Tuesday, October 24, 2006


I’ve decided not to write about sightseeing in Chicago since I have a bunch of other odds and ends on my mind.

I want to go on the record and say that I think some people are over-hyping the weather in Chicago. The whole first half was either blocked by buildings or people. Sure the last 5k was tough, but it’s not like there weren’t any tailwinds on the course.

Here’s a photo of me (in black) at mile 13;

Here’s me with 300 meters to go;

The reason I’m so happy in the photo above (and something I forgot to mention yesterday) is because I knew I was going to break 3 hours again. It’s been 4 years since I broke 3 hours. 4 YEARS…that’s too long. At some point you start to wonder if you can call yourself a sub-3 marathoner any more. I mean, it’s not like you’re an Olympian or have some other title associated with your name that always sticks with you.

The last time I broke 3 hours I made the “mistake” of focusing on triathlons the following season. While finishing an Ironman was a lifelong goal, it didn’t help in my marathon development. It occurred to me yesterday that you’ve gotten keep working on these things and learning from them. If I want to see what I can do in the marathon I’m going to have to run at least 2 per year.

Another thing I was thinking about yesterday was that the worst possibly shape to be in for a marathon is one that leaves you just out of reach for some significant time goal. This thought came about after seeing a bunch of women going after 2:47 for the Oly Trials qualifier, even though they’re probably in, for example, 2:50 shape. Rather than running their own race, they’re “forced” to go after a quicker time. Thinking back to my own marathon history, this was probably the case during my first 3 marathons when I thought sub-3 was a realistic goal. I imagine it’s the same for guys trying to run 2:22, people trying to run a BQ and right on up to people hoping to run 6 hours.

This next story was pretty cool for me, so I thought I’d mention it. In Chicago there's a free shuttle from the Hilton to the expo and back. After going to the expo I cut through the lobby and standing there is my college coach Sean. When he’s not teaching Geography, Sean’s writing and taking photos for Track & Field News. He’s been known to bike all over various courses to take photos. Here are his photos from the 2005 Chicago Marathon. Anyway, one year the race director realizes that Sean's taking better photos on his bike than the guy on the back of the motorcycle. Guess who's on the back of a motorcycle the following year? Yep. It’s Sean.

Speaking of Sean, I’m going to share a little UW-EC cross-country secret he taught me when it comes to running in cold weather; olive oil. Use it to coat your legs (and anywhere else you’d like) to help keep them warm. I use it for anything below about 40-45 degrees. I used it Sunday and my legs felt (and looked) great!

Quote of the day;

“We are different, in essence, from other men. If you want to win something, run 100 meters. If you want to experience something, run a marathon.” – Emil Zatopek


D said...

A huge congratulations on your marathon performance. I obviously need help because I couldn't tear myself away from your report. You look very strong in the photos. Very inspiring!

Chelle said...

I'll have to remember that olive oil trick. Good for the skin too!

I so agree with that bit about not being in shape to reach goals. I committed myself to being in 2:58 shape this time around to give myself a little cushion and I think that really helped. So that means to make the B standard, I need to be in 2:45 shape?? Yow.

qcmier said...

Where was the olive oil tip before IM WI? =)

Hmm, so I should shoot for being in 3:05 shape, yikes...

Chad said...

Thanks D!

Chelle, I was doing the "that means I need to be in xyz shape" calculation too - but I was using a half marathon. I figure I need to double my half and add about 12 minutes, so a 2:55 would actually require me to be in 1:21:30 shape.

We've got work to do!!!

Chad said...

Alan, I think you would have needed to rub a tub of Crisco shortening all over in order to stay warm at IM WI.

Keep in mind that everyone is different. Some people can be in 3:10 shape and run 3:10, some need a little cushion.

3:05 is "only" 7:00 pace. You can do that.

brent said...

seriously, olive oil??

Mike said...

Catching up on your blog here. Great race report in your last post and SOLID race! I like that victory post in that pic- that's gotta be a great feeling knowing you are going sub-3. BIG CONGRATS!

Who is the fast chica running in front of you? Some very fast women out there eh?! Cool.

Chad said...

Thanks Mike. After doing a little digging, the best I can tell is that she's from your neck of the woods. Janet Collar from Spokane, WA. She's a perfect example of what I was talking about in this post. She went out in 1:23 and came back in 1:36.

Anonymous said...

Well run, and you enjoyed it too. Congrats. Not too many days that you can dress in cool looking black - you picked the right one.

Trisaratops said...

Great pics! Love the last one!

Chad said...

Thanks Vince.

Susan, a little olive oil really makes the legs shimmer - just like a body builder. Does it get cold enough in Texas though?

Thanks Sara. It's pretty cool when you know you'll pass under the finish clock and it'll still have a "2" as the first digit.