Sunday, August 26

Chicago Anxiety

Let's leave Chicago to the Eskimos. That town's a little bit too rugged for you and me -- Randy Newman, I Love L.A.

The biggest concern that I (rslight) have as I prepare for my first marathon at the Chicago Marathon is the time limit. Runners must finish within 6 hours and 30 minutes to get an official time.
I'm confident I can finish a marathon if given that much time, but how long will it take to reach the starting line? There are up to 45,000 runners in this race.

When I did the Country Music Half Marathon back in April, it took me 42 minutes to reach the starting line. Of course, I signed up for a lousy corral because I was a novice runner and figured the race would take a while. I was in corral 22 in Nashville, which put me 22,000 people behind in a crowd of 30,000.
I finished with a time of 2:36:49 partly because I ran with a nasty ankle injury and partly because I kept getting trapped behind slow walkers on a hilly course. (My half-marathon PR is 2:19:49, which I'm sure I'll replace later this year.)

Let's pretend it takes an hour to reach the Chicago starting line. I should still be able to finish in 5 hours and 30 minutes.
Some things potentially in rslight's favor:
1. Chicago is flat, so I shouldn't be trapped behind slow people struggling to walk up hills.
2. Just from watching video of the course, it seems that Chicago streets are wider than Nashville's. Hopefully people move along a lot quicker.
3. I'll bet these folks doing the full Chicago Marathon are a better bunch of runners than the ones in Nashville. Most people in Nashville were just doing the half-marathon, and appeared to wear out around mile 10.
4. I'm going to fight to get into a better starting position in Chicago. There's no reason for me to be in the 12-minute mile group.


Blogger bl said...

I'm sure we'll talk about this more so I'll keep this brief.

I'm sure you'll do as good or better than I did in my first marathon. There's probably little chance that they'll consider closing the marathon because of heat. Which was a consideration in my first marathon.

So you shouldn't have to worry about that.

Did I say I'm sure you'll do as good or better than I did in my first marathon? You may even do better than I do in my third marathon on Oct. 7. We'll see. You're running about as good as me in these 10Ks and whatnot that we've done.

Anyway, my first marathon time was 4:56.

One thing I've heard about Chicago is that it's hard to get moving.

Oh another thing about Chicago. Some friend of my sister's said, "I hate you." When she heard my time in my first marathon. Apparently her marathon pr was much slower than mine. Six hours or something. And I don't know if that's gun time or chip time. I don't care.

Anyhow, let's cut to the chase. Do you have a time goal?

August 26, 2007 12:59 PM  
Blogger R said...

Last time I did LA, I think there were 24,000 starting, and it only took a few minutes to start. Do your best to work your way to the front of your corral before it starts.

August 27, 2007 10:18 AM  
Blogger rslight said...

In response to bl, my Chicago Marathon time goal is just to get an "official time" within that 6 hour and 30 minute time frame.

August 27, 2007 4:09 PM  
Blogger bl said...

rslight --- let me remind you of an authentic Swahili (Kenyan) phrase you might have learned in the Lion King.

Hakuna matata.
That means no worries.

I'm confident you can do it. Remember this piece of advise an old man taller than me gave me in South Bend.

start our slower than you think you need to. Speed up a little bit at the half-marathon mark. When you get to 20 miles, depending on how you feel, let 'er rip. But take it easy.

Believe me, you're in much better shape than I was when I went out and ran my 4 hour and 56 first minute first marathon.

Just relax. Do your running. Have a good time and arrive at the starting line injury free. Even if you get injured, you'll probably be able to make it.

Just focus on your long runs. If all you want is to finish, don't be ashamed of taking walk breaks if you want to.

You can't do it. I guarantee it.

August 27, 2007 4:44 PM  

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