The cliche is that when you finish a marathon you are a changed person, nothing is the same and I suppose in some regards that is very true, and I haven’t yet fully grasped what that experience means for my future. I’ll admit, I already feel like I could easily start talking about my running in terms of “before Chicago” and “after Chicago”, but it’s early enough in the game that those statements could be said with either a positive or negative sentiment. Right now it is wholey positive for sure, but I’m trying to remain tempered until we get back into full training.
I’m still really trying to wrap my mind around what happened at Chicago. It was such a surreal experience and the extreme doubts I had going into the race simply never materialized like I imagined, subsequently the race was absolutely awesome. Granted, 2:25 was more of a best case scenario, and seemingly even a long shot one at that, but the numbers don’t lie, and I know WITHOUT A DOUBT I had so much more in me if only my legs would have held up. Ultimately this gives me something pointed to overcome and the confidence that I can knock that time down further given more focused training. Before Chicago I had never imagined I could run like that for that distance and now I think I can run even faster, bringing those numbers down even further.
Speaking of numbers, they’ve been bouncing around my head a lot lately and I’m still unsure of what they all mean. 53rd overall in the CHICAGO MARATHON. TENTH in my age division in THE CHICAGO MARATHON! 2:25:55 in my FIRST marathon. I mean, to come in 53rd in one of the World Major Marathons (Chicago, Boston, New York, Berlin, London) just humbles me to no end. Granted, I know I’m still a nobody when it comes to the running circuit, and most likely I’ll always stay a nobody, but that doesn’t stop me from celebrating my own personal victory in this matter. Of course, these numbers only compel me forward and I can only wonder where this goes from here.
And where we go from here is the big question in my head right now. Before Chicago I haven’t thought too far ahead in terms of preparation or racing. I simply love to run and that is all I’ve done up to this point. I never took breaks and I never ran in training cycles….I simply ran. So to be essentially FORCED to take nearly two weeks off from running is a wrench in my system, but I also know it’s a good wrench lest I break all the machinery. However, I’m not yet done with this season of racing either, despite the current state of my personal machinery. I have the final DINO series 15k trail race in 3 weeks and the Tecumseh Trail Marathon on Dec. 5th, but as it stands that’s the farthest I’ve definitively planned ahead. I’ll be taking a break from racing, but not running, over the winter season before gearing back up for the Fall. I’m still looking to solidify the coaching opportunity which will help me determine my goals into the future and I think that is where Chicago has really changed everything.
Maybe before I might have run a marathon and said, “That was awesome, I need to see how much faster I can run that.” and do it again and again. Essentially, that’s what I’ll still be doing, that’s what all of us competitive runners do, but the magnitude of Chicago has changed the perception of my abilities to strive for something larger in scope and exposure. Without making any definitive commitment, I’m looking strongly at qualifying for the olympic trials, of which I’ve talked about in the past. But where I’ve once TALKED about qualifying, now I’m starting to believe that I can actually materialize that. Granted, that was still only ONE marathon and I have a good dose of improvement before I get into that range of performance, but I’m not so quick to drop the consideration anymore. I mean, really, why the hell not?!
Before Chicago I thought making the olympic trials was pretty cool for the other guys I run with and I toyed with the pipe dream every once in awhile, but things are different now. I’m a different runner, yet again, in both performance and confidence and I can’t really see a reason why I shouldn’t start focusing my sights on something of that caliber. Life is for the living and I’d rather not die with that sort of “what if” on my conscience.
So here we are, After Chicago, with only one direction to go…onward!…faster!!!
8 miles – 2nd run back after chicago, only minor soreness in quads, good improvement for the coming week.
Breakfast – Oatmeal (w/ peanut butter, flax seeds, almonds, raisins), coffee
Lunch – Peanut butter and jelly on whole wheat, water
Dinner – Stir Fry w/ teriyaki sauce, water, Emergen-C
Snacks – Apple, coffee, peanuts, twizzlers (don’t ask, craving at the movies), puffins cereal w/ soymilk
Refused – The shape of punk to come