Most of us envery day runners look at elite runners with awe. I do. A top marathoner can run 26.2 miles in splits that I cannot run for 1 mile. Sigh…I guess that’s what happens when you start to run in your forties. But I still love watching the big races. Paris, Chicago, Boston, etc. Most of them aren’t televised (damn you Universal Sports and your feud with Comcast) but I do get to see a few. I love getting up early and watching the elites battle each other with a cup of coffee in hand. I usually know some mortal runner like myself who’s doing the same race. But the mortal runners are never seen on TV.
For some reason I seem to enjoy watching the women’s races more. Maybe they are more competitive, maybe I’m more familiar with the women elites. But the coolest thing about the sport is that we all run the same course on the same day in the same conditions, albeit slower. My first marathon was the 2008 Twin Cities. As I was heading to the start line, I saw the elites warming up for the Elite TC10 Miler that takes place right before us. I saw Kara Goucher, not knowing who she was at the time, and being a guy and uninformed I just thought wow she’s attractive. Turns out she won that race in 53:16. The following spring I ran the slushy and snowy 2009 Shamrock Shuffle. That race was won by Deena Kastor in 27:15. I ran the Chicago Marathon and was in the Brooks expo booth right next to Desi Davila ,who is now Desi Linden, because Brooks is her sponsor. I lost to her too in case your wondering. So when I watched the New York marathon last week I was secretly rooting for all three of them.
The wind pretty much decimated the fast times. Desi was top American in Brooks T7 racers. (Sorry, I had to throw in the Brooks plug being one of their Fanatics). Deena attempting to get the master record fell short. Kara admitted she was in 2:28 shape but would not win. The wind had other plans for her. But we all have bad days. Even the elites find it hard to explain why their race falls apart despite being fit. Oh and my friend Ed who ran the same race didn’t exactly shine either.
I encourage you to read Kara Goucher’s race report. It reads like the hundreds of Runners World forum race reports by friends and others. Honest, frustration, doubt. We all have it no matter how fast or slow you are.
The last time I posted was New Year’s Eve. So many have turned off this TV station and moved on with their lives. But another reason I write this blog is to document things I might want to remember. So I’ll try a random shotgun approach to update this piece of the internet.
1. I am still running. I decided not to run a spring marathon and it was a great decision since the Polar Vortex would have made my running miserable. I ran a lot on the treadmill when it was 5 degrees with a 20 MPH wind. If you trained through it for a marathon this year, you should get a special medal.
2. My monthly mileage has not been as high as I want it to be. A flare up of runner’s knee and some nagging plantar fasciitis in my left heel. I think it may all be related to road camber. The streets were covered with ice and snow this winter so I was running against the curb a lot. The good news is that after wearing a night splint and running more on flat surfaces it is almost gone.
3. I have only done two races this year so far. The first was the world’s largest 8k Shamrock Shuffle with 30,066 finishers. The second was a 10 miler where I got to race with my on-line friend ilanarama. I ran really well in both races despite my less than ideal mileage. As Ilana would call it, race day magic. The 10 miler was a CARA Race Circuit race so I was able to score some points for the 5th place AG finish. Ilana grabbed 2nd in her AG.
4. Thanks to Chicago Endurance Sports/Lifetime Fitness and Fleet Feet I am continuing my pacer gigs. So far this year I have paced the Chicago Spring Half (8:23 pace) and the Soldier Field 10 miler (8:30 pace). Both events were successful and I got to run with a couple of good co-pacers. We nailed our times and I always enjoy helping out other runners. We got some after race thank yous from people hanging on our bus so we must have done something right. Next up: I’m pacing the Michelob Ultra 13.1 on June 7th 1:45 group in one week. See you there.
5. Both my wife and son are now officially runners. My son joined the running club at his elementary school. My wife has been running with a group out of our local running store. We all ran a 2.62 mile mini-marathon two weeks back. It was fun run/walking with one of my kids. His only goal was to beat mom which he accomplished. I am very proud of both of them for their new found addiction to the running thing.
6. My running gets serious for the rest of the year. I have some 5k AG titles to defend through early July. I’ll run some more CARA circuit races. The Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon training kicks off shortly. There is still that popular Boston race possibility that I can register for in September.
7. I have cleaned up the blogs that I follow. Many were inactive or gone altogether. So I’ve left the best ones and am actively searching for one that interest me. Congrats if you made my personal cut list. I also need to post some photos and working on my training page. It’s only been under construction for a year or so.