Sunday, November 7, 2010

Running my Best

The alarm rang at 5:15 am on a Tuesday. Not your conventional alarm. There was no jangling noise, not even a nasty crack of light through a hotel window, harshly dragging me from dreams to reality. Instead, a gentle eye opening to a cool dark room and bright outlook of a day.
I guess I'll go running. I felt refreshed. If any of you have followed this blog ( I think at this day there are 24 of you) you know, I've been prone to excuses, ov0ersleeping and spotty training. But this day was different.
In Corallville, Iowa, headed to help Team Mizuno sell at the Chicago marathon, I got up and headed out for a run. Early on, I saw a critter cross the path-- it was a racoon. I decided to name it Rocky. Rocky Racoon, just like the 100 miler in February, my fiancee Bad Ben signed us up for.
Would I ever be ready?
I logged 8, made a plan for the week, and headed to Chicago.

The final piece of this week's plan was to run the Chicago marathon. It would be under my worst conditions. Two solid days of standing and selling apparel, dead legs, and no taper on a hot day. On marathon day I had 36 miles under the Wave Elixirs. Did I mention how much I hate running in heat?
10-10-10 marathon morning, I called the receptionist at the hotel. "I 'm sorry I missed the forecast, what is it for today?" She replied it would be "perfect," highs in the 80's and sunny.

Going into the race, I knew I needed to execute discipline. A fast marathon or a bonk fest could ruin my Rocky training for two weeks. I needed this race for my MIND. I needed to run my best, not my fastest.

My boss, Tim invited me along with some friends he'd mentored in training and we headed to the start line (via the VIP tent-- many thanks Tim for that!)

I watched the guys speed off, and settled in. Goodbye runners, I may see you later... 10 minute miles. 3 piddle breaks. Temperature climbing. 1/2 marathon in 2:10 (note to readers-- You won't find results under "wharton," a woman who couldn't run named Gabriellla Thomas gave me her number through a friend, but I didn't use the chip-- you'll see my photos under Thomas and 27376--her number). 2:10 x's 2.. I did not feel like running for 4:20 or more in the heat. I was annoyed with the piddle breaks.

Time to drop the hammer. So I cruised through the land of the living dead, to a 4:07 finish. Seeing the folks with 3:30 pace team, on their backs. Maybe we finished the same time, but I ENJOYED my whole race. Even more so, that at the end, with bored crowds (bored with wathcing Zombie land) standing smoldering in the sun, I was able to WHOOP it UP!!

"Hey, cheer for ME," I called out, and a wave of cheers erupted from the crowds lining the streets of Chicago!
"GO Me GO"

I was running my best, finishing running strong with a 9 minute negative split. In no way, my fastest, but accomplishing the goal. Defy ego early, and enjoy success in the end.

I was ready to run the next day, and did.

1 comment:

Indi said...

Like that last line :) If I can get that kind of marathon time, I'd be in heaven ;) Good job Mudbabe!!