At the risk of jinxing myself (and the entire Chicago Marathon field)…..Fall has arrived.
The last few runs were too chilly to go shirtless, which is kinda sad as I hate hate hate wearing shirts while running. A couple of my runs I could have even gotten away with wearing gloves, especially this morning’s 10 miles at marathon goal pace, mostly run before the sun even broke the horizon. The leaves have begun to change color, the mornings and evenings are dark and season specific smells have begun to fill the running air. THIS, contrary to non-runner sentiment, is perfect running weather. We start off chilly and work ourselves into a perfectly comfortable body generated warmth that regulates our core to a performance maximizing equilibrium where our muscles are warm enough to stay loose, but never hot enough to overheat and overwork our systems. We are left only to run and run fast.
This equilibrium is crucially important to the marathon runner as we enter the later stages of 26.2 miles where every bit of energy reserved will be called upon and immediately depleted. We need all the stores we can get and any not spent heating our muscles or cooling us down will be damn near sacred when the going gets rough.
But this is the midwest and there is no telling which way the winds will blow. We’ve only entered these legitimately fall temperatures in the past couple of weeks, which is never entrenched enough to predict any sort of temperature consistency. Give it a few days and we could be back into the 80’s before you know it. Granted, my Mac Widget tells me we have a high in the 60’s all the way through Thursday….but then comes three more days of mere predictions. We’ll have a better guess about race day weather more towards the middle of next week, and even that’s no guarantee. All we can do is keep knocking out our taper and hope for the best.
And hope is all we have right now. Hope that our injuries heal. Hope that we don’t drop a desk on our foot. Hope that our bodies rest sufficiently. And hope is merely the manifestation of being completely NOT in control, where anything can happen, no matter what tragic consequences may lay ahead for you.
Just ask the Chicago Marathon runners of two years ago, when the temperatures soared into the 80’s soon after the race started, the water stations were quickly depleted and runners started dropping like flies. Then they cancelled the race….after they had already started it. All because the Fall Season, like a spoiled child, wasn’t behaving like we expected it to. And now I am one of those thousands of runners who have put in a great amount of race specific training and intensity, sitting precariously on the fence of risk, teetering towards success or disappointment based on a few predictable factors. A handful of degrees being one of them.
I sit here in jeans and a warm pullover, my flip flops retired to the closet, the windows and door closed shut to ward off the chilly night breezes. It is fall. THE PERFECT RUNNING SEASON. Come October 11th….let’s hope it stays that way.
14 miles – 2 mile warmup / 10 miles at 5:30 pace / 2 mile cool down
Breakfast – Homemade mueslix, coffee
Lunch – Leftover chole w/ kale, pasta w/ sunflower seeds, apple, orange, water, peanuts
Dinner – Didn’t really have one as I was out babysitting…snacked a lot
Snacks – Chocolate rice milk, coffee, cherry vanilla granola, vegan jerky, bit of cookie, bumble bar, vegan carrot cake
Bring Me The Horizon