Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Chicago Marathon 08 Race Report

I headed up to Chicago on Saturday morning.  The family and I got to the expo at about 1:00.  Adam White (thanks for the donkey shirt!) had a booth for Running Central at the expo and that was pretty cool.  He really needs to get that web site point of sale set up for his store.  When you go out of your home town folks will want to order via the net.  I'd love to order on-line from him as well.  Anyways... The guys planned to all meet up before the marathon just to say “hey” and the expo at McCormick Place worked out well for everyone getting together.  I ended up hooking up with Schroff, Krause, Danimal, Matt, Jared, Robby and Lorne.   I probably spent more time than I should have walking around and talking but I was having a good time.  The BWS and his wife beat us all to the expo (a preminition of things to come) so they headed out to get to their room before I got there.  Too bad, I could have used some of his fastness essence!  After the expo, Shev drove me to the hotel and dropped me off.  She and the girls were staying with my niece at her place.  That was fine, I am not much fun the night before a marathon.  I really just want to get off my feet and chill.  Matt and Jared were planning on crashing in my room.  We all had dinner at Pizzano’s on State Street (2 blocks away). Dinner was excellent.   I chose the Pasta A “La” Dino which is a Bowtie shaped pasta sautéed in garlic and olive oil with sun dried tomatoes, shrimp and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese (a value at 15 bucks)!  It came in a HUGE bowl.  I only finished half (I could have horked it down but thought it unwise) and had a Newcastle on draft with water.  The wait was about 40 minutes but expected and we didn’t sweat it because we were off our feet.   Eat early or be prepared for long waits downtown.  Especially if you want pasta on marathon weekend!  After dinner they left me at the hotel and went out for a few adult beverages and to enjoy the Chicago scene.

The morning went really smooth.  Robby, who stayed with his uncle, met us in the room at about 6:30.  We were pretty much ready to go.  I ate a bowl of lucky charms because they are magically delicious (figured I could use a bit of that).   It was warm enough that I didn’t need any cold weather gear.  I was a bit concerned about the heat playing into the marathon.  I planned on going out really slowly knowing it would not be easy.  When the gun went off, I went out and looked down at my Garmin.  It was reading 7:45 actual pace but then it almost immediately read 6:40.  My first mile was 7:05.  Perfect.  By the middle of the 3rd mile I could see the 3 hour pace guy and I just kept him in sight.  The pace felt very easy, almost boring.  Judging by how bad it got last year, I knew the feeling wouldn’t last long so I decided to enjoy the feeling until it left me.  By mile 6 I felt a bit weak but then it passed.  I was careful to hydrate at every stop and I took gels every 5 miles.  I hindsight I am very glad I did that. As I passed the 7 mile mark, I started looking for my family.  I asked my niece to make her sign stand out more this year (I comepletely missed her last year) so she wrote “Run Fatboy Run….Go Rob!”.   I saw it right away but tried to act like it wasn’t for me.  I need to thank Shev, my niece Candace and all my buds especially Matt Stevenson.  They kept me entertained during the morning.  Conditions were much warmer than I would have liked but WAY better than Chicago 07.     By the 11 mile mark it was becoming more work to stay with the group but not terrible.  I got a bit confused at the half when I came across and the clock was showing 1:34.  I was hoping to be no slower than 1:31 and was really worried about how hard I was working then I figured it out.  It kinda freaked me out until I heard one of the guys around me say he was right on time for his 3 hour goal.  In the end it didn’t matter, I didn’t have it in me.  However, I am encourage that the pace did seem much easier than it ever did before. I fell off my 3 hour pacing goal at the 30k (the lucky charms magic must have worn off) and I spent the better part of the next 2 miles chasing  a dude dressed up like Mini Mouse.  Wouldn’t that have been a great finishing photo!?!   I would definitely have to buy that one!  Matt worked with me for the last 4 miles (thanks so much) and so I finished the Chicago marathon on Sunday with a new PR 3:05:01.  I was pleased.  I really had to work to get in in that time and don’t think I had any more left to put out there.

Two of my friends really stood out, Scott Willi and Eric Bush.  They were on top of their game Sunday.  Eric ran a 2:33 winning the mens masters division (whoa)!  Scott accomplished his goal of running a sub 3 marathon (his first of many).  Great job guys.  Some of us had really tough days.  The weather definitely played a role.


Oh yeah and we had plenty-o-water this year!  Thanks Mr. Pinkowski!  Now I see I still need to improve upon my stamina in order to reach my goal of running a sub 3 hour marathon.  After all the world record is very much sub 3!   My next 26.2 will be at Boston in April.  Shev is running the Marine Corps Marathon in DC in two weeks.  After she quals (and she will) we will run it together (well at least on the same course together).  I am going to pursue my goal of achieving a personal best on a very challenging course.  In order to do that I am going to have to make some more improvements to my running. 



Jason Donini said...

Hi Rob,

I was delighted to stumble onto your blog, congratulations on almost breaking 3 on a warm day. You look super fit judging by the pics I've seen. Tell all the guys I said "hi". I miss IVS and Blair Dog beyond words. By the way, you were right, all I do in Chicago is work and run, the routine has not changed. New toilet, same $%*!. Stay healthy! P.S. I can say with certainty that I'm faster than Schroff...j/k Dave :)

Anonymous said...

Will do Jason! Great to hear from you. Keepers all updated on your life.

Rick L said...

Check out Dan's (danimal) marathon pics on the Chicago Marathon site. Minny Mouse is in the finish line photo with Dan. He should have kicked harder for that reason alone. Next year.