Friday, October 5, 2012

You're The Inspiration

Ok, I promise, this is the last Chicago reference. 

For this week.

At the Nike Women's Marathon last year, I was golden until about the 21st mile. 
Then my body started breaking down - everything hurt from my feet to my head and I was mentally exhausted. I had to find inspiration from wherever I could and hang onto it for dear life.

I even slapped myself in the face around the 23rd mile to snap myself back into reality. True story.

I'm not expecting it to get any easier this year in Chicago, so I'm preparing my inspiration in advance, so that I don't have slap marks on my face in my finish line photos.

My playlist has been updated with over 3 hours worth of "power songs", including these few current favorites that everyone should download ASAP:

Besides a good techno track, I like to carry a few images with me on my journey for extra inspiration that I stick in my armband.

 Of course, a photo of my dad.

 I'm also including an image of the Hindu deity Hanuman, who is a symbol of strength and perseverance.....

...along with a symbol of the Holy Trinity. 

One other very important item that I will have my sights on after the race is over is some Chicago Deep-Dish Pizza.

Now that's what I call inspiration! 

And let's not forget the bling:

If you want to watch the runners, head over to NBC 5 Chicagoat  - they are providing live online coverage on race day!
There will be elites like Liliya Shobukhova and Wesley Korir, and then there will be me and 40,000 other runners.

I'm in the first wave start at 7:30 AM CST, but probably won't make it to the starting line until about 7:45.  Estimate a 9 min/mile pace
Bib number 12780 if you want to keep an eye out!
I may have on ugly throw-away clothes.
Don't judge.
If I see a camera, I promise to make a goofy face at you. 

A fellow running friend once shared this with me before my very first race:

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

(Un?)Sweet Serendipity

Do you ever get freaked out when the stars align in such a way that you feel like the universe is trying to tell you something?

The universe has been shoving Chicago down my throat for 2 weeks, and things just keep getting creepier. 

Maybe it's because the pure mention of the city of Chicago heightens my interest and I'm just more attuned to it, but I like to think that there is some mystical upper hand at work here.

I have 4 friends that have traveled to Chicago in the last few weeks, know someone traveling there now, and another randomly going to be there this weekend too. The Rays just got done playing the White Sox last week.Companies from Chicago have been inquiring about using our hotel for events.
"Chicago" was playing in Starbucks this morning.

The girl in front of me at yoga came in wearing a T-shirt from some little pizza place from Chicago, and the instructor went on and on about how that was her favorite place in the city. Earlier this week I was right behind a guy with a Bears shirt for the majority of my run. Last night as I'm flipping through local Tampa Bay news channels, a local Chicago news station was randomly airing instead of local news, and just so happened to be showing the weather (which, if you can't tell by now, I am kinda stressing about). 

Thank you WGN for randomly broadcasting into my home from 1,200 miles away and showing a thermometer with frikkin icicles on it right before I go to bed so that I can dream about the "chilly spell" for the marathon weekend.
 Tom Skilling, we are not friends.

Only 3 more days of this wackiness. 

At least it's almost carb-loading time. You know what that means.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Repost- Top {14} Ways You Know It's Race Week

Originally I posted this list here before last year's San Francisco Marathon.

I have since made a few updates and additions for this year's Chicago Marathon.

Here are my top 10 14 ways you can tell that it's race week:

  1. You gain at least 3 pounds from carbo-loading.
  2. You have nightmares about your legs feeling like they weigh 50 pounds each.
  3. You wake up every few hours in the middle of the night the entire week with your heart racing, because you think you've slept in and are late to the starting line.
  4. The marathon somehow comes up with every conversation you have with someone.
  5. People comment that they never realized how short you are, as you have replaced your collection of stilettos with flats. 
  6. You've memorized every turn, every incline, and every decline on the course, and done a Google street view of the entire map.
  7. You drink so much water that you have to use the restroom every 15 minutes. 
  8. Every meal is carefully calculated by your carb/protein/fat ratio and you start to panic over any nutrient-lacking food you ate during training.
  9. You rearrange your playlist based on what estimated points of the race you'll be in at any given time.
  10. You incessantly check the weather channel and memorize the race morning forecast hour-by-hour.
  11. After memorizing the race morning forecast hour-by-hour, you freak out because you doubt that your warm Florida blood can really handle a low of 40 degrees on  a windy Chicago race morning. This leads to a rework of your race day attire, including "throw-away" pants and jackets, hot hands, and ear warmers, none of which match your carefully selected race day wardrobe that you spent so much time piecing together perfectly. (Well, maybe this is just for us Florida girls.)
  12. You look over your training plan from the last few months and freak out that you didn't do enough _________ (fill in the blank with strength training, speed work, stretching, cross training).
  13. You swear that you're coming down with the flu if you so much as sneeze/cough, and purge your system with Vitamin C to avoid further sickness.
  14. You're more agitated than normal with everything in your life, and people are equally as agitated with you.

What are your race week rituals?

Now where did I put that bagel, Nuun, and Vitamin C....