>Pre-race thoughts

>We have twenty short days until go-time, so beware of all entries running or marathon related.

I put my 5 mile time into the calculator and my predicted finish time for the marathon is 4:32. HA! I’m thinking my marathon pace will be around 10:45 (and that’s being quite optimistic).. that would put me at 4:41. My goal is still 5:00, but a sub-4:45 would be fantastic.

With extra down time over the next couple weeks, I have a lot of time to reflect on our training (Gabi and me). I really don’t think it could have gone any better, to be honest with you. We pushed ourselves, to say the least. Out of 15 weeks, I trained for 12 of those. I took two weeks off when Aaron was home and another week after my fun little trip to the ER.

Building a decent base before marathon training definitely has helped. We were up to twelve miles before we started getting serious about the long runs. I think taking six months to train has really helped us prevent injuries and overtraining. I’m not sure 18 weeks would have been enough if we hadn’t done 8, 10 and 12 mile runs beforehand.

We’ve run in every kind of weather. Rain, shine, snow, wind, ice, whatever. That in itself has prepared me mentally. We’ve also done long runs by ourselves, which helps with mental stamina and motivation.

I’m glad I’ve been so focused on pace because it’s made me more competitive and also aware of my limitations and my strengths.

I know I’ll have more to say about our training after it’s all said and done, but if I could go back now I would change a couple things.

1) I would have cut out most junk food and sweets a long time ago. I feel like my body is less cluttered with all those saturated fats and refined carbs.

2) I would have bought a hydration system towards the beginning and totally babied myself as far as hydration is concerned!

>Race Report: Shamrock Shuffle 8K, Chicago

>I have no photos to post yet but the race was great!! First things first: my goal was 47:00 and my actual chip time was 46:18!! I was excited.

Katie and I took the Metra into the city this morning at about 6AM. We got to Union Station and pondered how we would ever walk a mile in 45 minutes, haha. We got to where we were meeting her friend who had picked up our packets for us. I was very excited about the shirt and 1) it fit! (our tech shirts from the Turkey Trot were waaayyy too small) and 2) they were actually Nike shirts, white with green lettering. Very nice.

There were 40,000 runners! I was in Start Corral D (they had A-H, so not bad!) and didn’t cross the start line until 17 minutes showed on the time clock. I started my Garmin and took off! I should add that I didn’t have music with me; I made a conscious and purposeful decision to challenge myself that way. I was really able to focus on my breathing.

Here is a map uploaded from the Garmin of the route.

The elevation gain and loss was only 9 feet.. so a very flat course.

I think I started off too fast because by mile 2.5 all I was thinking was, When will this be over?! But I kept chugging along and finished strong. At one point my Garmin lost GPS signal, so my pace was all messed up, but it got the time right.

Here’s a graph of my HR throughout..

See? No spikes, just a good progression to the end of the race.

Post-race I had three glasses of Gatorade and a bottle of water. I ate a banana and protein bar. Of course, the best part is the post-race beer. Haha, it’s always cheap beer and this is the first race I’ve been to that’s had it.

We lounged around on the grass by Buckingham Fountain and then decided to walk up to Navy Pier. We had lunch at Bubba Gump Shrimp, a first for me. Yum. We took a water taxi back to Union Station and boarded the train for Elgin.

It was a great day with beautiful weather. Seriously, we couldn’t have had better weather up there. My skin shows it though; I’m sporting the first sunburn of the season. I’m gonna fryyyy in Texas. I had a nice 24 hours with Bruce, Katie and Lena. I’m thankful that Aaron’s family has been here for me throughout his time away.

20 days!