Well, it's over and done with - the Chicago Distance Classic and its 13.1 miles are behind me (photos to come when they upload them). I couldn't have asked for better weather; the route was a beautiful loop down the lakefront to the Museum of Science and Industry, and then back up the lake path. I ran with my brother, Bill, an experienced distance runner who has two marathons under his belt and is training for his third. To be honest, running with Bill was both a blessing and a curse at times, though more of the former than the latter. I had a hard time keeping my own pace, and often ran myself a bit harder than I should have; I'm sure this would have been an issue even alone because I often found myself speeding up to the pace of others around me. There were definitely times, especially after mile 11, when I thought of walking the rest of the way in - however, though running with a faster runner got me there in the first place, having him with me when things got hard motivated me to finish strong; the thought actually crossed my mind that because he'd stuck with me the whole time, I owed it to him to finish running as we had set out to do. Throughout the whole event Bill was great at calling my attention to the fact that I was speeding up, and asking me if this was something I was consciously doing, which, most of the time, it wasn't and didn't desire to do. When I got fatigued and wanted to slow down I didn't feel too embarrassed to ask him to slow a little, and he always responded immediately. I know I said 'sorry' almost every single time I asked him to slow down, but he always reminded me that I didn't need to apologize, and that he knew that I was most definitely running faster than my normal pace.

In the end, running with Bill gave me the best long-run pace yet, ~10min miles, with a finish time of 2:23:13 - only ~3 minutes longer than it took me to run my 12 mile long run a couple weeks ago! I know I would have finished had I run the CDC on my own, but I am absolutely certain that my time would have been much slower. Next year I'm considering running the full marathon with Bill - this experience has shown me that I have a long way to go with my training, but that I have a great motivator on my side to help me achieve what I want to. So Bill, if you're reading this today, thanks for all your help yesterday; you made me push my limits, and thankfully I was able to respond to that well. I hope we get to do it again next year!

As for how my body responded to this experience - the rest of Sunday was spent icing some very sore knees (I trained most of the time on gravel, so the pavement abused them) and laying on my parents' couch with the dogs; today my muscles actually feel completely fine, though my right knee doesn't like me much when I make it walk down stairs. The odd thing is, somehow while I was sleeping last night I managed to pinch a nerve in the area of my left shoulder blade, and now every movement with the left arm, and some movements of my neck cause excruciating pain in that area; it's like my body wants to reward me for what I did this weekend by not making any of my running parts hurt, but is sending me a message that I need to be a bit kinder to it next time by giving me a painful warning shot to remember what it can do to me if I don't play nice.

So, on to the Nike + Human Race 10K at the end of August, and then the Banco Popular Half Marathon on September to complete my running season- in the meantime, more conditioning, and a lot more stretching!


julie said...

yaaay, way to go, Lisa! tell me about the course. were there traffic problems on the lake front path?

yeahdog said...

The course was nicely laid out in my opinion. On the way south we spent most of our time running frontage roads and at times on the ramps and right lane of LSD; this meant that there were hills added to the course during the first half of the race, but they weren't too drastic). There was a brief stretch near the museum of science and industry where we were running right next to those headed back north, but that wasn't too terrible. The remainder of the course occupied the lake path on the way back up to the field museum, and then through the pedestrian underpass that bought us back to the starting point on Columbus. At times the lake path was a bit too narrow (specifically when the walk/run people started to walk and I needed to get around them), but I didn't find myself log jammed anywhere. I think it was pretty intelligently done, and the breeze coming off the lake was much appreciated in the second half of the race. The only thing I wondered at was one watering station that was set up on LSD - it was actually in the lane rather than on the grass and forced those running through to move uncomfortably close to the moving car traffic to avoid those walking/standing for hydration.

Corny Bill said...

Great job - I knew you would be fine - god - is there way to say that that doesn't sound corny? Here's another shot, still will be corny - but I hope you are as proud of yourself as I am proud of you. I'm thinking about doing the Banco Popular Half as well - I need to see where that fits in the training schedule for the full first though...

On the shoulder thing - I remember when I first started running my back and shoulders would get sore -I think it has a lot to do with holding your body in a fixed posiiton for a while, that and carrying the bottle might add more to it. Either way - hit up some tiger balm and a icey cool can of PBR and give yourself a well deserved break.

yeahdog said...

Yeah I think next time I will ditch the bottle. It was nice to have, as I never had to break my pace for the water tables, but I think you're right in that it added strain to my back and shoulders. I'm going to do what I can to calm the wrath back there (my friend at work says a good anti-inflammatory is needed), and I'm going to try to get in to see my GP. Pabst will definitely be on the healing regimen!

As for being proud, now that it's all sunk in, I definitely am; I don't think I would have considered doing anything like this even a year ago!