(August 31, 2009) - After the past two weeks, I know I’m ready for the Bank of America Chicago Marathon on Sunday, Oct. 11. I’m confident that Chicago will mark a Personal Record, my best time for 26.2 miles – of the six occasions that I have run that distance, dating back to my first marathon in November, 2007. That is the goal, period.
On August 22, I had a 20-mile training run. I ran with Chuck and we started at 4:30 a.m., beginning at about Belmont Avenue on Chicago’s north side. We ran 10 miles south along the lakefront, ultimately turning around at about 31st Street.
We circled Navy Pier in both directions, a new route we had never run.
We ran past Soldier Field, and I was able to reflect on the greats who have worn the blue and orange over the years for my beloved Chicago Bears.
We watched the sun rise on our left as we ran south.
We endured countless bicyclists, including many very annoying cyclists. (I’m sure they say the same thing about runners since we often all share the same, crowded trail.)
We had Gu Energy Packets … well, at least I had multiple Gu’s. Chuck doesn’t like them, but I actually look forward to Gu once-an-hour or so, and even have my favorites: Chocolate Outrage, Orange Burst and Strawberry Banana. I had my first Vanilla Bean Gu during this 20-miler, and liked it too.
We also had our Endurolytes from Hammer Nutrition, though I need to bring more since I carry the pills for both of us. Nice guy, aren’t I?! Anyone with cramping issues while running has to try Endurolytes; I’m convinced they work, though I know the ultimate test will come in about 6 weeks at the Chicago Marathon. But, I had absolutely no cramping issues on the 20-miler. I don’t have much salt in my normal diet, which I know some so-called experts say will affect cramping. I also now am running longer distances with 2XU compression calf guards and compression shorts (for the quads), and I think they work, too.
I had no problems whatsoever with the 20-miler. I felt fine – before, during and after. It was my best long training run over the past two years, and I celebrated, so to speak, with dinner that Saturday at Outback: 7-ounce filet (medium), bleu cheese chopped salad (no chives) and a sweet potato (dry). No Bloomin’ Onion or any other artery killer for me.
On August 29, I had a solo 10-mile training run in San Francisco and, again, I felt great throughout, beating my predicted pre-run time by three minutes, even though I ran without my traditional CytoMax and just water. I left my water bottle and baggy filled with CytoMax at home in Chicago, oh well. Anyway, it was a gorgeous, sunny Saturday in the City By The Bay, with bright blue skies as far as the eyes could see. I ran on a path alongside the Pacific Ocean that led to the base of the Golden Gate Bridge. Super scenic, I will say. A lot of good scenery, too. There were a lot more memories from this fun run in the sun. Let’s see …
* I saw as many people wearing Boston Red Sox hats as San Francisco Giants hats. And none for the nearby Oakland A’s. * I saw Duke and North Carolina basketball t-shirts. None for my Indiana Hoosiers – or even any for Texas Tech University, in tribute to Bobby Knight.
* I saw someone wearing a Detroit Red Wings shirt – not shocking.
* I saw someone wearing a Detroit Lions shirt – super shocking.
* I saw countless dogs, and always am amazed when dogs are off-leash. I’m still not ready to let Chuckie (my dog, not my running partner) off-leash in a vast, public area.
* I ran near Fort Mason … by a green plant with a world globe carved into it (pretty cool) …and, by runners with the Team In Training program (always good to see those who run for a cause).
All of my running this summer is done to raise funds for the AIDS Foundation of Chicago. I’m very grateful to all who have – or will – sponsor me and, in the process, help the AIDS Foundation of Chicago. Donations can be made at by clicking here.