Sunday, May 15, 2011

2011 Chicagoland Spring Marathon Results (or why I hate running in Illinois, pt 2)

18/237 Overall
2/19 Age
As I near the precious 50 states goal, I needed to go back and re-run 2 states to get official sub-4 finishes so I can knock off 50 sub 4 at the same time I knock off 50. I re-ran Virginia last March, and this was a re-run of Illinois. I attempted the 50 mile ultra back in that first year of running. Horrible sickness meant I had to bail at mile ~34 and get credit for a 50k finish. I have disliked that memory of Illinois for a long time, which is why I waited so long to cancel it out.

My wife and I only get the occasional weekend ‘alone’ (known as ‘honeymoon weekends’) and since this race was close, she decided to do the road trip with me.The race was Sunday morning but we left Friday night and overshot Chicago to Madison to spend the night at my parents house. My brother, Michael wad flying into town for a special occasion, the Eagle Scout project of our nephew, Michael James. Me and my two brothers are all Eagle Scouts, so it meant a lot to us to help on on the project of our nephew.

The work was on Saturday morning and Mistique and I helped out as long as we could and had to bug out at about 2pm so we could get to packet picket-up before it closed. This being an inaugural race (which I usually try to avoid) the packet pickup was inside a running store. Nice long sleeve technical shirt, no muss no fuss, off to dinner at Applebee’s, of course…

I try hard not to get cocky with marathons, but there are some things I still screw up. The week before the race, it had gotten up to 90 degrees in Michigan, so I only glanced at the forecast when I was packing for the race. Oooooops. When I show up to race start with 25-30 mph winds and mid 40’s for temperature in my short sleeve shirt and shorts, I am not doing good. While waiting for the race to start I find a large garbage bag discarded in a trash can. Yeah! I put it on as a poncho (its previous owner had done the same, there were holes in all the right places) and that helped a little.

Actually, it helped a lot. Back when I re-ran Virginia, it was so windy (and there I did not have enough clothes either, darnit) that i ran with a plastic bag over my torso for the first 3 miles until I had warmed up enough to remove it. This day it was rainy and windy and damn cold so I kept that darn plastic bag over my upper body until mile 25.8 or so. I looked like a dork, but I did not care. Right before the last stretch (when they might be taking pictures) I finally torn off my plastic bag. I ran across the finish line and Misty and I walked to the car (quickly).

I hit the half marathon mark at 1:35 (common) and I slowed down the back half (common) but what was uncommon is how much I dropped off. I was cold, for sure, but I was also tired. As my next big race is the 100 mile national championship in late July, the month of May was slated to be high mileage. For example, in the 14 days immediately previous to this race, I had logged 206 miles.

I have been rough after many a race, but this one was pretty bad. Just walking was a struggle and my legs felt like they had just done a 100 miles, not a 26.2 miler. Turns out it was just the cold. By the time Misty and I got back to the hotel room, I had warmed up enough such that I was not too bad.
Crappy conditions, bad packing. Ugh. I have no good memories of this darn state.

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