Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Winding the Top

Twenty miles are in the books. Actually, I can't be sure it was exactly 20 miles. The path I was on claims to be a mile in length. It is a circular track and I tried to stay in the middle. Did they measure from the inner edge, outer edge, middle? It makes a difference. My time seemed to be roughly 20 seconds faster per mile than I would have thought so lets estimate conservatively and call it 19 miles (20 laps X .95 miles). It's a nice, flat run except for a few minor 12 foot elevations just to make sure you are awake. Plenty to look at around the park to keep you interested. The problem is that when you circle a track 20 times you start to feel like you are winding up a top or - for the Superman fans out there - turning back time by circling the globe counter clockwise. Each training run winds another loop around the top. That's the hard part. The marathon should be just a matter of pulling the string and letting it spin! (Yeah, right.)

As I was unwinding from this run, however, I was immediately assaulted by a man rushing towards me just spewing questions at me like: when I was marathoning? how much had I trained? how many miles would I do next week? All of this would have been fine and good but I just finished 2 1/2 hours of running, dude. I'm whipped. I'm thirsty. I'm pretty sure my calves are going to lock up rendering me immobile for the next several hours. And is that a pain in my liver? Is that normal? C'mon give me a chance to rest. I tolerated him for a moment until I realized that what he really wanted to do was tell me about his first marathon experience and proceeded to give me a bunch of advice. I had heard it all before so I politely (at first) ended the conversation and made the exhausted walk to the car. Talk about bad timing. I'm thinking this dude is the type that hits on the widow at a funeral with the "you here with anyone?" line.

19 miles (20 laps) in 2:32. 8 minutes per mile. On pace!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

What's in a number?

20 miles...that is my next milestone. I have run far enough now during my training runs where finishing the marathon doesn't seem quite as daunting. Something about a nice round number like 20 seems much more impressive than 18 or 19. If I get the 20 knocked down with relative ease, I will feel supremely confident going into October 22nd and the Windy City. Chicago Marathon, here I come.