pain in the butt.

One thing I do have going into this year is the confidence that I can finish.  One other unfortunate thing I have going into this year is a time to beat.

I finished San Francisco at 3:58, which is around a 9:04 pace.
At the beginning of training, back when my hip was OK and I was going to my weekly track/speed workouts, my goal was to get my average pace down to the 8:40's or lower 8:50's. To give you an idea, that's a finish time of between 3:47 and 3:52. I figured with the flat course Chicago is known for, it was definitely an achievable goal. 

Then, after taking almost a month off and then having to re-start training in the middle of the season and not even certain that I would make it to Chicago at all, 
that goal changed to "just finish". 

My goal deep down is to still beat my San Francisco time - that's just the competitor in me. 
But, if I don't, especially after all the pain and the stretching and the Advil and the massage and the physical therapy, I will still be more than happy to simply cross the finish line.  

2 1/2 weeks and counting.....

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