It's about time to head to Chicago to race my first marathon. Technically I ran the Marine Corps Marathon in 2008, but let's face it- that was a jackass effort. I consciously decided not to train for it beyond my usual 5k training and ran it like it was a long run with thousands of other people. Yeah, I got competitive and passed most of them, but I never committed to an effort that would consume me the way I am planning for Sunday. Like it or not, I have dedicated a big part of my life to this over the last five months, and to a lesser extent, 11 months. Regardless of the outcome, I have enjoyed it.
I've said this before, but I just want to get the distance out of the way at a decent pace and then see exactly what I can do in the races later stages, I'll be like the Duke of Plessitora, leading from behind (what in the world does this mean?).
5:36 felt easy on Wednesday, so 6:00 should feel ridiculously slow for the first few miles. So should 5:52 and such.
I've lost a few people on the way. JARRIN's out now, and he, along with everyone else, would have made it an even better race. Dave O'Hara's Achilles never even gave him a chance to get started. Michelle Corkum's inconvenient timing to want to think about law school is keeping her out and toiling away on the LSAT instead.
Whether this goes well or poorly, I have a lot of people to thank for their influence:
Steve Taylor, whose training system has served me well for the last eight years and kept me both fleet afoot and injury free, especially as I significantly increased my mileage to the point where 80 was a recovery week. His cabin gave me a great respite from the early August heat and invigorated for a month of 100+ mile weeks
Jon Molz, whose mastery and dedication to the marathon and otherworldly performance in Richmond made me want to take a stab at it.
Jon Lauder, the companion on the bike during the big workout in the mountains, without whom I would have easily talked myself back from the edge. That 6:25 mile wasn't pretty, but it would have been a lot worse without him next to me.
Pokey Litten, finally closing in on his goal to make it to a marathon injury-free. Teaching him what I know about running has helped keep me attuned to the little things I neglect at times.
Jessica Gangjee, who dragged me through a miserable run in Fox Chapel in March that turned me around in the spring, and Javed, whom I am sure I will hear on the course. One of the best sources of support in and out of races. His presence in Chicago will probably be the biggest factor in my favor.
Spaz Panzarella, for always making me feel better in comparison.
Indirectly, my family, for treating this nonchalantly. It's not that they don't care or understand, they just defer to me to tell them what is important, so they don't smother me. And that's good, because I don't want them to get the chair.