Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Best Birthday Party Ever!!!

My favourite thing came in the mail this week.  My Chicago Marathon confirmation ticket.  It always makes the event so much more real when the booklet comes with your bib number and instructions for race weekend. 

My mom and Lennie are coming with me again this year and we have all our plans set.  We will be leaving Friday so we can hit the expo Friday night, hang out Saturday, and I can run Sunday.  We will be staying at cousin Kevin's house again and we love hanging with his family in Wilmette, Illinois.

What makes this year sort of special is that race day is my 44th birthday.  Not only am I pleased to be running my 3rd marathon, but celebrating it in Chicago is even better.  I am proud this year to be running for a charity too.  http://reactthyroidfoundation.bbnow.org/index.php  The REACT Thyroid foundation has been wonderful to work with and if you wish to sponsor me, you can at http://act.reactthyroidfoundation.org/goto/CatherineZ

I am hoping that Kevin's kids will come to the race again this year so they can run mile 25 with me as these moments are my favourite memories from the past two years.  As I approach mile 23 Lennie and Sam meet me and push me to mile 25 where Emily and Sara are waiting to run with me as Sue snaps the photos - my favourite photos from the last 2 marathons are of me and the kids at that point in the race.  My mom even race the mile with me and that is pretty good for a 73 year old lady.  The Grump ran with me last year and he used to be a great runner and thought it was fun to join in with all the racers.

I don't want to be a party pooper but I am treating this race as a long run practice for the New York Marathon November 4th.  I have not set too many goals for this race other than to finish because "finishing is winning", but also because my 2012 goal race is NYC and I still need another 4 weeks of work if I am to try and PB my marathon. 

Chicago will be fun.  I am in the 2nd wave starting at 8:00am and in corral M - which means starting and finishing last but I do not care as I am celebrating my birthday with 45,000 runners, 3 million spectators, and "lapping everyone sitting on the couch"!  As of today, accu weather is all over the place with regards to the weather on that day - still too far out to predict but we all know the last two years of running in 30 degree Celsius weather was tough.  Please running Gods make it cloudy and cool.  Please please please!

Just to remind you of my "successes" the past 2 marathons.  Here are the stats we are trying to improve upon.  But, finishing is goal #1, finishing under 6:17 is goal #2, finishing in 6:15 would be awesome and we will get to under 6 hours in NYC!!!

2011                 2010
5K 0:39:37                    5K 0:39:12          (same)
10K 1:20:20                  10K 1:20:34        (same)
15K 2:02:22                  15K 2:02:45        (same)
20K 2:45:33                  20K 2:47:22        (down 2 minutes)
Half 2:55:51                   Half 2:57:41        (down 2 minutes)
25K 3:33:36                  25K 3:35:38       (down 2 minutes)
30K 4:20:43                  30K 4:24:30       (down 4 minutes)
35K 5:08:22                  35K 5:13:54       (down 5 minutes)
40K 5:57:28                  40K 6:07:59       (down 10 minutes)

Finish 6:17:13                Finish 6:28:41      (down 11 minutes)
34080th out of 35755    34812th out of 36088

To be really honest, I have struggled with my long runs this training cycle.  I have gotten them all in but I can't get my pace up (and we all saw what happened at my last race).  I really believe something is "off" with my nutritional component as I feel great, am not in any pain, but am so hungry and just can't get into second gear.  I am really going to make sure I eat good meals this week and next, take extra gels, have my fuzzy peaches to snack on, and take the Gatorade when offered. 

Fingers crossed for a fun, successful, and safe race.