First off - I just saw the results for the Mayors Cup X-C race -- WOW~!!!
The team ran so well. Kudos especially to McCabe, Chick, and Jen Lee for running amazingly well on that tough course. What a great day.
Most of you know that I did not finish the Chicago Marathon. You've heard the stories of the heat and humidity, so I will spare you another rendition. The weekend was still fun, despite the unsuccessful race. I got to see my family and my very pregnant sister in Chicago, and Diona Fulton (fellow Boston-area marathon runner) stayed with me for the weekend. I knew it was going to be a tough day for racing when I got off the plane at 10pm and it was in the low 80s. Because of the weather, a lot of the elite/top athletes did not even start. The top 100 corral was so empty compared to last year. Women hoping for a qualifying time likely opted to run another race instead.
I started hoping to just finish under 3 hours. My original goal had been to run a 2:53 or so. The first few miles were okay, but I started to actually get thirsty at mile 2 or 2.5. Those of you know have run with me know that I usually drink very little, if any, water on runs, so the fact that I voluntarily felt thirsty was a bad sign! I slowed down considerably from my first few miles at 6:30-6:35 and it was downhill from there. I struggled through the half and spent the next five miles tyring to decide whether to drop out. After much heat-induced, half-delirious mental debating, I finally decided to bag it at mile 18 and pulled out of the race right before the 30K mark. I jog-walked back to the start with some other ladies who had also dropped out. At the finish, I learned that 3 other Impalas had also dropped, and 1 decided not to start at all. I got my bags and some really melty power bars, called Laura (thank you for calling!), tried to console Diona, and we eventually made our way back home.
Later that day I found out that a man had died on the course and that many runners had no water or Gatorade. I felt guilty for days because there was still plenty of fluids on the course while I was running, and I felt bad that I had poured several glasses on my head.
Part of me still doesn't understand why Chicago was such a mess. The Boston Marathon in 2004 was in the mid-80s as well, and that race started at noon! But the top finishers' times were not nearly as off-pace as they were during Chicago.
Anyway, I've decided to run the California International Marathon instead on December 2. It's part of the PA USATF road circuit, so it should be a competitive and fun race. I am kind of mentally and physically exhausted from marathon training, especially with school, so I am scaling back my mileage A LOT and just trying to focus on getting a few good quality runs during the week. Last Sunday I ran the most amazing half-marathon. It was in the Redwoods State Park in Humboldt, about 225 miles north of San Francisco. The race is an out-an-back along the Avenue of Giants, a spectacular road flanked by giant Redwood trees. It was incredibly beautiful. The Impalas race really well there, with almost everyone posting PRs! I ran a 1:23:30, which was also a PR for me.
Since we raced hard on Thursday, our coach recommended that we just do a steady-state run on Tuesday instead of a work out and try to get in a tempo-type of workout on Thursday. So, I drove into San Fran on Wednesday night, slept at a teammate's apartment, and woke up at 4:50 to start a tempo workout with a bunch of ladies at 5 am. We warmed up by running to Golden Gate Park and then did a workout of 4 miles, 3 miles, 2 miles at lactate threshold pace. Well, it was supposed to be LT pace... I was doing more like marathon pace. It was pitch black the entire run, so we wore lights around our waists. By 7:10 am, I was back in my car having run 15+ miles. It was awesome. Some people may call it strange, but that's what we runners do, right? (Although I must admit that it has been really hard for me to get up that early to run most days!)
Anyway, I just wanted to update you all on my running. I miss you!